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Learning style impact on knowledge gains in human patient simulation

  • Author(s): Shinnick, MA
  • Woo, MA
  • et al.
Abstract

© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Introduction: Human patient simulation (HPS) is a widely used method of teaching in nursing education. While it is believed that a student's learning style impacts knowledge gains in HPS, there is little evidence to support this. This study sought to determine the impact of learning style on knowledge gains after a heart failure (HF) simulation experience in pre-licensure nursing students. Methods: A convenience sample of four cohorts of prelicensure nursing students (. n=. 161) were recruited from three Baccalaureate Schools of Nursing at the same point in their curriculum (age 25.7. ±. 6.6. years; gender. =. 85.5% female) and participated in HPS using a HF simulation on a high-fidelity manikin. Learning style was assessed by the Kolb Learning Style Inventory (LSI) and pre- and post-HPS knowledge measured by parallel, validated, knowledge tests. The LSI identifies 4 learning styles, (Assimilating Diverging, Accommodating, and Converging). In some cases, learners present a balanced learning profile-an emphasis of all four equally. Statistical analysis consisted of t-tests and ANOVA. Results: HF knowledge scores post-HPS compared to pre-HPS scores revealed a mean improvement of 7 points (. p<. 0.001) showing evidence of learning. Within group score increases between the pre-test and post-test were seen for the Assimilating (66.68. ±. 20.87 to 83.35. ±. 12.59; p=. 0.07), Diverging (61.95. ±. 11.08 to 69.86. ±. 12.33; p<. 0.01) and balanced profiles (64.4. ±. 12.45 to 71.8. ±. 10.14; p<. 0.01), but not for Converging or Accommodating profiles (73% of sample). Post-hoc paired t-tests revealed a large effect size for the Assimilators (0.91) and moderate effect sizes for both the Divergers and balanced profiles (0.67 and 0.65, respectively). Conclusion: These findings confirm that knowledge gains occur with HPS and provide evidence that HPS is an effective teaching methodology for nursing students identifying with most types of learning styles.

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