Campus Access Only
All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of University of the Pacific. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.
Date of Award
Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Educational Administration and Leadership
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
This study is designed to gather information concerning a possible relationship between how dental students prefer to take in and communicate new information and how they prefer to be assessed. Though there are numerous references in the literature regarding the learning styles of students there are also references to the inaccuracy of such studies. Part of the problem is in the definition of what construes a particular learning style and how to match the outcomes of one study based on one set of criteria with another study based on a dissimilar set of guide lines. This study focuses on learning preferences that make up just a part of a learning style. To gather information two quantitative surveys were utilized that involved three class years of dental students attending the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. Both surveys were designed to be voluntary and anonymous assuming that the results would be fewer but more accurate. The first survey (VARK Survey), based on the principles of the modes represented by VARK (Visual, Aural, Read-write, and Kinesthetic), gathered information regarding how dental students prefer to take in and give out information when learning is the goal. The second survey (Survey II) gathered information validating the results of the first survey along with information regarding how dental students prefer to be assessed. One hundred forty five students responded to the VARK Survey and one hundred students responded to the Survey II. Results of the VARK Survey indicated that dental students rely heavily on using a combination of modes, a category termed “multimodal.” Responses to singular VARK modes resulted in Kinesthetic followed by Read/write, Aural, and Visual. The preferred methods of assessment in descending order were: Multiple-Choice, Combination of Methods, Essay, Oral Exam, Fill-in-the-Blanks, and True/False. The majority of dental education is presenting information and assessing the results of the teaching. Teaching and assessing strategies should be formulated to achieve optimal results when educating students is the goal. Understanding the interconnection between learning preferences and assessment methods is critical when striving to achieve optimal results educating dental students.
Buchanan, Phil. (2016). The association between learning preferences and preferred methods of assessment of dental students. University of the Pacific, Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted. https://scholarlycommons.pacific.edu/uop_etds/38
To access this thesis/dissertation you must have a valid pacific.edu email address and log-in to Scholarly Commons.Find in ProQuest
If you are the author and would like to grant permission to make your work openly accessible, please email