June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.1253.1 - 10.1253.17
Test-Retest Reliability of the Index of Learning Styles for First-Year Engineering Students
Glen A. Livesay, Kay C Dee
Department of Applied Biology and Biomedical Engineering Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, IN 47803
Several different inventories and assessment instruments have been used to characterize the learning styles of engineering students. While recent studies have examined the psychometric properties of the Index of Learning Styles (ILS) - particularly the alpha reliability - there is less information available on the test-retest reliability of the ILS.
In this study, the ILS was administered to all engineering freshmen on the first day of class and again five weeks later to examine test-retest performance. Examination of the psychometric properties for each of the administrations of the ILS in terms of the alpha reliability (a measure of internal consistency of an instrument based on a single administration) revealed that the sensing/intuitor domain displayed the highest alpha reliability (0.76 in test and retest), and the lowest alpha reliability was associated with the sequential/global domain (0.48 in test). In terms of test-retest reliability (score stability over time), individual student scores in all domains were significantly correlated between the test and retest (p < 0.01). The sensor/intuitor domain displayed the highest correlation (Spearman’s rho = 0.80) and the sequential/global domain the lowest (Spearman’s rho = 0.60). On average, individual students repeated greater than 75% of their answers identically in the test and retest. These significant correlations provide additional support for the test-retest reliability of the ILS.
There are multiple instruments available to characterize the learning styles of students, and for engineering students, the most widely utilized has been the Index of Learning Styles (ILS) originally developed by Richard M. Felder and Barbara A. Soloman . We have been using the ILS as our primary assessment instrument in an ongoing evaluation of student learning styles, with the overall goal of developing improved instructional approaches and enhancing student learning. Recently, studies have examined the psychometric properties of the ILS [2, 3] - in particular the reliability of the instrument as characterized using Cronbach’s alpha (a measure of internal consistency of an instrument), but there is less information available on test-retest reliability, which provides a measure of the score stability of the instrument over time. Both Zywno  and Seery  (as later presented in Felder and Spurlin ) have recently reported on the test-retest reliability of the ILS, finding significant correlations between subsequent administrations of the instrument. Seery conducted test-retest administration over a four-week
Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education
Livesay, G., & Dee, K. C. (2005, June), Test Retest Reliability Of The Index Of Learning Styles For First Year Engineering Students Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14501
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