The Impact Of Students Learning Styles On Their Academic Performance In Nigeria

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The Impact Of Students Learning Styles On Their Academic Performance In Nigeria

Chapter One


1.1 Background of study

Academic performance has piqued the curiosity of educational researchers for decades. The study of performance has gone beyond simple questions of intelligence and prior academic performance to look at how students interact with the content. Demographic status (Ray, 2010), intelligence (Deary, Strand, Smith, & Fernandez, 2007); behavioral characteristics (Lane, Barton-Arwood, Nelson, & Wehby, 2008); and psychological factors such as attributes (Erdogan, Bayram, When attempting to uncover factors affecting learning-related performance, a variety of learning-related concepts have been a focus of research, such as perception of academic control and achievement motivation (Cano-Garcia & Hughes, 2000). Learning style is one concept in particular that has provided some useful insights into learning in both academic and non-academic settings. A regular mode of operating that represents the underlying causes of learning behavior is termed as a learning style (Keefe, 1987). Visual learning styles, auditory learning styles, and kinesthetic learning styles are the three types. A learning style is a personality trait that describes how a student learns and enjoys learning, as well as an instructional method that influences cognition, context, and material. Previous studies have found that taking suitable learning type factors into account when constructing any learning or instructional process might increase students’ learning performance (Graf, Liu, & Kinshuk, 2010). There is widespread agreement that how people choose to or are predisposed to approach a learning scenario has an impact on their performance and learning outcomes. There are a variety of definitions, theoretical assumptions, models, interpretations, and assessments of learning styles, probably because it has been the subject of so many research and practitioner-based studies in the field. To some extent, this is a natural outcome of substantial empirical research, and it is to be expected with any constantly evolving notion that is effective in gaining understanding of such a critical and pervasive undertaking as learning. Using learning style awareness within the educational context fosters more effective learning and, as a result, improved academic accomplishment. How can we claim to be serious about building a learning society if we have no good answers to the problems of what model of learning we employ and how we use it to better our own and our students’ practice? The idea that instructors, course designers, and educational psychologists should pay more attention to students’ learning stylesby diagnosing them, encouraging learners to reflect on them, and building teaching and learning interventions around themhas a strong intuitive appeal. Learners will be more motivated to learn if they are aware of their strengths and flaws. As a result, teachers will be able to respond to students’ strengths and limitations, resulting in higher retention and achievement rates in formal programs, as well as the development of learning to learn abilities, which will serve as a basis for lifetime learning. Sternberg (1997) claimed that styles are at least somewhat socialized, implying that they can be modified to some extent. As a result, knowing one’s preferred learning style can aid in the optimal development of meta-cognition and learning skills and abilities, hence maximizing learning (Sternberg, 1997). In conclusion, Sternberg (1997) stated that having a better understanding of students’ learning preferences and styles allows teachers to be more flexible in their instruction and use a variety of classroom techniques. The goal is to help learners improve their skills and capacities to learn well in both preferred and less preferred modes of learning (meta learning), resulting in successful and life-long learners who can monitor and assess their learning techniques and results or achievement. Although it has been discovered that students’ learning styles have a substantial impact on their academic performance, these findings are primarily based on research conducted in other nations and vary across countries. According to Gokalp (2013), a country never ceases experimenting with and developing its own learning methods in order to meet the demands of its environment. He concluded that Nigerians’ learning patterns may be at odds with the teaching methods used in most schools.

1.2 Statement Of Problem

The learning style of a student has implications for teaching and learning. Learning may not take place successfully if teachers use the incorrect method for the students’ learning styles. Are students familiar with their preferred learning style or with the learning tests? Students may not be able to learn optimally unless they are aware of and use this test to forecast their learning style. Teachers have failed to see the uniqueness of their students in a typical classroom and continue to use the same old teaching methods in all situations. As a result, children get bored and inattentive in class, do poorly on tests, lose interest in the subject, the curriculum, and themselves, and, in the worst-case scenario, drop out of school. When faced with poor grades, unresponsive or aggressive pupils, poor attendance, and dropouts, teachers recognize that something isn’t working; they may become unduly critical of their students (worsening the situation), or they may begin to question if they are in the appropriate profession. To build effective and successful students, it is critical to understand students’ preferred learning styles and how they connect to academic performance.

1.3 Objective Of Study

The following are primary objectives of this study:

  1. To examine which is the most common learning style among students.
  2. To examine how learning styles affect the academic performance of students
  3. To determine how students’ learning styles can be matched with the teaching method

1.4 Research Question

  1. What is the most common learning style among students?
  2. How do learning styles affect the academic performance of students?
  3. How can learning styles be matched with the teaching methods?

1.5 Significance Of Study

Today’s teacher understands that students learn in a variety of methods. Individual students have unique skills and weaknesses that can be developed and improved with the right instruction. Teachers/instructors must consider their students’ diverse learning styles, design instructional methods that account for those differences, and remain sensitive to those differences throughout the instructional process, and teachers must also assist their students in understanding and utilizing their learning style preferences in order to develop life-long learners.

1.6 Scope Of Study

This study focuses on examining which is the most common learning style among students. Also, to examine how learning styles affect the academic performance of students. Lastly, to determine how students’ learning styles can be matched with the teaching. This study is delimited to the University of Calabar.

1.7 Limitation Of Study

Finance, inadequate materials and time constraint were the challenges the researchers encountered during the course of the study.

1.8 Definition Of Terms

Learning Styles:

Learning styles refer to a range of competing and contested theories that aim to account for differences in individuals’ learning.

Academic Performance:

This is the extent to which a student, teacher or institution has attained their short or long-term educational goals.

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