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A Contribution To Validation Of Score Meaning For Felder Soloman's Index Of Learning Styles

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Learning and Teaching Issues

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.31.1 - 8.31.17



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Malgorzata Zywno

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2351

A Contribution to Validation of Score Meaning for Felder- Soloman’s Index of Learning Styles

Malgorzata S. Zywno Ryerson University


In 1988, Richard Felder and Linda Silverman developed a learning model that focuses specifically on aspects of learning styles of engineering students. Three years later, a corresponding psychometric assessment instrument, the Felder-Soloman’s Index of Learning Styles, was developed. This paper offers a contribution to an ongoing validation work on the ILS instrument, based on the author’s three-year study of the relationship between student learning styles and their academic achievement in hypermedia-assisted learning environment. The paper provides an analysis of psychometric properties of the ILS, based on the scores for 557 valid questionnaires collected in the study. This includes test-retest reliability, factor structure, internal reliability, total item correlation and inter-scale correlation. Construct validity is also discussed. In summary, the author supports conclusions found in the literature pointing to the ILS as a suitable psychometric tool for evaluating learning styles of engineering students. The author also concurs in recommendations for further work on validating the meaning of its scores and on improving the specific items to reduce inter-scale correlation.

I. Introduction

Felder Learning Style Model

The Felder model of learning styles1, 2 focuses on aspects of learning styles significant in engineering education, and is very popular among engineering educators even though the psychometric instrument associated with the model, the Index of Learning Styles3 (ILS), has not yet been fully validated. In brief, the model has five dimensions: Processing (Active/Reflective), Perception (Sensing/Intuitive), Input (Visual/Verbal), Understanding (Sequential/Global) and Organization (Inductive/Deductive). Felder recommends the inductive teaching method (i.e. problem-based learning, discovery-based learning), while the traditional college teaching method is deductive, i.e. starting with fundamentals and proceeding to applications. Thus the last dimension was removed from the ILS, so as not to provide incentives for a continuing use of the traditional deductive instruction4. The model assembles a learning preferences profile of a group

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Zywno, M. (2003, June), A Contribution To Validation Of Score Meaning For Felder Soloman's Index Of Learning Styles Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12424

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