The various learning models in the teaching of healthcare

You may have heard that we all react better to different learning methods, especially during periods of education. That is precisely what the learning models described in this article support. Each style captures an individual strength that most likely aids in information retention. Differing styles are popular because it is assumed that by identifying an individual learner’s style and customizing education to it, the efficiency of learning can be increased.

What exactly does it mean to learn? For some, introducing anything new in life teaches them something they did not already know. Others define learning as the process of memorizing any information that is presented to them. Other groups believe that learning entails applying what they have learned practically. In actuality, the precise concept of learning is irrelevant. What is important is the process that occurs behind the scenes. According to one study, learning is significantly more than we realize. There has been new research that can help make the learning process more effective and enjoyable. One component of this research is learning models.

For healthcare students in particular, it is important to continue learning even after university. Streamlining your approach to learning by knowing how you learn best is the ultimate way to progress.

Learning models

In the 1970s, the idea that everyone has their own learning style became widespread. It’s a tempting thought: if each of us could pinpoint one “perfect” technique for learning, we’d be able to focus on it and be consistently effective. Additionally, by understanding other people’s needs, we will know how to help them learn effectively. It can transform education, training, learning and development, allowing us to reach our full potential as learners, and as professionals. Here are a few of the most popular learning models and how they are used:

Kolb’s learning cycle

The ‘experiential learning theory’ is another name for David A. Kolb’s learning paradigm. Kolb’s model is based on the idea that learning occurs in four stages.

Concrete learning – During the initial stage, the learner becomes familiar with the subject through direct experience. They will encounter something new or a variant of an existing event.

Reflective observation – The learner reflects on the results of stage one during this stage. Their interpretation and takeaway from this reflection rely on the learner’s interpretation.

Abstract conceptualization – The learner had an experience in stage one and reflected on it in step two. The learner then applies this knowledge to generate or modify new ideas.

Active experimentation – The learner now has either completely new or newly modified ideas to practice. Stage four is the time at which all information and products are applied to the development of new skills.

Kolb’s theory concerns the learner’s personal growth and perspective. In experiential learning, the student is responsible for guiding their learning process. Experiential learning is an excellent learning method as it helps students apply their knowledge in real-world circumstances. Active engagement, critical thinking, creativity, problem-solving, cooperation and communication skills are all encouraged through experiential learning.


The VARK model’s four primary learning modes are visual, auditory, reading and writing and kinesthetic. Here’s a rundown of the four learning styles:

Visual – Learners retain knowledge better when information is provided to them in a pictorial style, such as diagrams and symbols.

Auditory – Also known as “aural” learners, auditory learners prefer to listen to information given to them verbally. These students perform well in groups with vocal participation and may also enjoy reading out loud to themselves.

Reading and writing – Learners excel with written information on presentations, worksheets and other text resources by focusing on the written content. These students take notes and perform well when referring to written text.

Kinesthetic – Learners are physically active and hands-on and excel when their senses are engaged through the coursework. Due to the course’s hands-on lab component, these students perform well in scientific research.

Understanding one’s learning preferences may be beneficial to some people. Combining visual study strategies with other learning approaches may help you recall and enjoy your studies better if you know that visual learning is your strongest suit. If no single learning preference stands out to you, or if your preferences fluctuate depending on the situation or information you are learning, you most likely have a multimodal learning style. For example, when dealing with a class that demands a lot of book reading, such as pharmacology, you might rely on your reading and writing habits. On the other hand, when you participate in clinical rotations, you may rely more on your visual and kinesthetic inclinations.

Forgetting curve

Hermann Ebbinghaus’ Forgetting Curve illustrates how information is lost over time if no effort is made to retain it. Ebbinghaus conducted a series of tests on his own memory in the latter half of the 19th century. Throughout these experiments, he memorized meaningless words and again tested himself after different periods, documenting the findings. Finally, he established the Forgetting Curve by graphing the results.

According to the curve, information drains out of our brains continuously. In reality, we forget half of what we learn within an hour of knowing it, and we’ll have forgotten 90{6a03a70b9eb47dd80e8836a44474e151e026ed65dd2c81c1a00cb10c2fe5b3bf} of what we’ve learned in a week. In that perspective, all learning activities can be seen as a war against the Forgetting Curve. Yet, it is not all terrible news. Ebbinghaus also demonstrated that when knowledge is reinforced, the rate of deterioration slows. This reflects the significance of spaced repetition in a learning context.

Grasha-Reichmann’s learning style

In 1974, Anthony Grasha and Sheryl Reichmann created Grasha-Reichmann’s learning style, a cognitive paradigm. It was primarily concerned with the student’s attitude and approach to learning. Anthony Grasha and Reichmann distinguish between adaptive and maladaptive learning styles in this approach. These learning styles are avoidant, collaborative, competitive, independent, participatory and reliant. This model was primarily intended to equip college teachers with insight and information on coping with their pupils’ instructional strategies. By adjusting the educational environment, students’ learning can be increased.

To construct this theory, Grasha interviewed 75 students to gauge their attitudes to standard classroom structures. These early investigations served as the foundation for the first three ‘negative’ learning styles, on which Grasha and Reichmann created a more complicated model of six basic learning styles. Finally, they created the GRLSS teaching styles survey to assist educators, a complex questionnaire designed for instructors that tries to provide insight into how their teaching complements or conflicts with the demands of their pupils. Additional activities to reinforce learning can be useful to support the learning experience in situations where a student’s preferred instructional strategy is not employed by the educator.

Gregorc learning model

The Gregorc learning model dives deeper into the mind’s workings. The mind, according to this paradigm, has a dominant quadrant. This quadrant determines each individual’s learning style because it dominates mental activity. The first of these learning modes is concrete sequential learning. These students gain knowledge through hands-on experience. The utilization of all senses is observed in such learning. Then there’s the concrete unpredictability. These folks can memorize information quickly but then interpret it depending on prior knowledge. For example, a person must associate the normal range of blood pressure readings for a newborn with what is considered normal for an adult.

Abstract sequential learners are people who require an organized learning environment with various materials, mainly graphics, to support effective learning. Finally, abstract random learners work in a disorderly fashion. People manage information in their heads by interpreting it.

4MAT model

The 4MAT Learning Styles Model is a framework for developing a dynamic and more engaging teaching style by precisely visualizing each student’s learning process. 4MAT provides a standard paradigm for understanding how individuals and groups interpret, assimilate, act on and integrate knowledge. The 4MAT Learning Styles Model is based on David Kolb’s four distinct learning styles. The final model’s categories are based on a query reflecting what the learner seeks in new knowledge. It assists teachers in making their lessons more engaging by encouraging and stimulating a higher level of student involvement and understanding.

We’ve all had experiences where we “clicked” with instructors, making learning a pleasure and acquiring new abilities almost straightforward. 4MAT is a unique approach to instruction that aims to support this synergy, engage all learners, and offer material in a format and technique appropriate for everyone.

What is the best model for healthcare students?

As a healthcare student, you are preparing to enter a reputable profession that will put you in contact with patients and members of the general public. Therefore, you must maintain a high standard of conduct at all times to justify the trust placed in you as a future member of the profession. However, each student is different, and there is no one size fits all approach to teaching. This is especially true for a medical student, as the field is vast.

Each learner is unique, and when it comes to learning styles, the ones that work best depend on the individual. Rotating the types of instruction teachers use is one way to maximize the effectiveness of their time in the classroom. This ensures a mix of strategies that may work well for different students. In addition, teachers can make the classroom a dynamic environment by integrating various activities and keeping their students engaged with the topic.

Every healthcare student will have a unique method of studying, gathering knowledge and organizing their study time to be more productive and efficient. Some students may prefer to learn with others in a group, while others prefer to study alone to avoid distractions. Study groups are a terrific opportunity for students to discuss ideas and explain things to one another, but studying alone can help you avoid distractions if your classmates are less dedicated than you are. You must determine the ideal approach for you. Also, experiment with new study methods to discover what works best.

In addition to determining your ideal learning style, it is important to recognize your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the skills that are required in the healthcare field. This can help you focus your efforts on improving in any weak areas.

What skills are required in healthcare?

The skills required to work in the healthcare industry will depend on the field you wish to pursue. In this article, we will focus on the necessary skills to become a registered nurse, as many of these skills will overlap with other healthcare professions. Like all areas of the medical world, you will require certification to become a registered nurse. As there is currently a shortage of nurses in America, the government is trying to increase the enrolment of online nursing schools in Kentucky, New York, Chicago, and many other parts of the country. Elmhurst University in Kentucky offers a range of courses to make it easier for those interested in a career change to make that step.

In addition to these qualified skills, there are also transferable skills that nurses, and many other healthcare professionals can use. These include:

Professionalism – No two healthcare workers are alike, but they do need to have certain personality traits to care for their patients well. As a healthcare worker, you must remember that patients are frequently at their worst. Helping individuals achieve their health objectives necessitates patience, compassion, good communication skills and the capacity to change course when necessary. Prospective candidates do not have to be born with specific abilities and characteristics. They can learn them through degree programs, on-the-job training or online courses.

Communication – Communication is essential in all workplaces but especially crucial for healthcare employees. In addition to regular contact with coworkers, healthcare personnel must talk with patients and their families. Evidence suggests strong positive relationships exist between a healthcare team member’s communication skills and a patient’s ability to follow through on medical recommendations, self-manage a chronic medical condition and adopt preventive health behaviors, according to the Institute for Healthcare Communication. In addition, according to a recent report, patients’ impressions of the quality of their treatment are heavily influenced by the quality of their interactions with their healthcare physician and team. This shows that good patient care and satisfaction require strong communication abilities.

Time management – Healthcare institutions, from hospitals to small clinics, have hectic schedules, so practical time management skills benefit healthcare professionals. This may enable you to visit patients more swiftly or handle insurance paperwork more efficiently.

IT skills – Nowadays, good computer skills are required in almost every industry, including healthcare. To connect with coworkers and retain records, IT systems and email are employed. This ensures that patients receive a consistent level of service while dealing with different sectors of the healthcare system.

Compassion and empathy – Being present for your patients is a top responsibility in healthcare. A sensitive ear and a compassionate attitude can make all the difference in your patient’s moment of need. When someone expresses compassion, it is evident in their body language and tone. Naturally, patients can pick up on these things, which can also help develop trust between you and the patient, increasing the likelihood of an excellent experience for both sides. In addition, empathy and compassion not only put your patients at ease, but they can also help you succeed at work. According to research, nurses who feel empathetic are less likely to suffer from nursing burnout.

There are many more transferable skills, but these are the five fundamental skills to possess when working in the healthcare industry. Many will look at the above abilities and believe they are traits. However, all the above can be taught, which makes them skills that can be learned and developed. Adopting the learning model that you prefer will help you to master these skills more quickly.

To conclude

Given that everyone has a different learning style, claiming that one learning style is the best is incorrect. Understanding your personal learning style is critical to your studies. Understanding what type of learner you are is crucial, as utilizing the method that you best acquire knowledge can be a decisive factor in academic achievement. You may determine your preferred learning style by experimenting with all the highlighted learning strategies and then determining which one best helps you recall information. You can adjust your studies to suit your needs after determining which style suits you. Numerous aspects influence how well someone learns, but understanding your preferred learning style can help you learn more readily.