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ERIC Number: EJ956751
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-1527-9316
Academic Performance and Learning Style Self-Predictions by Second Language Students in an Introductory Biology Course
Breckler, Jennifer; Teoh, Chia Shan; Role, Kemi
Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, v11 n4 p26-43 Dec 2011
Academic success in first-year college science coursework can strongly influence future career paths and usually includes a solid performance in introductory biology. We wanted to know whether factors affecting biology student performance might include learning style preferences and one's ability and confidence in self-assessing those learning preferences in order to engage in appropriate study strategies. We also wondered whether second language students who do not speak English at home differ from their classmates in either learning styles or self-assessment, in order to better understand our diverse student population. We examined these questions in a large introductory biology course at an undergraduate public university in California. In our study, students self-predicted their learning preferences using our simple survey tool and then completed the online VARK learning style tool. Results showed a good match between the survey tool's self-predictions and the VARK tool, with auditory learners showing the least accurate match. Speaking a second language other than English at home did not appear to influence learning preference profiles nor one's ability to self-predict those learning preferences. When asked to self-predict biology course grades, older students were slightly better predictors than younger students, with almost no difference between students who did and did not speak English at home. We suggest that success in introductory college science courses by second language speakers may involve factors other than learning style, or the ability to self-assess learning style and biology course performance. (Contains 6 tables and 5 figures.)
Indiana University. 755 West Michigan Street UL 1180D, Indianapolis, IN 46202. Tel: 317-274-5647; Fax: 317-278-2360; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California