CPD Online eNewsletter October 2010

Welcome to the October 2010 eNewsletter for CPD Online, the e-learning resource for mental health professionals from the Royal College of Psychiatrists.


Educational feature:

Learning styles, by Dr Arunima Ghosh-Nodiyal

After a long day doing admin work, attending meetings and, oh yes, I reviewed a few patients as well I was on my way to teach final-year students about Parkinson’s dementia. The question that came to mind is how will everyone learn best? Should we try to adapt to our students’ learning styles or stretch them so that they become more versatile?

Each of us learns in different ways. Some prefer to study in depth before we tackle a task, while others like to ‘get on with it’ and learn as we go. Research by Peter Honey and Alan Mumford (Honey & Mumford, 2000) suggests that there may be four basic learning styles: those of the Activist, Pragmatist, Theorist and Reflector.

Active learners retain information best by ‘doing something’, for instance leading discussions. Reflectors, on the other hand, learn best from collecting information, assimilating their thoughts and not being put on the spot. Theorists need structure, a logical approach, and may ask lots of questions that challenge assumptions. The Pragmatists in my group would probably want to see a patient with Parkinson’s dementia tomorrow and ‘check out’ what they had learnt.

Can we cater to everyone’s learning styles? I think we can  some group discussions for the Activist, clear structure and flow charts for the Theorist, role playing for the Pragmatist, and some MCQs or thought-provoking questions for the Reflector.


Top Tips:

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Latest CPD Online modules:

Hepatitis C and mental illness

An estimated 185,000 people in the UK are chronically infected with the hepatitis C virus. The incidence is high in substance misusers, a group that often has severe mental illness, and the role of the psychiatrist is invaluable. Learn how to assess and treat hepatitis C and understand its comorbidities.

Suicides in prison 

Suicides in prison

Suicide rates are higher in prisons than in the general population. Dr Seena Fazel and Dr Lisa Marzano ask why these events occur, show which groups are most at risk, and advise on how the number of suicides in prison can be reduced.


Forthcoming modules:

Learner-centred teaching

Psychotropic medication and the heart


Latest CPD Online podcast:


View the most popular modules and podcasts this month


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Kind regards,

The CPD Online Team



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