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Poll- How do you prefer to learn?

by leighgwin leighgwin (New) New

Hello everyone! I am writing a research paper for RN school in which we need to determine the best ways to collect blood cultures and how to teach nurses these techniques. What I would also like to highlight is the way nurses prefer to learn. If you could, please just tell me how you prefer to learn in the current job you hold or in general. Do you prefer online learning, classes, simulations, etc. Any input you have would be so appreciated! Thank you!

HouTx, BSN, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Critical Care, Education. Has 35 years experience.

I strongly urge you to look at actual education research as well - in order to provide an adequate theoretical framework for your paper. Take a look at "Efficiency in Learning: Evidence-based guidelines to manage cognitive load" by Clark, Nguyen & Sweller. Pfeiffer, 2006. There may be a more recent edition. I know that it seems like heresy because it has been passed down from the wise ones, but educational practice should be based upon scientific research - and this does not include "learning styles".

If you examine actual research evidence, you will discover that -- despite all the hoopla on learning styles -- there are only one factor that has been found to have consistent impact upon student learning: prior knowledge. The most effective teaching methods for newbies is different.

Also take a look at "The Ultimate Guide to Competency Assessment in Health Care" by Donna Wright. It's a comprehensive, fact-based resource for nurse educators.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

I have been in Staff Development for decades -- and even teach "learning styles" as a way to help people engage a topic in the beginning phases of their learning. But I agree with HouTx's above. You should be looking at the research literature on the topic before assuming that people learn best by using the style they like the best. Don't confuse "effectiveness" with "preference."

I encourage people to identify their learning style preferences only to help them start learning about a topic. To really learn something well, they may need to use other strategies in addition to their favorite -- but starting with one they like helps them get started.