Learning styles of orthodontic residents

Janeen M. Hughes, Drew W. Fallis, Jennifer L. Peel, David F. Murchison

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Significant challenges face many orthodontic residency programs, particularly a shortage of fulltime experienced faculty members. Due to this shortage, it is critical that program directors design comprehensive curricula that incorporate the most effective and efficient teaching methods. It is theorized that teaching effectiveness and efficiency are optimized when the course design and content closely match students' learning preferences. This survey study was designed to distinguish the learning preferences of orthodontic residents utilizing Felder and Soloman's Index of Learning Styles, which assesses student learning preferences in four dimensions using dichotomous scales, thereby providing insight into how teaching strategies can best be structured. As a secondary focus, additional questions on the survey were asked to gain information about residents' access to the Internet and comfort level with online learning so as to address acceptance of web-based courses in response to the shortage of fulltime faculty members. Orthodontic residents, contacted via email, were requested to complete an online survey; 261 responses were collected. The results indicate that orthodontic residents are highly visual learners and show a preference for sensing and sequential learning strategies. In terms of information technology, the residents are comfortable with and have adequate access to current technological assets; therefore, they may be well suited for inclusion of computer-based teaching modules and other multimedia devices in their residency curriculum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-327
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of dental education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009


  • Dental residency
  • Education
  • Learning
  • Orthodontics
  • Survey
  • Teaching
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Dentistry


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