Department of Physical Therapy Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type

Thesis - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)

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College of Health Care Sciences - Physical Therapy Department

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Purpose: To compare the learning strategies of students in a traditional physical therapy curriculum to students in a problem-based physical therapy curriculum.

Subjects: 321 first and second year master's degree physical therapy students from the University of Miami (UM) and Nova Southeastern University (NSU).

Methods: Rezler Learning Preference Inventory administered to students at the beginning of their academic year.

Results: No significant differences were found between learning preference and group, age or gender. Trends indicate students of UM had higher scores on Concrete, Teacher-structured, and Independent learning preferences. NSU had higher scores on Abstract, Student-structure, and Interpersonal learning preferences. All students had highest scores with Concrete learning preference and lowest with Abstract learning preference.

Conclusion: Students applying to physical therapy programs should evaluate their learning preferences when deciding on an educational curriculum. Administration of learning preference inventories by physical therapy programs as an evaluation tool prior to student admission may give students the opportunity to study in their best learning environment.


Physical Therapy

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