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Instructional Technology, Learning Styles, And Academic Achievement

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Learning Styles of Engineers

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.677.1 - 7.677.24



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Malgorzata Zywno

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Session 2422

Instructional Technology, Learning Styles and Academic Achievement

Malgorzata S. Zywno Ryerson University


The paper presents results of an action research project, which took place between January and April 2001, and examined how differences in prior academic achievement of students and in their learning styles affected learning outcomes. All students received hypermedia instruction. The results show that hypermedia allowed previously lower-achieving students to improve their academic performance and therefore reduce the gap between them and their higher-achieving peers. The findings suggest that reducing the gap was a result of hypermedia instruction moderating differences in achievement between students with different learning modalities and accommodating a wider range of learning styles than conventional instruction. These findings were consistent with the previous 2000 study and with the 1999 pilot project, where students in the experimental group received hypermedia instruction, and their achievement was compared with the achievement of conventionally instructed students in the control group. Course website access patterns and a survey of student attitudes towards hypermedia instruction are also discussed. The findings support the use of learning styles as a guideline for incorporation of the hypermedia into the instructional design of the course.

I. Introduction


The study took place in the sixth semester Control Systems course (ELE639) in an undergraduate program in Electrical and Computer Engineering at Ryerson University in Toronto. The course, redesigned in 1997, stresses the extension of theory to practice, with active learning supported by a lab structured around real-time experiments in servo-motor control. Realistic design, testing and implementation, advanced computer simulations, demonstrations, and email communications with instructors are an integral part of the course1, 2 . To enhance active learning and visualization, the author embarked on developing instructional hypermedia materials. Hypermedia is an outgrowth of hypertext, and provides a non-linear, associative linking of text, images (graphics and video) and sounds. Hypermedia-instruction was first introduced into the course in a 1999 pilot study 3.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Zywno, M. (2002, June), Instructional Technology, Learning Styles, And Academic Achievement Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11029

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