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An Examination of Learning Styles and its Impact on Curriculum Development

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Factors Affecting Student Performance

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.172.1 - 22.172.5



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Paper Authors

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Grant P. Richards Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Helen A. McNally Purdue University, West Lafayette

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An Examination of Learning Styles and Its Impact on Curriculum DevelopmentExaminations of student learning styles have provided direction and focus to curriculum designand revision in a broad range of disciplines for some time. Educators have noted successes whenimplementing curricular revisions to better match the learning preferences of students; reportingincreased rates of learning and improved comprehension. These targeted changes are alsoreported to have improved student retention rates in groups previously experiencing high levelsof attrition. While learning styles data has been routinely published for students in many fields;there is little data on students in Electrical Engineering Technology programs.This paper presents the results of a multiyear study of the learning styles of freshman students(N= 300) in a four year Electrical Engineering Technology program. Data for this study wasobtained using the Felder-Solomon Index of Learning Styles, an instrument commonly used inthe assessment of learning styles in engineering students. The results of EET students arecompared with published results of students from engineering programs as well as other fields ofstudy. The results of this comparison can provide insight to improve the efficiency of curricularrevision; allowing for the implementation of successful methods and strategies from programswith similar learning styles. Careful consideration will also be made of methods and strategiesreported to have failed for students of a particular learning group.

Richards, G. P., & McNally, H. A. (2011, June), An Examination of Learning Styles and its Impact on Curriculum Development Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17453

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