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Learning Styles of Undergraduate Nutrition and Dietetics Students

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PURPOSE: It has been identified that health science students, and in particular undergraduate nutrition and dietetics (N&D) students, have distinctive learning needs. The purpose of this study was to investigate the learning styles of undergraduate N&D students enrolled at a large Australian university. An awareness of the learning styles of undergraduate N&D students will assist university educators in providing appropriate learning opportunities and developing curricula to equip N&D graduates with the essential skills they need to work effectively in the modern practice environment. METHODS: The Kolb Learning Style Inventory (K-LSI), Index of Learning Styles (ILS) and Success Types Learning Style Type Indicator (STLSTI) were distributed to 162 students enrolled in a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics program at one metropolitan university. RESULTS: One hundred twenty-nine questionnaires were returned, providing a response rate of 79.6%. The K-LSI showed that students were inclined toward converging (practical) and assimilating (reasoning) learning styles while the ILS identified the students as intuitive (innovative). The STLSTI results indicated an intraverted, sensing, feeling, judging approach to learning. CONCLUSIONS: It is recommended N&D educators take into consideration the learning styles of dietetics students when developing curricula and evaluating teaching approaches. Analysis of learning styles can inform the planning, implementation, and assessment of teaching and learning activities to create effective learning environments, appropriate learning opportunities, and a contemporary curriculum for N&D students.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2012

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  • The Journal of Allied Health is the official publication of the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP). The Journal is the only interdisciplinary allied health periodical, publishing scholarly works related to research and development, feature articles, research abstracts and book reviews. Readers of the Journal comprise allied health leaders, educators, faculty and students.
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