This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Assessment of Freshmen Varsity Student-Athletes' Learning Style Preferences




Perkins, Kirsten

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


Everyone learns, although everyone does not learn in the same manner; therefore, learning styles have become a major field of study drawing attention from a variety of researchers (Johnson, 2008; Keefe, 1987; Kolb & Hanley-Maxwell, 2003; Pallapu, 2008). The purpose of the study was to acquire information about freshmen varsity student-athletes’ learning style preferences in relation to gender and sport. The population was comprised of freshmen varsity student-athletes at a major Division I, southern institution. There were a total of 205 participants (115 males and 90 females). The student-athletes were categorized by gender and sport participation, team (n = 132) or individual (n = 73). Felder and Soloman’s Index of Learning Styles (ILS) Web-based version was used for this study. The results showed one significant interaction in the Active_Reflective preference based on gender, but overall student-athletes effectively use a variety of learning style preferences. That is to say that when viewed as a group, freshmen varsity student-athletes do not prefer one learning style over another with any consequence. One conclusion was that there was no significant difference in learning styles preferences of student-athletes who participate on teams compared to those who participate in individual sports. Additional research is needed to identify possible trends in student-athletes learning style preferences after a year or more of college has been completed.