INFLUENCE OF LEARNING STRATEGIES ON LEARNING STYLES: THEIR IMPACT ON ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF COLLEGE STUDENTS FROM BUENOS AIRES
Authors: Agustín Freiberg-Hoffmann, Juliana Beatriz Stover, Natalia Donis
Number of views: 758
Frequently, college students have issues to learn academic contents included in the subjects of their courses. Such low quality learning is reflected in failures and academic dropout, therefore being matters of concern for teachers and governments.
Learning processes in college depend, in part, on the coincidence between teaching methods and students’ learning styles. They are defined as the preference of students when they have to deal with information, particularly the way to perceive it and process it. Learning styles can be trained by the repeated use of specific learning strategies. In such cases, when learning styles coincide with the learning context in order to facilitate the acquisition of new knowledge and its integration with previous information, academic success can be achieved more naturally. To get this match it is required from teachers to adapt their styles and strategies to their students’ learning preferences. Other alternative rests on the design of actions to train students in the use of the appropriate learning styles able to enhance learning. Focused on the second option, the present study aims at: 1) the description of the influence of different learning strategies on each learning style, and 2) the analysis of the way each style explains students’ academic achievement. A transversal, non-experimental, explicative design was employed. 763 college students from Buenos Aires with ages ranging from 17 to 36 years were included in the sample. Locally adapted versions of the Honey-Alonso Questionnaire of Learning Styles -CHAEA as its Spanish acronym-, and Learning and Study Strategies Inventory –LASSI- were used for data gathering. Results showed that the Accommodating style is explained positively and significantly by the Collaborative Learning, Resources for Learning and Information 2.0 Management Competence strategies. Besides, it is observed that the strategies Collaborative Learning, Resources for Learning and Motivation explain to the Assimilating style in a significant and positive way. The Pragmatist and Converging styles are explained significantly but negatively by the Motivation and Information 2.0 Management Competence strategies respectively. Finally, Converging style explained Academic Achievement in a significant and negative way. These findings led to the possibility to plan specific actions to train students' learning styles. Furthermore, this information could be useful for different actors in higher education, such as -institutions, teachers, educational psychologists, students, etc., in order to design academic activities which require the repeated use of the specific learning strategies which each student needs to train, aiming at the improvement of particular learning styles able to facilitate learning. At this point, it seems important to discourage the use of Converging style given the negative effect it would have on the students’ performance. Results and limitations of the study are discussed and future research lines are proposed.