Reflective accounts

Identifying learning styles

A CPD article improved Grace Hughes’s knowledge of how to identify different learning styles.
learning styles

A CPD article improved Grace Hughess knowledge of how to identify different learning styles

What was the nature of the CPD activity, practice-related feedback and/or event and/or experience in your practice?

The article explored different learning styles and outlined some of the models that can be used to identify them. It discussed the limitations of these models, indicating that although they can be helpful in identifying a students preferred learning style, this is not fixed and might change over time. Learning is also influenced by other factors, such as culture and age.

What did you learn from the CPD activity, feedback and/or event and/or experience in your practice?

From reading this article, I have learned that effective teaching involves delivering information in a variety of ways.

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A CPD article improved Grace Hughes’s knowledge of how to identify different learning styles


  Taking account of different learning styles is key for teachers and students  Photo: iStock

What was the nature of the CPD activity, practice-related feedback and/or event and/or experience in your practice?

The article explored different learning styles and outlined some of the models that can be used to identify them. It discussed the limitations of these models, indicating that although they can be helpful in identifying a student’s preferred learning style, this is not ‘fixed’ and might change over time. Learning is also influenced by other factors, such as culture and age.

What did you learn from the CPD activity, feedback and/or event and/or experience in your practice?

From reading this article, I have learned that effective teaching involves delivering information in a variety of ways. Some students prefer listening and writing notes, while others prefer a kinaesthetic, or hands-on learning style. For example, if a student is a visual learner, the use of visual aids might be beneficial. Similarly, some students may find group teaching or face-to-face meetings effective.

The article emphasised that learning does not depend only on the teacher; the student uses their own strengths to enable their learning. Self-directed learning can increase the students’ motivation because it encourages them to become involved in their learning.

The environment is also an important factor in learning. A university environment differs from a hospital setting, and in emergencies it might be difficult for some learners to think quickly and process information.

How did you change or improve your practice?

I was interested to read this article because I am undertaking my mentorship training. Being aware of learning styles will help me tailor my teaching to the specific learning needs of the students I mentor. 

Having read the article, I now include self-directed learning activities for students in my role as a trainee mentor. For example, I have given them relevant information to read and a drug calculations test to complete in their own time. I plan to deliver a presentation on a topic of interest to students using visual aids and will support students to provide care for patients using a kinaesthetic approach, under supervision.

I recognise my preferred teaching style is that of facilitator, which involves discussing and answering questions about issues related to nursing with students. Although this is appropriate for a clinical setting, I am aware that an authoritative approach might be required if I am teaching a larger group.

How is this relevant to the Code? Select one or more themes: Prioritise people, Practise effectively, Preserve safety, Promote professionalism and trust

The article relates to the theme of practising effectively, which involves supporting students’ learning to help them improve their clinical skills and their confidence. I intend to continue to support students by keeping up-to-date with what they are learning in their university course, and will help them to apply nursing theory to practice, taking into account their preferred learning style. I will share my skills and knowledge with the students I mentor, thus enhancing their learning.

Practising effectively also involves keeping my knowledge and skills up-to-date. This article has helped to improve my understanding of the factors that influence learning and teaching, and has motivated me to find out more about learning styles.

Grace Hughes is a paediatric staff nurse at West Middlesex University Hospital, London


This reflective account is based on NS865 Anderson I (2016) Identifying different learning styles to enhance the learning experience. Nursing Standard. 31, 7, 53-61

These questions are the same as those on the NMC templates that UK nurses and midwives must use for revalidation

Write your own reflective account 

You can gain a certificate of learning by reading a Nursing Standard CPD article and writing a reflective account. To write a reflective account for Nursing Standard, use the NMC reflective accounts form 

Complete the four questions about the CPD article you have just read, writing about 800 words in total. How to submit your reflective account 

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