INSIGHTS INTO LEARNING STYLES PREFERENCE OF ENGINEERING UNDERGRADUATES: IMPLICATIONS FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING
Background and Purpose: Education at higher institutions prepares graduates for the real world. To develop and maintain quality, the focus must not only be on what institutions can offer but also on the learning needs and styles of learners. Despite many studies on engineering learners’ learning styles, limited research has been conducted to compare the learning styles of Engineering and Engineering Education learners. This study was conducted to ascertain the learning style preferences of first-year undergraduates from both groups in a science and technology-driven university in Malaysia.
Methodology: This descriptive study consisted of 40 Engineering and 40 Engineering Education learners who attended an English language course at the university. Perceptual Learning Style Preference Questionnaire was adopted as the survey instrument. The data were analysed using self-scoring sheet and Statistical Package for the Social Sciences.
Findings: While both groups chose Kinaesthetic as a major learning style preference, the Engineering Education learners also chose Group, Tactile, and Auditory learning styles as their other major preferences. Both groups chose Visual and Individual as their minor preferences.
Contributions: The findings extend research demonstrating the significant role of specific disciplines in Engineering to determine the learning style preferences of learners. The findings also provide useful insights that suggest implications for practice and policy.
Keywords: Engineering, engineering education, English language, learning styles, teaching and learning.
Cite as: Ismail, N. N. A., Abdullah, T., & Abdul Raof, A. H. (2022). Insights into learning styles preference of engineering undergraduates: Implications for teaching and learning. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 7(1) 390-409. http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/jonus.vol7iss1pp390-409
Alonso-Martín, P., Cruz-Díaz, R., Granado-Alcón, C., Lago-Urbano, R., & Martínez-García, C. (2021). Variability of higher education students’ learning styles depending on gender, course, degree and institutional context. Sustainability, 13(4), 1-18.
Awang, H., & Daud, Z. (2015). Improving a communication skill through the learning approach towards the environment of engineering classroom. Procedia - Social and Behavioural Sciences, 195(1), 480-486.
Cabual, R. A. (2021). Learning styles and preferred learning modalities in the new normal. Open Access Library Journal, 8(4), 1-14.
Chen, J., Chan, C., Man, V., & Tsang, E. (2021). Helping students from different disciplines with their final year / Capstone Project: Supervisors’ and students’ needs and requests. English Across the Curriculum: Voices from Around the World, 1(1), 91-
Dhillon, P. K. (2017). Using learning styles to enhance ESL acquisition. The English Teacher, 40(1), 11-26.
Ellington, S., & Benders, D. S. (2012). Learning style and their importance in education. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/256022625_Learning_Style_and_it's_importance_in_Education
Fesol, S. F. A., Salam, S., Osman, M., Bakar, N., & Salim, F. (2016). Learning style approaches for Gen Y: An assessment conducted in a Malaysian technical university. Pertanika Journal Social Science and Humanities, 24(4) 1335-1347.
Gamiao, C. U. (2021). Cognitive ability, learning styles and academic performance of the freshmen students. International Journal of Arts and Social Science, 4(3), 219-229.
Gilakjani, A. P. (2012). Visual, auditory, kinaesthetic learning styles and their impacts on English language teaching. Journal of Studies in Education, 2(1), 104-113.
Hu, J., Peng, Y., Chen, X., & Yu, H. (2021). Differentiating the learning styles of college students in different disciplines in a college English blended learning setting. PloS One, 16(5), e0251545.
Ictenbas, B. D., & Eryilmaz, H. (2011). Determining learning styles of engineering students to improve the design of a service course. Procedia - Social and Behavioural Sciences. 28(1), 342-346.
International Labour Organization. (2010). World of work report 2010: From one crisis to the next? https://www.ilo.org/global/publications/ilo-bookstore/orderonline/books/WCMS_145259/lang--en/index.htm
Ismail, M. E., Hashim, S., Mahazir, I., Ismail, A., Mat Daud, K. A., & Khairudin, M. (2018). The use of massive open online course (MOOC) among vocational students. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 3(1), 30-41.
Ismail, N., & Omar, S. (2018). Investigating the preferred learning styles in English language courses among undergraduates in Universiti Malaysia Kelantan. International Journal of Language Education and Applied Linguistics, 1(1), 17-26.
Jamali, A. R., & Mohamad, M. M. (2017). Identifying learning styles among engineering students. Pertanika Journal Social Science and Humanities, 25(S), 251-258.
Jamali, S. M., Md Zain, A. N., Samsudin, M. A., & Ale Ebrahim, N. (2017). Self-efficacy, scientific reasoning and learning achievement in the STEM project-based learning literature. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 2(2), 29-43.
Khaled, M. (2021). Learning styles, personalization, and Learning Management Systems: Towards a student centred LMS approach. (Unpublished master thesis). Uppsala University.
Khmakhien, A. (2012). Demystifying Thai EFL learners’ perceptual learning style preferences. The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, 18(1), 61-74.
Kittur, J., & Salunke, M. (2020). Mixed learning styles: A strategy for team formation. Journal of Engineering Education Transformations, 33(1), 434 – 441.
Masela, M., & Subekti, A. S. (2021). Auditory and kinaesthetic learning styles and L2 achivement: A correlational study. Englisia: Journal of Language, Education and Humanities, 8(2), 41-53.
Mohamad, M. M. (2013). Learning styles and academic achievement among building construction students. (Unpublished doctoral thesis). Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.
Mokhtar, H., Tholibon, D. A., & Ismail, N. I. N. (2021). An analysis of diploma Civil Engineering students’ learning styles. GADING (Online) Journal of Social Sciences, Univeristi Teknologi MARA Cawangan Pahang, 24(01), 41-45.
Mulalic, A., Mohd. Shah, P., & Ahmad, F. (2009). Learning-style preference of ESL students. ASEAN Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 1(2), 1-9.
Muniandy, J., & Shuib, M. (2016). Learning styles, language learning strategies and fields of study among ESL learners. Malaysian Journal of ELT Research, 12(1), 1-19.
Nakamura, T., & Chu, M. P. (2010). A study of Chinese and Japanese college students’ L2 learning styles. Asian Culture and History, 2(2), 30-44.
Nikoopour, J., & Khoshroudi, M. S. (2021). EFL learners’ learning styles and self-regulated learning: Do gender and proficiency level matter? Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 12(4), 616-623.
Reid, J. (1987). The learning style preferences of ESL students. TESOL Quarterly, 21(1), 87-110.
Sanmugam, S. T., & Shamsudin, S. (2017). The use of educational research findings to develop engineering students’ workplace communication skills. International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics, 3(2), 49-52.
Shafqat, A., & Saqlain, N. (2019). Relating perceptual learning styles of engineering students with scanning information in text scores. International Journal of English Linguistics, 9(5), 257-266.
Shinge, J., & Kotabagi, S. (2021). Attitude and motivation affects English language proficiency of engineering students: A preliminary survey through adapted attitude/motivation test battery. Journal of Engineering Education Transformations, 34(1),
Siu, B. (2021). Gaps in content-based English enhancement in Science and Engineering. English Across the Curriculum: Voices from Around the World, 1(1), 35-58.
Tulsi, P. K., Poonia, M. P., & Priya, A. (2016). Learning styles of engineering students. Journal of Engineering Education Transformations, 30(2), 44-49.
Yaccob, N. S., & Md Yunus, M. (2019). Language games in teaching and learning English grammar: A literature review. Arab World English Journal, 10(1), 209-217.
Yeoh, L. C. (2019). Relationship between learning style and learning strategies of Mandarin learners in Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia. Journal of Advanced Research in Social and Behavioural Sciences, 16(1), 144-154.
Zhou, M. (2011). Learning styles and teaching styles in college English teaching. International Education Studies, 4(1), 73-77.