June 2015
Volume 56, Issue 7
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2015
Learning styles among ophthalmology residents
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Brian Craig Stagg
    Univ of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Jason Jensen
    Univ of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Adam Jorgensen
    Univ of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Cody Olsen
    Univ of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Jeff Pettey
    Univ of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Brian Stagg, None; Jason Jensen, None; Adam Jorgensen, None; Cody Olsen, None; Jeff Pettey, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2015, Vol.56, 144. doi:
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      Brian Craig Stagg, Jason Jensen, Adam Jorgensen, Cody Olsen, Jeff Pettey; Learning styles among ophthalmology residents. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(7 ):144.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Individual learning style can affect the acquisition of ophthalmic knowledge by trainees. The Kolb Learning Style Inventory is a survey tool used to categorize learning styles. We administered this survey to ophthalmology residents across the country to improve our understanding of the way residents learn.


The survey was distributed electronically to residents at 99 residency programs across the country. Responses from 82 residents were obtained and analyzed. The Kolb Learning Styles Inventory v3.1 (Kolb LSI) is a well-studied, validated assessment that categorizes learners into four broad learning styles: converging, assimilating, accommodating, and diverging. Additional questions asked of participants included basic demographics, Ophthalmic Knowledge and Assessment Exam (OKAP) percentile range, USMLE Step 1 score range, ranking of various study methods based on educational value, and ranking of lecture styles based on educational value. The Kolb LSI responses were plotted on a Kolb Learning Styles inventory graph and a best-fit analysis was done to evaluate for non-random distribution among the four learning styles.


Responses from 82 residents were analyzed. 45.1% of those polled showed a converging learning style. 20. 7% showed an assimilating learning style. 20.7% showed an accommodating learning style. 13.4% showed a diverging learning style. This was a non-random distribution (p <0.01).


The most common learning style of ophthalmology residents was converging. Converging implies preference for “hands-on” learning combined with understanding of theory. The prevalence of converging in ophthalmology is similar to other surgical subspecialties, but different from the medical subspecialties based on previous studies. However, there is significant representation from all four learning styles among ophthalmology residents and ophthalmologic training should not neglect any of these styles.


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