A comparison of learning strategies, orientations and conceptions of learning of first-year medical students in a traditional and an innovative curriculum

Kosala N. Marambe, Nimmi C. Athuraliya, Jan D. Vermunt, Henny P.A. Boshuizen

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Students adapt their learning strategies, orientations and conceptions to differences in the learning environment. The new curriculum of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka, which commenced in 2005, puts greater emphasis on student-centred learning. The aim of this study was to compare the learning strategies, orientations and conceptions measured by means of a validated Sri Lankan version of the Inventory of Learning Styles (ILS) at the end of the first academic year for a traditional curriculum student group and a new curriculum student group. Materials and Methods: The Adyayana Rata Prakasha Malawa (ARPM) 130-item Sinhala version of the ILS was administered to students of the traditional curriculum and the new curriculum at the end of their first academic year respectively. Mean scale scores of the 2 groups were compared using independent sample t-test. Results: Students of the new curriculum reported the use of critical processing, concrete processing and memorising and rehearsing strategies significantly more than those in the traditional curriculum group. With respect to learning orientations, personal interest scores were significantly higher for the new curriculum students while reporting of ambiguity was significantly lower among them. Conclusion: The results favour the assumption that changes made to the organisation of subject content and instructional and assessment methods have a positive impact on students' use of learning strategies and motivation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)751-755
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals Academy of Medicine, Singapore
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Innovative curriculum
  • Learning strategies
  • Orientations
  • Traditional curriculum

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