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ERIC Number: EJ762086
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 18
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-1521-0251
Learning-Style Preferences of a Diverse Freshmen Population in a Large, Private, Metropolitan University by Gender and GPA
Reese, Valerie L.; Dunn, Rita
Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice, v9 n1 p95-112 2007-2008
This research examined: a) the extent of diversity that exists among entering college freshmen's learning styles; b) whether, and the extent to which, learning style is influenced by gender; and c) whether high school grade point average (HS/GPA) is a determining factor in academic success. The "Productivity Environmental Preference Survey" (PEPS) (Dunn, Dunn, & Price, 2002) was administered to approximately 1500 entering college freshmen during orientation. PEPS data revealed statistical differences among students' styles for the elements of Sound, Light, Temperature, Motivation, and Responsibility. "Pearson Correlations" indicated that students with the highest HS/GPAs preferred either Learning Alone or with an Authoritative Figure and in the Late Morning or Afternoon, as opposed to the Evening while studying new and difficult academic material. Students with high, but not the highest HS/GPAs had strong preferences for Bright Light (p less than 0.049) and Formal Seating (p less than 0.001). Those same students simultaneously evidenced high Motivation (p less than 0.001), Persistence (p less than 0.001), and Responsibility (p less than 0.001) levels, and preferred Evening as their optimal time for learning challenging material. Students with the lowest HS/GPAs also preferred learning in the Evening, but with Sound (music or conversation in the environment), Bright Light and, although Motivated, required frequent opportunities for Mobility while learning. Concerning freshman gender differences, although male students indicated a stronger need for learning with an Authority Figure, they also were more Visual, needed more Structure and Mobility, and were strongly Afternoon learners in comparison with the females in this sample. Conversely, female students revealed higher means for Bright Light, warm Temperature, Formal Seating, Motivation, Learning Alone or with Peers, Intake while concentrating, and a Variety of instructional approaches (rather than routines or patterns). Consistent with female traits internationally, this sample of freshman women had multiple Perceptual Strengths. Thus, they were more Auditory, Tactual, and Kinesthetic, and consistently more Persistent and Responsible than their male counterparts. Another variable on which these males and females differed were females' preferences for learning in the Late Morning in contrast with males' preferences for Afternoon learning. Only the variable of Kinesthetic revealed pair-wise differences between students in the Colleges of Business and Professional Studies in contrast with students in the College of Pharmacy and Allied Health. This information should help administrators and professors to plan more appropriately when scheduling and teaching diverse students. It also should guide those students toward doing their homework with strategies responsive to their styles. (Contains 6 tables and 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Productivity Environmental Preference Survey