The Kolb Learning Style Inventory—Version 3.1 2005 Technical Speciﬁcations Alice Y. Kolb Experience Based Learning Systems, Inc. David A. Kolb Case Western Reserve University May 15, 2005
The Kolb Learning Style Inventory Version 3.1 (KLSI 3.1), revised in 2005, is the latest revision of the original Learning Style Inventory developed by David A. Kolb. Like its predecessors, KLSI 3.1 is based on experiential learning theory (Kolb 1984) and is designed to help individuals identify the way they learn from experience. This revision includes new norms that are based on a larger, more diverse, and more representative sample of 6977 LSI users. The format, items, scoring and interpretative booklet remain identical with KLSI 3. The technical speciﬁcations are designed to adhere to the standards for educational and psychological testing developed by the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Council on Measurement in Education (1999). Section 1 of the technical speciﬁcations describes the conceptual foundations of the LSI 3.1 in the theory of experiential learning (ELT). Section 2 provides a description of the inventory that includes its purpose, history, and format. Section 3 describes the characteristics of the KLSI 3.1 normative sample. Section 4 includes internal reliability and test-retest reliability studies of the inventory. Section 5 provides information about research on the internal and external validity for the instrument. Internal validity studies of the structure of the KLSI 3.1 using correlation and factor analysis are reported. External validity includes research on demographics, educational specialization, concurrent validity with other experiential learning assessment instruments, aptitude test performance, academic performance, experiential learning in teams, and educational applications.
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1. CONCEPTUAL FOUNDATION—EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING THEORY AND INDIVIDUAL LEARNING STYLES The Kolb Learning Style Inventory differs from other tests of learning style and personality used in education by being based on a comprehensive theory of learning and development. Experiential learning theory (ELT) draws on the work of prominent twentieth century scholars who gave experience a central role in their theories of human learning and development-notably John Dewey, Kurt Lewin, Jean Piaget, William James, Carl Jung, Paulo Freire, Carl Rogers, and others-to develop a holistic model of the experiential learning process and a multi-linear model of adult development. The theory, described in detail in Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development (Kolb 1984), is built on six propositions that are shared by these scholars. 1. Learning is best conceived as a process, not in terms of outcomes. To improve learning in higher education, the primary focus should be on engaging students in a process that best enhances their learning —a process that includes feedback on the effectiveness of their learning efforts. “...education must be conceived as a continuing reconstruction of experience: ... the process and goal of education are one and the same thing.” (Dewey 1897: 79) 2. All learning is relearning. Learning is best facilitated by a process that draws out the students’ beliefs and ideas about a topic so that they can be examined, tested, and integrated with new, more reﬁned ideas. 3. Learning requires the resolution of conﬂicts between dialectically opposed modes of adaptation to the world. Conﬂict, differences, and disagreement are what drive the learning process. In the process of learning, one is called upon to move back and forth between opposing modes of reﬂection and action and feeling and thinking. 4. Learning is a holistic process of adaptation to the world. It is not just the result of cognition but involves the integrated functioning of the...
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