Institute of Learning Styles Research

Dissertation Abstracts

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Abstract Title

Harden, L. (1992). A correlation of learning style and standard achievement levels of adult vocational students in an area technical center. Unpublished educational specialist’s thesis, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL.


The purposes of this study were to explore the correlation between subtests of two learning style instruments being used to assess learning styles of adult vocational students and to estimate the correlations between these learning styles and achievement levels (measured by a standardized achievement test) of adult vocational students. The three instruments utilized were the Multi-Modal Paired Associates Learning Test–Revised (MMPALT II), Center for Innovative Teaching Experiences (CITE) Learning Styles Inventory, and the Tests of Adult Basic Education (TABE).

A multi variate correlational technique, canonical correlation, was used to establish correlation of each instrument’s subtests measuring perceptual learning styles and achievement levels. To accomplish this, the three instruments were administered to a group of 99 vocational-technical adult students who volunteered to participate in the project.

In examining the Pearson product moment correlation coefficients between subtests of each learning style and achievement level instrument, as well as the three canonical correlation analyses, only one moderate correlation existed. This relationship, between the MMPALT II learning style instrument subtests and the TABE achievement level instrument subtests, had statistically significant results which supported one of the three hypotheses.

The major implication was that the use of the CITE learning style instrument, which is now being administered in the System for Applied Individualized Learning (SAIL) lab at Ridge Technical Center should be discontinued since no positive correlations were found with this instrument.

Another implication was that students who possess high basic skill levels assessed by the TABE will most likely receive notable scores in one or more of the MMPALT II learning style subtests. Even though a few of the MMPALT II subtests are difficult and inconvenient to administer, knowledge of a student’s predominant learning style may be acquired by administering only the print, visual, and aural subtests of the MMPALT II which are group administered.

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