An Exploratory Study of Undergraduate Students' Learning Styles
Type of DegreeDissertation
Leadership and Technology
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Learning and learning styles have become two major fields that draw the attention of several researchers (Dunn & Dunn, 1986; Keefe, 1987; Kolb & Kolb, 2003; Koch, 1998; Lemire, 2000; Riding & Cheema,1991). Learning is an ongoing process and occurs in different ways for different people. Some individuals learn by seeing and hearing, for some learning occurs by watching and doing, some learn by visualizing and putting it into action. The different styles that people use to learn are termed as learning styles. James and Blank (1993) defined learning style as “the complex manner in which, and conditions under which, learners most efficiently and most effectively perceive, process, store, and recall what they are attempting to learn” (p. 47). This study examined and explored the relationship among undergraduate students' learning styles from the Colleges of Business, Education and Liberal Arts as measured by the Index of Learning Styles - active/reflective, sensing/intuitive, visual/verbal and sequential/global. The examination also included gender, ethnicity, age, grade point average (GPA) and grade level. Two research questions were addressed in the study – 1. What are the relationships among undergraduate students' learning styles from the Colleges of Business, Education and Liberal Arts as measured by the Index of Learning Styles? 2. What are the relationships among undergraduate students' learning styles from the Colleges of Business, Education and Liberal Arts, as measured by the Index of Learning Styles, based on gender, ethnicity, age, GPA and grade level? The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, chi-square and ANOVA. The participants were 346 undergraduate students from three different colleges at a large four-year public southeastern university over a period of one semester – Spring 2008. Results from the chi-square analysis indicated that there was a significant difference between sensing and intuitive learners in the College of Education.