Learning styles and approaches: can reflective strategies encourage deep learning?

Cherie Tsingos, Sinthia Bosnic-Anticevich, Lorraine Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Research in learning styles and learning approaches is extensive; however our understanding of the differences and misconceptions between these two important constructs is limited. Furthermore, most health disciplines have utilized research into learning styles and learning approaches to refine teaching modules or as a basis for understanding student cohorts, yet very few studies have been conducted in the discipline of pharmacy.

Objective: This narrative review will discuss the misconceptions between the two constructs, the differences in their use and the important role reflection plays in both learning styles and approaches.

Methods: A snowball method was utilized to locate peer-reviewed articles from the last 30 years.

Results: The literature identified reflection may play a role in learning styles and approaches, which may influence academic performance.

Conclusion: Understanding a cohortʼs learning style and approaches and the role reflection plays, particularly over time, may provide invaluable support for refining pharmacy curricula for enhanced academic performance and student learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492-504
Number of pages13
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Narrative review
  • Learning styles
  • Learning approach
  • Reflective practice
  • Pharmacy education


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