In this article, McCabe (2014) described the findings of a study where she explored the relationship between gender constructs and learning styles. This was based on the premise that learning styles could affect students’ learning outcomes. To collect data, the researcher conducted a quantitative study where she administered questionnaires to 161 freshman undergraduate students at a private university, with measures based on the Kolb Learning Style Inventory (LSI) (McCabe, 2014). Her findings showed that although the men showed a preference towards the abstract approach towards learning while the women preferred learning through experience, there was found to be no difference with regards to their preference on how to deal with experience (McCabe, 2014). There was also no difference between the genders when it came to the four learning styles. The findings supported the notion that males were inclined to be more analytical and logical while females tended to focus on feeling, intuition, and emotion (McCabe, 2014). Although these findings did not contribute to an increased understanding about the relationship between gender and learning styles, they did show that the relationship between learning styles and gender constructs was complex and would be worthy of further investigation. With an understanding of college students’ learning preferences, a more effective curriculum may be designed to ensure optimum learning outcomes for students in higher education.
Mestre, L. S. (2010). Matching up learning styles with learning objects: What's effective?
With the prevalence of online instruction within libraries and in campuses, librarians are involved in the creation of learning objects that are either embedded or linked within course-management systems. However, a question arises as to whether these learning objects are designed to accommodate the learning styles of diverse learners or if they merely reflect the designer’s teaching and learning style (Mestre, 2010). To determine the answer, Mestre (2010) conducted a mixed method study where she conducted a survey of librarians, interviews, and student usability studies. The researcher identified the considerations that were made in the creation of the learning objects and the students’ perspectives on their effectiveness (Mestre, 2010). Her findings showed that ”students want a variety of tools that engage, multiple paths to information, and interactive opportunities” (Mestre, 2010, p. 824). However, these were not being provided to them. This implied that instructional designers should create learning objects that cater to as many different learning styles as possible in order to accommodate the students’ various preferences, in turn resulting in better learning outcomes and better learning experiences.
Samarakoon, L., Fernando, T., & Rodrigo, C. (2013). Learning styles and approaches to learning
among medical undergraduates and postgraduates. BMC Medical Education, 1342.
In this study, Samarakoo, Fernando and Rodrigo (2013) tested the hypothesis that undergraduate and postgraduate medical students differed in their learning approaches (i.e. superficial, strategic, and deep) and in their learning styles (i.e. kinesthetic, read/write, auditory, and visual). This was based on the premise that
the challenge of imparting a large amount of knowledge within a limited time period in a way it is retained, remembered and effectively interpreted by a student . . . has resulted in crucial changes in the field of medical education, with a shift from didactic teacher centered and subject based teaching to the use of interactive, problem based, student centered learning. (Samarakoo, Fernando & Rodrigo, 2013, p. 1).
Kinesthetic) and ASSIST (Approaches to Study Skills Inventory for Students) questionnaires for
assessing the differences in the learning styles and learning approaches of undergraduate medical students at the University of Colombo and postgraduate trainees at the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine in Colombo (Samarakoo, Fernando & Rodrigo, 2013). The results showed that majority of the undergraduate medical students had multimodal learning styles while majority of the postgraduate medical students had unimodal learning styles (Samarakoo, Fernando & Rodrigo, 2013). The results also showed that the strategic learning approach was predominant among all the participants, although they indicated that deep strategic approaches were more predominant among the postgraduate medical students (Samarakoo, Fernando & Rodrigo, 2013). These findings suggested that medical students had a positive shift towards deep and strategic learning after they graduate (Samarakoo, Fernando & Rodrigo, 2013). In turn, this implied that students’ learning styles and learning approaches evolved as they progressed to more advanced courses or curricula.