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Learning Styles and Disciplinary Differences: A Cross-Sectional Study of Undergraduate Students

Ana Clara Ventura and Nora Moscoloni
National Research Council of Argentina (CONICET), Rosario, Argentina

Abstract—Knowledge of learning styles can enhance the ability of teachers to build on student experiences and construct new learning opportunities. This cross-sectional study examines the learning styles preferences of undergraduate Argentinean students and the differences in their learning styles according to Field of Study and Academics Years using Index of Learning Styles©. The sample consisted of 304 students from Psychology and Engineering enrolled on First, Third and Fifth Years. Results suggested that students in early years at university adopted learning styles that were similar to each other irrespective of main academic discipline. However, learning styles of students in upper division courses tended to be related to the Field of Study. Engineering students were found to be more Sensing, Active and Visual learners; whereas Psychology students preferred the opposite styles. In regard to Academic Years in Psychology, Fifth Year students were more Intuitive, Reflective, Verbal and Global than First Year students. Furthermore, Engineering Fifth Year students have consolidated Sensing, Visual and Sequential styles. Besides, this group showed greater Active preferences than the Engineering First Year students. These findings confirmed the hypothesis of educational specialization based on the association between learning styles and Fields of Study; these educational implications are discussed.

Index Terms—felder-silverman learning styles model, teaching, stylistic specialization, higher education

Cite: Ana Clara Ventura and Nora Moscoloni, "Learning Styles and Disciplinary Differences: A Cross-Sectional Study of Undergraduate Students," International Journal of Learning and Teaching, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 88-93, December 2015. doi: 10.18178/ijlt.1.2.88-93