Saudi Journal of Sports Medicine

ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year
: 2016  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 196--198

Athletics training of the first- and fourth-semester engineering college students and their learning preferences


Ajith Pakkala1, Amrith Pakkala2,  
1 Department of Medical Science, Acharya Group of Institutions, Soldevanahalli, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Physiology, MVJ Medical College and Research Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Amrith Pakkala
Department of Physiology, MVJ Medical College and Research Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka
India

Abstract

Background: Athletics training is given using personality models, information processing models, social interaction models, and instructional preference models. This study uses the visual, auditory, read/write, and kinesthetic (VARK) inventory to gather information as per instructional preference model for assessing learning preferences among the first- and fourth-semester engineering students with reference to athletics training. Aim: This study is designed to evaluate and compare instructional learning style preferences of the first- and fourth-semester engineering students in India. Materials and Methods: This study was conducted on the first- and fourth-semester engineering students with each group having 100 students each. VARK Inventory version 7.1 was administered to determine the preferred instructional mode based on four sensory modalities - VARK with reference to athletics training. Results: Eighty percent of the first-semester students had unimodal learning preferences out of which 11%, 49%, 5%, and 15% of students preferred VARK modes, respectively. In comparison, significantly higher percentage (51%) of the third-semester students had multimodal learning preferences. Their unimodal learning preference was 4% visual, 6% auditory, 5% read/write, and 14% kinesthetic modes. The first-semester students«SQ» auditory instructional style was the most preferred method, whereas the fourth-semester students preferred the kinesthetic mode. Conclusion: With the passage of time in the engineering course, students adapt to a multimodal method of instruction. It is therefore in the interest of students to strengthen, encourage, and adopt a multimodal approach to physical training rather than resorting to conservative unimodal approach.



How to cite this article:
Pakkala A, Pakkala A. Athletics training of the first- and fourth-semester engineering college students and their learning preferences.Saudi J Sports Med 2016;16:196-198


How to cite this URL:
Pakkala A, Pakkala A. Athletics training of the first- and fourth-semester engineering college students and their learning preferences. Saudi J Sports Med [serial online] 2016 [cited 2022 Nov 27 ];16:196-198
Available from: https://www.sjosm.org/text.asp?2016/16/3/196/187553


Full Text

 INTRODUCTION



Workers in the field of education have generally opined that every individual has a specific innate learning style, and learning is more effective if instruction is delivered by this method. [1] This assumption has a physiologic basis depending on the sensory modality students prefer to use while assimilating information. Teaching methodologies in medical colleges have to be in line with learning preferences of the present generation of medical students. The visual, auditory, read/write, and kinesthetic (VARK) questionnaire is widely accepted for assessing instructional preferences and is therefore a valuable tool in assessment of student learning preferences. [2] VARK version 7.1 is the latest in this series capable of assessing four modalities of above-mentioned learning preference parameters. It has been demonstrated by earlier workers who visual preference in the context of learning preferences includes use of diagrams and pictures, graphs, and flowcharts. Auditory preferences include hearing discussions, lectures, and tutorials. Read/write preferred reading printed material. Simulation of real life experiences, field trips, demonstrations, workshops, and hands-on experiences is preferred by kinesthetic learners.

Unimodal learners in this study are a group of students who prefer a single method of information presentation, whereas multimodal learners prefer more than one method. VARK inventory method has been widely used in various countries to assess learning method preferences. Learning styles of students in the engineering college are bound to change over a period. Students from a diverse background gain admission in a peripheral engineering college in India. It would be interesting to know and compare their learning method preferences at the time of joining the engineering college in the first semester with that in the fourth semester after a short duration of exposure to teaching.

This study is designed to evaluate and compare instructional learning style preferences of the first- and fourth-semester engineering students with reference to athletics training experiments using 7.1 version of VARK questionnaire.

 MATERIALS AND METHODS



This study was conducted on engineering students studying at Acharya Institute, Bengaluru. Ethical clearance was obtained from the Institutional Ethics Committee. Students of the first semester (n = 100) participated in the study. Voluntary informed consent was obtained for the study. VARK version 7.1 questionnaire was administered. The questionnaire consists of 16 multiple-choice questions and it measures four perceptual learning preferences (VARK). Each question carried four options. Participants were permitted to choose one or more than one options as found suitable. One-hundred respondents completed the questionnaires. Questionnaires were evaluated on the basis of previously validated scoring instructions available on the VARK site. [2]

This method was repeated to assess the responses of the students in the fourth semester.

Statistical analysis was done to calculate percentage of students with unimodal and multimodal preference in both sets, percentage of students in each category of learning style preference in the two semesters, and dominant learning preference in each study group using Chi-square test.

 RESULTS



VARK inventory results for the first- and fourth-semester engineering students are shown in [Table 1] and graph.{Table 1}

The data show that 80% of the first-semester students had unimodal learning preferences, out of which 11%, 49%, 5%, and 15% of students preferred VARK modes, respectively. In comparison, significantly higher percentage (51%) of the fourth-semester students had multimodal learning preferences. Their unimodal learning preference was 4% visual, 6% auditory, 5% read/write, and 15% kinesthetic modes.

The first-semester students' auditory instructional style was the most preferred method, whereas the fourth-semester students preferred the kinesthetic mode. The number of fourth-semester students preferring the auditory method was significantly lower than the first semester.

Students in the fourth semester had a broader outlook in their learning preferences as encompassed in their choice for multimodal learning methods.

 DISCUSSION



This study was designed to evaluate and determine the learning preference of the first-semester students of engineering with that in the fourth semester. Athletics training was used as a reference. Learning preferences of students help coaches to practice effective teaching methods. The present study revealed that the most preferred unimodal learning style in the first-semester students was auditory. These findings are similar to other Indian workers such as Jindal et al. [3] and Shah et al. [4] This is in contrast to similar studies in the West were read/write method was preferred by fresh students. Malaysian students had preferred kinesthetic method in one of the studies. [5] The difference in preferences in this group of fresh medical students is most likely due to their earlier training methods before entry into the engineering college. A similar view is opined by workers in this field. [6] Gender influence on learning style methods was not studied here as there is a lot of difference of opinion on this. [4]

The present study revealed that learning style preferences were significantly different in fourth semester as compared to the first. The learners preferred unimodal methods in the first semester as compared to the second where a majority preferred multiple combinations of instructional methods. Lack of adequate teaching infrastructure and trained manpower in developing countries results in unimodal auditory methods used predominantly in the school level. Training in an engineering college encompasses multiple modes of teaching methodologies including tutorials and practical training. Hence, there is more of a multimodal exposure in the college.

 Conclusion



It is important to know the learning preferences of the present generation of engineering students to understand the felt need of students. Preferences in instructional methods vary with the passage of time in the engineering college. With the passage of time in the engineering course, students adapt to a multimodal method of instruction. It is therefore in the interest of students to strengthen, encourage, and adopt a multimodal approach to laboratory teaching rather than resorting to conservative unimodal approach.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

References

1Keefe JW. Learning Style: Theory and Practice. Virginia: National Association of Secondary School Principals; 1987.
2Fleming ND. VARK: A Guide to Learning Styles; 2007. Available from: . [Last accessed on 2016 Jan 1].
3Jindal M, Kharb P, Samanta PP. Comparative analysis of instructional learning preferences of medical students of first and seventh semester. Int J Physiol 2013;1:32-6.
4Shah C, Joshi N, Mehta HB, Gokhale PA. Learning styles adopted by medical students. Int Res J Pharm 2011;2:227-9.
5Kumar L, Voralu K, Pani S, Sethuraman K. Predominant learning styles adopted by AIMST university students in Malaysia. South East Asian J Med Educ 2009;3:37-46.
6Nuzhat A, Salem RO, Mohammad SA, Al-Hamdan N. Learning style preferences of medical students: A single institute experience from Saudi Arabia. Int J Med Educ 2011;2:70-3.