Learning Style

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Learning Styles and Academic Performance/Grade Achievement

A number of studies have been designed in order to assess the relationship between learning styles of students and their academic performance. Different measures have been used in different studies. Some have used specialized tests related to the particular field, while some have used Multiple Choice Theory (MCT), Multiple Choice Quantitative, Open Ended Theory (OET), and Open Ended Quantitative, etc.

A study was conducted by Lynch, Woelfl, Steele, and Hanssen in order to find out the relationship between learning style and three academic measures in a third year surgery clerkship in a medical school. These academic performance measures examined on two cohorts of 3rd year medicals students, the first two measures are based on a single-best answer, multiple choice question format, the United States Medical Licensing Examination step 1(USMLE 1), and the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME), whereas computer-based case simulations (CBX) is a computer simulation that is used to measure clinical management skill. Kolb’s learning style inventory was administered to find out learning style of the learners. The total participants of the study were 227. out of these 227 it was found that 102(45 percent) were convergers, 59 (26 percent) were assimilator, 48(21 percent) were accommodators, and only 18(8 percent) were divergers. The results of three measures indicated that students who were convergers or assimilators scored higher on two of Medical Examiners (NBME), whereas learning style difference was found on computer based simulation. The results of this study supported Kolb’s assertion that converging and assimilating learners perform well on objective, MCQE, and single –best answer.. it was also concluded by researcher that no significant relationship was found between learning style and CBX. It suggested that MCE and CBX do not measure the same capabilities and achievements. This result also suggested the administration of more than one type of Examination format. Support abstract learners. It was also revealed that some more measures were required to measure skills, abilities and behavior that are not shown in objective measures of performance. (Kolb, 2005)

A study was conducted by Oughten and Reed to measure the relationship between graduate students’ learning styles and performance outcome in a hypermedia environment. The students were asked to map out their acquired knowledge and find out interrelationships among various ideas and concepts. There were various dependent variables in the study. They were number of concepts, number of links, number of nodes, number of bidirectional links, number of multiple concept nodes, omitted concepts, and added concepts on each student’s map.. it was found that diverging and assimilating learners were better than converging or accommodating learners. The researcher attributed these results to those common characteristics of personality that are shared by assimilating and diverging learners. (Oughten and Reed, 2000)

Another study was conducted by Holley and Jenkins to explore the impact of learning style on four accounting exam question formats: Multiple-choice theory (MCT), multiple- choice quantitative (MCQ), open-ended theory (OET), and open-ended Quantitative (OEQ). A significant difference was found in performance of students due to different learning styles for all measures except multiple-choice quantitative format. A significant difference of (p<0.01) was found in active-reflective continuum on the multiple choice theory format, and the open-ended quantitative format ((p<0.05) as active students performed better on those above mentioned measures. whereas on abstract-concrete continuum the abstract students performed better ((p<0.062) on the open –ended theory format. These results supported the researcher in concluding that students perform differently due to different

learning styles on different...
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