Purpose: Learning focus has shifted from conventional teacher-centered to student-cen-tered; therefore, methods used to support and encourage learners must be considered. Meanwhile, the individual differences between learners should be taken into consideration by medical educators. Aiming to achieve a better learning experience, the current study investigates the relationship between personality traits and learning styles and their effect on students’ academic achievement.
Subjects and Methods: An analytical, cross-sectional study, encompassing a sample of 333 undergraduate first-year medical students, at the Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University in Egypt was conducted. The Big Five personality traits test and VARK learning styles questionnaires were used to assess students’ personality traits and learning styles, respectively, in the medical education module which is a part of the Foundation II module. The former is five weeks’ duration and is followed by a summative exam at the end. Students’ academic achievement was determined from their grades in Foundation II module by the end of the semester.
Results: Study findings generally indicate that the highest domain of learning styles among students is the kinesthetic domain. A statistically significant difference between males and females regarding their learning style preferences was detected. Also, there was a statistically significant relationship between auditory and kinesthetic learning styles and academic achievement. Though there was a significant relationship between kinesthetic learning style with both openness traits and academic achievement, no significant statistical relationship was found between any of the personality traits and academic achievement.
Conclusion: This study concludes that learning style could affect students’ academic achievement. It reveals that the kinesthetic learning style is the most preferred learning style among our medical students, also the agreeableness and openness traits were the most common personality traits among them. No significant relationship was detected between personality traits and academic achievement.
- Academic achievement
- Active learning
- Learning styles
- Medical education
- Personality traits