Academic impact of learning styles and other factors in a college botany course

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Title: Academic impact of learning styles and other factors in a college botany course
Author: Pottmyer, Laura Marie
Advisors: John Park, Committee Chair
Glenda Carter, Committee Member
C. Gerald Van Dyke, Committee Member
Abstract: The purpose of this research has been to determine if students with particular learning styles were at an academic advantage over other students in a college botany course. The professor for this course used methodologies within his lectures to reach the needs of all types of learners. The participants were students in the Botany 200 course, an introductory science course taught at North Carolina State University. Each of the 146 participants took the Gregorc Style Delineator at the beginning of the semester to determine their learning style and completed a survey about their views of the class and techniques being used in the class. The student scores on course exams and the associated laboratory course were analyzed with respect to learning style, gender, year in school, academic major, academic college and previous college biology courses. Learning style proved to be a significant predictor of student performance only in terms of the laboratory grades. Academic performance in the lecture part of the course was not impacted by student learning style. The female students did better than the males on three of the six measures of academic performance. Students with greater background in college level biology did better in the course than those with less experience. It appears that, when an instructor makes a conscious effort to use a variety of teaching methodologies to reach different learning preferences, the tendencies for students with particular learning styles to outperform the other students is not evident.
Date: 2004-04-07
Degree: MS
Discipline: Science Education

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