Index of Learning Styles in a U.S. School of Pharmacy

  • Colleen J. Teevan
  • Michael Li
  • Lauren S. Schlesselman


Objective: The goal of this study was to assess for a predominance of learning styles among pharmacy students at an accredited U.S. school of pharmacy.

Methods: Following approval by the Institutional Review Board, the Index of Learning Styles© was administered to 210 pharmacy students. The survey provides results within 4 domains: perception, input, processing, and understanding. Analyses were conducted to determine trends in student learning styles.

Results: Within the four domains, 84% of students showed a preference toward sensory perception, 66% toward visual input, and 74% toward sequential understanding. Students showed no significant preference for active or reflective processing. Preferences were of moderate strength for the sensing, visual, and sequential learning styles.

Conclusions: Students showed preferences for sensing, visual, and sequential learning styles with gender playing a role in learning style preferences. Faculty should be aware, despite some preferences, a mix of learning styles exists. To focus on the preferences found, instructors should focus teaching in a logical progression while adding visual aids. To account for other types of learning styles found, the instructors can offer other approaches and provide supplemental activities for those who would benefit from them. Further research is necessary to compare these learning styles to the teaching styles of pharmacy preceptors and faculty at schools of pharmacy.


Keywords: Education, Pharmacy, Graduate. Problem-Based Learning. United States.


Download data is not yet available.


1. Romanelli F, Bird E, Ryan M. Learning Styles: A Review of Theory, Application, and Best Practices. Am J Pharm Educ. 2009;73(1):9.

2. Felder RM, Silverman LK. Learning and Teaching Styles in Engineering Education. Engr Education. 1988;78(7):674-681.

3. Shuck AA, Phillips CR. Assessing Pharmacy Students’ Learning Styles and Personality Types: A Ten-Year Analysis. Am J Pharm Educ. 1999;63:27-33.

4. Garvey M, Bootman JL, McGhan WF, Meredith K. An Assessment of Learning Styles Among Pharmacy Students. Am J Pharm Educ. 1984;48:134-140.

5. Gardner SF, Monaghan MS. Comparison of Learning Styles Between Traditional and Nontraditional Pharmacy Students in a Doctor of Pharmacy Program. J Pharm Teach. 1996;5(4):31-39.

6. Pungente MD, Wasan DM, Moffett C. Using Learning Styles to Evaluate First-Year Pharmacy Students’ Preferences Toward Different Activities Associated with the Problem-Based Learning Approach. Am J Pharm Educ. 2003;66:119-124.

7. Felder RM, Spurlin J. Applications, Reliability and Validity of the Index of Learning Styles. Int J Engng Ed. 2005;21(1):103-112.

8. Novak S, Shah S, Wilson JP, Lawson KA, Salzman RD. Pharmacy Students’ Learning Styles Before and After a Problem-based Learning Experience. Am J Pharm Educ. 2006;70(4):74.
How to Cite
Teevan CJ, Li M, Schlesselman LS. Index of Learning Styles in a U.S. School of Pharmacy. Pharm Pract (Granada) [Internet]. 2011Jun.17 [cited 2019Nov.14];9(2):82-7. Available from:
Original Research