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Predominant learning approaches of medical students in Saudi Arabia
  1. Reem S AlOmar1,
  2. Nouf A AlShamlan1,
  3. Naheel A AlAmer1,
  4. Nouf I Albrahim2,
  5. Zainab Z Alshulah2,
  6. Zahra A Kalalah2,
  7. Danah M Almoaibed2,
  8. Hawra Z Alshulah2,
  9. Musaad R AlRashid2,
  10. Abdulaziz A Althumairi2,
  11. Abdullatif K Althunyan1
  1. 1Department of Family and Community Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
  2. 2College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Eastern, Saudi Arabia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Reem S AlOmar, Department of Family and Community medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia; rsomar{at}iau.edu.sa

Abstract

Purpose of the study This study aims at identifying the predominant learning approaches by Saudi medical students across Saudi Arabia and assess its possible associations with sociodemographic and educational characteristics.

Study design A cross-sectional study design using the Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students questionnaire. The questionnaire gives rise to three possible learning approaches; deep, strategic and surface approaches. Bivariate analyses were performed through independent samples t-test and χ2 tests where appropriate. A multinominal regression analysis was performed to obtain risk estimates and 95% CIs.

Results A total of 3767 students participated and were included in the analysis. The predominant learning approach was the deep approach, followed by the strategic and surface approaches (40.59%, 37.81% and 21.60%, respectively). Males and students belonging to private medical schools were more likely to adopt a strategic rather than a deep one (relative risk ratio (RRR) 1.22, 95% CI 1.06 to 1.42 and RRR 1.32, 95% CI 1.05 to 1.65, respectively). Students with an A grade point average (GPA) were less likely to adopt a surface approach, whereas those with a C GPA were more likely to adopt it (RRR=0.67, 95% CI 0.54 to 0.83 and RRR=1.29, 95% CI 1.02 to 1.61, respectively).

Conclusion The findings from this study show that medical students predominantly favour the deep learning approach. Results from this study encourage the continuous adaptation of clinical teaching in medical schools to optimise students’ learning experiences.

  • medical education & training
  • epidemiology

Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. The data supporting the result of this manuscript will be made available by the authors on request to any qualified researcher.

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Data availability statement

Data are available on reasonable request. The data supporting the result of this manuscript will be made available by the authors on request to any qualified researcher.

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Footnotes

  • Twitter @RSAlOmar, @nashamlan

  • Contributors RSA, NAAIS and NAAIA designed and conceived the study. RSA performed the data analysis. NIA, ZZA, ZAK, DMA, HZA, MRA and AAA contributed to the interpretation of the results and drafting the manuscript. RSA, NAAIS, NAAIA and AKA guided the development of the study and undertook critical revision of the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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