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Open Access Research article

Personality preference influences medical student use of specific computer-aided instruction (CAI)

John A McNulty1*, Baltazar Espiritu2, Martha Halsey3 and Michelle Mendez4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, IL 60153 USA

2 Department of Medicine, Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, IL 60153 USA

3 Learning Assistance Center, Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, IL 60153 USA

4 Department of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, IL 60153 USA

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BMC Medical Education 2006, 6:7  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-6-7

Published: 1 February 2006

Abstract

Background

The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that personality preference, which can be related to learning style, influences individual utilization of CAI applications developed specifically for the undergraduate medical curriculum.

Methods

Personality preferences of students were obtained using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test. CAI utilization for individual students was collected from entry logs for two different web-based applications (a discussion forum and a tutorial) used in the basic science course on human anatomy. Individual login data were sorted by personality preference and the data statistically analyzed by 2-way mixed ANOVA and correlation.

Results

There was a wide discrepancy in the level and pattern of student use of both CAI. Although individual use of both CAI was positively correlated irrespective of MBTI preference, students with a "Sensing" preference tended to use both CAI applications more than the "iNtuitives". Differences in the level of use of these CAI applications (i.e., higher use of discussion forum vs. a tutorial) were also found for the "Perceiving/Judging" dimension.

Conclusion

We conclude that personality/learning preferences of individual students influence their use of CAI in the medical curriculum.