Saturday, 28 October 2017
Purpose: The study examined the associations between learning styles and academic performance of nursing students. Methods: One hundred and fifty nursing students completed a standardised inventory of learning styles questionnaire (ILSQ). End of session examination results categorized into high, medium and low performance were used to measure the academic performance. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and PPMC analysis. Results: The order of learning styles used by the high performing group are use of knowledge (4.51 ± 0.38), vocation directed (4.31 ± 0.57), self-test directed (4.29 ± 0.49), construction of knowledge (4.23±0.44) and stimulating education (4.02 ± 0.75). 36.7% had high academic performance. The high performing group correlated significantly with the learning orientations (r = .71, p < 0.05) while self-regulation of learning content was significantly associated with the low performing group (r = .90, p < .01). High performing respondents had a significantly negative correlation with the learning style of learning orientations (-.07, p < .05). Conclusion: Nursing students use different learning styles in their learning processes yielding low percentage of students with high academic performance. Their learning styles had significant association with academic performance. To record increased percentage of nursing students with high academic results, health educators should draw curricula that take cognizance of students’ learning styles and also guide them on their learning strategies. Practical relevance: Students use different learning styles in their learning process. Although most students use these learning styles unknowingly, it is important to provide them with known learning styles that they can use to improve the academic results in the learning situation. Also, the findings of this study will help educators to draw curricula that will take cognizance of students’ learning styles in schools in this sub-region. Students will also be guided on their learning strategies in order to improve upon their academic performance.