Chapter Five

An Investigation of Learning Styles in General Chemistry Students


Chapter four details descriptive statistics of the population of each phase of the study. Certainly the greatest number of students in general chemistry, in both phases of the study are male, freshmen, science and engineering majors, and Caucasian. That is one list of factors that we can use to describe students, by gender, class year, major and ethnicity. But within the total population, and within every segment thus described of a population, we have a distribution of cognitive styles that approximates a bell curve. In this chapter the results of statistical evaluation of the data as reported in chapter four will be discussed for implications. All analyses in this study are correlational, not to be confused with cause and effect. When studying a population of humans, especially a large and diverse group such as college students, there exist an almost infinite number of variables beyond the experimenter's knowledge or control. For this reason, this discussion of the data is the opinion of the researcher, based upon the findings as stated.


By gender, in general, we find the distribution of men's scores tend to be somewhat higher in both thinking quadrants, especially the intuitive thinker, and women's scores tend to be higher in the sensor feeler. Both are equally strong in intuitive feeler (see tables 4.9 and 4.10, 4.11 and 4.12.) This would indicate that women are more likely to make decisions based on personal values, beliefs, and emotions, (men =136.8: women =153.5 phase 1; men =140.5: women =158.0 phase 2) and men tend to make decisions based on facts, details and logic, (men =156.9: women =130.4 phase 1; and men =154.5: women =123.9, phase 2) Similarly, men score higher in intuitive quadrants overall, (men =154.8: women =133.4, phase 1; men =153.4: women =129.1, phase 2) leading to the belief that men reason in the abstract better than women do. Women score higher overall in the sensory quadrants, (men =138.9: women =150.5) showing that women tend to prefer concrete examples, demonstrations, visible and tactilekinesthetic exercises in learning. 42.8% of all women in phase one, and 47.8% of all women in phase two scored 4, very high, in the SF quadrant. Chi square analysis of these data support the conclusion of a significant difference ( = 0.05) between the distributions of cognitive dominances by gender.

It must be emphasized, however, that these numbers represent population norms, which are cumulative descriptions of large groups of individuals. Any one individual may fall anywhere within the entire distribution. The overall population is normally distributed in all four quadrants, and every segment of the population is another normally distributed population. The distributions of any segments of the population demonstrates a great deal of overlap with any other segment of the population. The population norms cannot be construed to describe any one individual. The impact and intent of the study is the concentration on individual differences in learners. Many women will reason logically in the abstract much more competently than many men; similarly, many men will find visual and tactile exercises and interpersonal interaction necessary to learning. For example, the statistical evidence that shows women, in general, are more likely to make decisions based on emotions and personal values does not imply that all women will make decisions based on emotions and personal values.

Implications for the Classroom

What is to be learned from this is that a wide latitude of teaching methods must be used in the classroom, regardless of the demographic characteristics of the population. In the absence of information on the specific cognitive dominances, or learning styles of students, the instructor is advised to use a variety of teaching strategies. It might be expected that girls will more often prefer cooperative learning opportunities, while boys may require an initial overview of the concept prior to introduction of detailed information. Girls will more often need to talk among themselves about the content in order to build understanding, and boys are more likely to need some time to think things through before responding to direct questioning.


Strong correlation was found when regression analyses were run on cognitive profile by major, as identified by the students from the categories listed:

    A. Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics, other technical

    B. Business, Liberal Arts, Pre-Law

    C. Elementary Education, Nursing, other helping professions

    D. Creative Arts

    E. Undecided


Students who identified themselves as sciences, engineering, mathematics and other technical majors were strongest in intuitive thinker and intuitive feeler quadrants. This is also reflected in the literature, where Smedley (1987) investigated practicing chemists as learners. It stands to reason as scientists and engineers (the greatest proportion of this student population) must be logical, working primarily through known information to ferret out new knowledge, and must possess a high capacity for inventiveness. Coincidentally, the strong NF also serves as explanation for the tendency for a high incidence of musical talent in practicing scientists. The same creative day dreaming that may lead to the student's early demise in the educational experience, when accompanied by high ability in reasoning, sciences or mathematics, if nurtured, can develop a special kind of genius. It is said that Einstein imagined the relationship of special relativity by picturing himself riding on a beam of light, through space. If I were riding on a beam of light, at the speed of light, what would I see? Only a strong NF would be disposed to such imaginative thinking, to find the path to such breakthroughs in human understanding of the basic rules that govern the universe.

Edison, on the other hand, worked in an ST dominant manner, finding working solutions to the difficulties of invention through repeated trial and error, mostly error, until one was found that worked. His methods fit his opinion that "Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration." In his factory in Menlo Park, New Jersey, he employed approximately 100 workers, each assigned to test methodically through every conceivable solution until the one that worked best was "discovered." Both Edison and Einstein were inventive, Edison used a hint of an idea, and a lot of ST trial and error. Einstein largely worked intuitively, in his imagination, then establishing, polishing and proving his theories mathematically.

Implications for the Classroom

Both intuitive and sensory students may succeed in sciences, for different reasons, by differing routes to success. The intuitives may work directly with the abstraction of the concept, turning things through in their minds, to develop a clear picture of the relationships and algorithms. The sensors may develop a stepwise approach to solving problems, and may be able to perform the functions, make the calculations and reach the correct answer, without fully developing the depth of understanding of the concept to reach the higher levels of Bloom. The implication is that the sensor will not be as fluent in transferring the knowledge to new circumstances, unless the transfer is demonstrated for him and he is able to practice the new use. It therefore is advised for the instructor to serve both students by beginning with the concept overview, allowing the intuitive to construct a framework into which to fit the details as they are encountered, and then to build stepwise and in an organized fashion from the details to the concept for the sensor.

Business, Liberal Arts and Pre-law

Students who identified themselves as business, liberal arts and pre-law, all occupations which require strong skills in memorization and repetitive work were indeed likely to be ST dominant. A student must have a strong facility for, and confidence in memorization to get through law school or medical school successfully. Business studies are strongly recall based, and demand a great deal of precision repetition, while certain liberal arts such as languages and social studies require fluency in recall.

Implications for the Classroom

Equivalent grades in the general chemistry course for both sciences and business majors indicate some students are succeeding through memorization and recall. As Edison, the ST student may do well through persistence, repetitive drill in problem solving, and memorization. These students may do well in introductory courses in the sciences and mathematics but fail to thrive in the more concept and theory directed higher level courses of calculus and the physical sciences. Biological sciences are still largely taught as recall courses, with large quantities of material to commit to memory. The conceptual topics as genetics, for example, are seen as the most difficult for the usual biology student, as they are accustomed to recall demands. It is not evident from this research as yet whether there is a difference in which types of questions each type of student may respond to correctly. The data exists to do so from this research and will be evaluated at a later date.

Elementary Education, Nursing, Other Helping Professions

Students who identified their major field of study as in the helping professions, e.g. elementary education, nursing, were most likely to be dominant sensor feeler, and secondarily intuitive feeler. These individuals make decisions based on personal beliefs and values, and need to be able to relate to the material under study in a personal way. As a group they have the lowest mean grade in the course, 67.78, and the broadest standard deviation of 15.64, the lowest SAT math score, and the lowest SAT verbal score. (Secondary education majors tend to identify themselves with their field of interest, e.g. arts or sciences or languages, not primarily as teachers.)

Implications for the Classroom

The needs of these students are not met in a classic lecture environment, as they require frequent opportunity to talk through the material being studied. Cooperative experiences best meet their needs, as do any assignments which permit them to take a position on an issue and get involved.

Creative Arts

Students who identified themselves as majoring in creative arts, although too few in number (n=4) to be statistically valid, did indeed fall totally within the dominant intuitive feeler, subdominant intuitive thinker, and lowest in sensor thinker. These students learn best through metaphorical reasoning. Those with a strong NF component in their profile frequently have dreams of saving the whales, the rain forest, and humanity from itself in alternate weeks. Some who also have high ability in mathematics may major in environmental science and engineering areas. Typically this population represents the highest risk of dropping out of school prior to completion, (Hanson, 1991) which may partially explain the n=4 of this population. These 4 students, however, had final grades in CH 102 of 73.00, 76.00, 79.69, and 82.10. These grades are not surprising in light of their SAT verbal scores of 41, 46, 47, and 64, and SAT math scores of 51, 57, 65, and 66 not respectively.

Implications for the Classroom

The NF student learns best through metaphorical reasoning. How is this thing being learned like something else previously understood? In practice, the greater the logical distance between the two concepts begin compared in reality, the more appropriate for the NF, who enjoys being different, and being thought of as different by others. Encouraging and permitting assignments to include a creative element will increase participation. These students frequently are musically talented, and/or exceptionally tuned in to poetic expression whether musical, verbal, or physical art forms. A strong caution to the instructor or counselor is in order, as the current generation of NF students is "into" being depressed, even as described as typical by Jung in 1921 and subsequently translated into English. It is not understood whether they are depressed because among their group it is considered appropriate behavior, or because they find the difficulties of being so different hard to bear, even though it is largely their choice. As individuals they may be sensitive, moody, and empathic. (Jung, 1990) When NF dominant to an extreme degree, the student may tend to lose touch with reality, and certainly may have difficulty with deadlines, schedules, and budgets.

The NF may be brought into the mainstream sufficiently to function productively by showing appreciation for their distinctive talent and creativity. Encourage them to participate and to work with causes. Strongly negative and critical reactions to their eccentricities do not help to form a working relationship with this student. However, listening to and encouraging their ideas, no matter how far out or weird they seem, tempering them with good sense and background knowledge, may win the battle. For any individual strongly dominant NF student, strengthening of the secondary dominant is recommended to balance the imagination.


Students who were undecided as to major at the beginning of the semester of CH102 were also too few to be statistically valid, with 9 completing the course of the 10 who were present the first day of class. These students also had strong cognitive dominance in the intuitive feeler quadrant, which might cause confusion in choice of career (Tieger, 1992) given the impractical image of most creative fields. Of the 9 who completed the course, only 4 achieved a passing grade.

It would be presumptuous to assume from these small numbers that those with a goal in mind may be more motivated to study than those who have no such goal. There would certainly be other variables beyond the reach of this study which would also influence the failure rate of the two populations of intuitive feelers. If time permits, or in individual counseling, goal setting exercises may be conducive to improved performance in students who are undecided as to career path. Intuitive learners are not natural organizers. Setting short term goals may improve immediate performance by giving a framework of organization to an otherwise nebulous, and perhaps imposing, body of work.

The Research Questions

In the following section, the specific statistical findings detailed in chapter four, Results, are discussed for meaning and interpretation of the data, and where relevant statistical differences are found, for implications for the classroom.

    RQ 1. Does knowledge of a student's own learning profile and appropriate study techniques improve achievement in General Chemistry?

Analysis of the data included an analysis of variance for differences between overall means and distributions of scores, overall and as demographic grouping on the variables of gender, major, student status (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior) and ethnicity in a factorial design. A null hypothesis of no difference between treatment and control was tested overall and for each listed demographic group.

The results in phase one showed no significant difference in overall mean final grade between treatment and control groups in CH102, but there was a significant difference in the distribution of those grades. The control group's grades distribution was flatter, i.e. more spread out, with more very high and very low grades, and a smaller proportion at or near the average grade for the group. The treatment group was more tightly distributed, with fewer outliers. Further evaluation of the subgroups lends some possible cause for this difference.

Phase two, CH101, showed flatter distributions for both the control and treatment groups. The cause of this result is likely that the student population in CH101 is broader in ability and determination. Dominated by first semester freshmen, CH101 is reputed among the students to be a weed-out course (though not by intention of the faculty or the department) and must be passed for a student to take CH102. CH102 is therefore a more self-selected population than CH101.

The biggest difference between phase one and phase two, other than the difference in the courses and populations, was that phase one treatment group had one seminar with 300+ students in a lecture hall for an hour one evening for their exposure to the concept of cognitive profile and the relevant study techniques. At that time each student was given a computer printout of their own individual cognitive profile upon entering the auditorium. Since there appeared to be no difference in the first and second exam grades, following the second common exam the students in the treatment group were given a paper handout with the information on the study techniques they had been briefly exposed to at the beginning of the semester. In phase two, the treatment group students attended a seminar in a lecture hall, as similar as possible to the seminar attended by the phase one participants, and were given a computer printout of their own individual cognitive profile upon entering the auditorium but were also given the printed handout at that time, instead of part way through the semester. Having the printed material in hand from the beginning may have brought about the differences in results between phase one and phase tow, where more difference was seen in mean grades between groups.

    RQ 2. Which, if any, of SAT scores, math and/or verbal, normalized high school rank in class, or predicted GPA, may predict achievement in General Chemistry?

Subjects' historical data in phase one was obtained from Institutional Research as to SAT math, SAT verbal, normalized high school rank in class, and predicted GPA. Regression analysis was performed on these data to determine predictor value of each of these scores for final grade in General Chemistry CH102. Previous studies reported in the literature (Andrews, 1979; Ozsogomonyan, 1979) cite SAT math as the best predictor of success in chemistry. Since the population under study is self selected as Clemson University students taking general chemistry, it is desirable to reaffirm this result with this population. The null hypothesis of no difference in predictor value of the variables was tested. Although it is widely accepted that SATM is a strong predictor of grade in general chemistry, the confirming regression was run on the phase one data. This regression showed SATM to be a strong predictor at P > 0.0001 or better in both phases of this research. None of the other variables, i.e. high school rank in class, Clemson University's calculated predicted grade point average, or SAT verbal score, showed predictor value for final grade in general chemistry.

Following these results, SATM was chosen as the covariate for the MANCOVA analyses. Using this covariate however, reduces the database as it eliminates students from statistical procedures if their SATM score is missing. In our case, this excludes most non-traditional students, as Clemson records SATM only for those students entering the University directly from high school.

    RQ 3. When a predictor variable, as identified in question two, is used as a covariate, eliminating performance as a factor, does knowledge of a student's own learning profile and appropriate study techniques improve achievement in General Chemistry?

The strongest predictor found in the regression was used as a covariate for further ANOVA analyses, to determine whether the student's ability level may significantly skew the efficacy of learning style study skills on final grade. The null hypothesis of no difference between treatment and control groups was tested.

Using SAT math score as a measure of performance, and comparing average grade between the treatment and control groups shows no statistically significant difference overall in either phase one or phase two of the study. It is likely that the exposure and experience in the study techniques was inadequate to raise the performance levels enough to make a significant difference in final grades.

    RQ 4. Do some types of learners do better in General Chemistry than other types of learners?

Analysis of grade averages by cognitive profile dominance shows in all cases that SF's and NF's do poorer, even when SATM is used as a covariate. NT's in the treatment groups score significantly better relative to other learners in the same group, demonstrating that NT's are helped by learning intuitive thinker specific study techniques. The students who do best in general are the ST's, showing that memorization and repetition is effective. Further analysis in the last research question shows that this method is used by all types of learners, quite likely because they have learned in previous school experience that it is an effective means of getting through the tests and scoring well.

Implications for the Classroom

Sensor feeler and intuitive feeler learners need to relate to the material on a personal level. Sensors need to get into the material up close, and to talk through the content. Cooperative events interspersed in the lecture would bring these students into the material. Intuitive feelers need constructivist exercises, relating new material to what they already know, or metaphorical journeys into imagination to "see" new concepts. We are accustomed to teaching to the rote learner, and this serves the sensor thinker well, and too often we test recall rather than concept. Intuitive learners can improve their performance significantly when encouraged to read summary material first to get the overall concept prior to wading through details. Having a framework in which to fit the details enables the NT to put the minutiae into perspective.

    RQ 5. Does knowledge of learning profile and study techniques make more of a difference in achievement in general chemistry for some learning profiles than for others?

Final grade in CH101 or 102 was evaluated based on relative strength in each quadrant of the Jungian Profile. The null hypothesis of no difference in final grade by cognitive profile, overall and by group, was tested.

In neither phase of the study was a significant difference found in overall mean final grade between treatment and control, whether corrected for SATM or not. (Research Question 1.) However, when examined for mean final grade by dominant cognitive quadrant, (See Tables 26 and 27) significant differences were found in the treatment group of phase two when corrected for SATM, and in the treatment group of phase one and both treatment and control of phase two when no correction was made for SATM. (In the second phase of the study, the students had more exposure to the study techniques.) In the treatment group of phase two, CH101, the NT learners scored significantly higher than the NF learners when corrected for SATM. When no correction is made for SATM, both NT and SF score significantly higher than NF in phase one, CH102. In phase two, CH101, control group, NT and NF score significantly higher than SF, and in the treatment group NT scores significantly higher than NF.

It is reasonable to conclude that NT's and SF's benefited from the study techniques. In the control group of phase 1, CH102, ST's scored the highest, although not significantly so, and NT's were third in the ordered listing. With the study techniques, they are first, and significantly so. In the control groups, the SF's scored lowest, significantly so in phase two, but in the treatment group, the SF's were not significantly different from the highest scoring NT's. The ST's neither lost nor gained ground, but the NT's and SF's gained.

    RQ 6. How well did students in the CH 102 portion of the study feel the profile described themselves?

Students in the experimental group were asked on their final exam to respond to additional questions in survey form, using a Likert scale (e.g. A = all the time, B = most of the time, C = frequently, D = occasionally, E = never) relating to their use of the study techniques taught to them, or perception of fit of the profile descriptors (Appendix E ).

Subjects responding to questionnaires are inclined to respond with the answer that they believe the questioner wants. Especially in the context of a final exam in a course, the students may be influenced by the perception that their professor's opinion of them, and hence, any benefit of the doubt they may be needing, may be balancing on pleasing that professor. Therefore, responses to these questions may be tainted with "please the teacher" bias. These questions were only answered by those students who were in the treatment group.

    SQ 1: I used the Learning Style Profile techniques in CH 102 : A = all the time, B = most of the time, C = frequently, D = occasionally, E = never.

The most frequently occurring response was B, most of the time, to C, frequently, with no difference in frequency between students of differing cognitive dominances.

    SQ 2. I used the Learning Style Profile study techniques in my other classes: A = all the time, B = most of the time, C = frequently, D = occasionally, E = never.

The most frequently occurring response was B, most of the time, with a broad and normally distributed frequency of response over the remaining answers, with no difference in frequency between students of differing cognitive dominances.

These first two answers may imply that students appreciated and used the techniques they were taught. Individual feedback from students was positive in this area, with several individuals expressing great help from the new study techniques.

    SQ 3: I felt my individual profile A. fit me perfectly, B. fit me very well, C. fit me pretty well, D. was a bit like me, E. was not like me at all.

The mode of the pattern of responses was between C and D, with the SF and NF students ranging more towards B and A, and the ST's more towards E. The Chi Square test showed a significant difference in frequency of occurrence between categories of answers. Prob. < 0.049.

SF and NF students want to be liked, and are typically elated to find that someone at last recognizes how they do things. ST's find everything in black and white. Very dominant ST's find it hardest to accept that there are differences in how people learn, believing that what works for them must work best for everyone.

    SQ 4: I feel that the study techniques improved my grade in chemistry A. a lot, B. quite a bit, C. maybe a little, D. not at all, E. made my grade worse.

Responses were evenly divided between B and C, with the exception of the ST's, who responded more frequently with B. quite a lot. A majority of the students responded that they felt the study techniques helped their grades, or may have helped.

    SQ 5: I feel the study techniques improved my grades in my other classes A. a lot, B. quite a bit, C. maybe a little, D. not at all, E. made my grade worse.

Responses centered around B and C for all learners. A majority of the students responded that they felt the study techniques helped their grades, or may have helped.

    SQ 6: The learning styles techniques made my study time A. much more productive, B. quite a bit more productive, C. a little more productive, D. no more productive, E. less productive.

Responses were centered about C, with B second. Generally positive in response, the students either want to please, or are appreciative of whatever help we can give them.

    SQ 7. Overall, how do you feel about the learning style profile and its impact on your personal approach to your studies? A. very positive, B. somewhat positive, C. no feelings on way or the other, D. somewhat negative, E. very negative.

Responses centered about C, no feelings one way or the other, to D. somewhat negative. Students in this group were required to attend an additional seminar and complete additional questions after their final exam. Several individuals expressed reluctance to take time from busy schedules to do so.

SQ 8. If we continue to use the learning styles profile for future students of general chemistry, would you recommend we A. ask all students to do a profile and attend a workshop? B. ask all students to do a profile, with a workshop optional? C. make the profiles and feedback available but don't hold workshops? D. make the profiles and workshops optional? or E. don't do it at all, it's a waste of time?

Responses were bimodally divided between B, and D and E. Students either felt the techniques were helpful and should be available to other students, or they didn't. It might be interesting to follow up with an analysis of grade vs. this response.

    RQ 7. Do students use study techniques appropriate to their learning profile, as measured by the evaluation instrument used? Do those students in the experimental group, who were taught appropriate study techniques, use them to a greater extent than those in the control group?

Students in both the experimental and control portions of the CH 101 portion of the study were asked about the study techniques they use, in additional survey questions added to their final exam (Appendix F). Since the population of students at Clemson University who are taking general chemistry is already a population of successful students, it may be that these students have already discovered what works best for them.

    SQ 1. I study with someone else: A = all the time, B = most of the time, C = frequently, D = occasionally, E = never.

All learners in the control group (no significant differences) responded in a flat distribution centered about answer C, with 38.29% of all students responding frequently. The distribution was more kurtic for the treatment group, also centered about C (42.56%) with fewer never or all the time responses. The NT's in the treatment group were least likely to study with someone else of all students in the study. Treatment group Chi Square = 27.152, P<0.007. NT's need to study alone, prior to discussion of concepts. They were correctly applying skills taught in the study. These students scores were higher than the NT's in the control group. NT's in the control group responded the same as other types, that they often study with someone else.

    SQ 2. I talk out loud about what I am studying. A = all the time, B = most of the time, C = frequently, D = occasionally, E = never.

All learners in the control group (no significant differences) responded in a flat distribution centered about C, with the exception of the NF's who were somewhat more likely to chose B. (35.56 %) In the treatment group ( Chi Square =21.042, P<0.050.) SF's (40.48%, 35.71%) and NF's (26.42%, 43.40%) responded they talked out loud most of the time or frequently, while ST's and NT's distribution of answers was flatter. SF's and NF's should be talking out loud when they study, and these students in the treatment group were doing so. Students in the control group who were SF or NF were not. The treatment group students were applying the specific study techniques they were given. SF's in the treatment group scored higher than SF's in the control group. NF's in the treatment group scored slightly higher than NF's in the control group.

SQ 3. I memorize lists, equations, or facts. A = all the time, B = most of the time, C = frequently, D = occasionally, E = never.

All learners in the control group reported memorizing, with especially strong practice in the ST's and NT's, but not significantly different. In the treatment group, also, most students reported memorization, with the NT's lower, but not significantly different in distribution. Approximately 90% of all students in both groups reported memorizing all the time, most of the time, or frequently.

Students have been taught to memorize. They have learned that memorization works to get them through the test and course successfully. The question remains as to whether they retain what is memorized if they do not build understanding of the concepts. Since ST's who memorize score higher in the course when there is no intervention with other types of learners, the implication is that recall will still be successful. We do not, however, know whether the successful ST learners are doing something additionally to learn the concepts. This practice causes the most appropriate student for research chemistry (NT) (Smedley, 1987) to be less successful than the accounting major. The intervention of specific study techniques for the NT is helpful to their success in fields that require intuitive logic.

SQ 4. I practice by doing problems or writing things out over and over. A = all the time, B = most of the time, C = frequently, D = occasionally, E = never.

Responses centered on B for all learners in the control group. Within the treatment group, SF's and ST's were most likely to respond A or B, and NF's and NT's were most likely to respond B or C. Treatment group. Chi Square = 28.511, P<0.005.

Both SF's and ST's are concrete learners, and inclined to be helped by repetition, NT's and NF's are not helped greatly by repetition beyond the point of understanding the concept.

SQ 5. I read the introductory and summary material for the general overview first, before I read the chapter. A = all the time, B = most of the time, C = frequently, D = occasionally, E = never.

In the control group, most responses for all learners fell within the C to E range, with the lowest numbers for the ST's, showing few students read the introductory or summary material first. A far greater proportion of NT's, and a somewhat greater proportion of NF's in the treatment group report reading introductory or summary material first. (Treatment group Chi Square = 22.983, P<0.028.) ST's and SF's in the treatment group responded much the same as those in the control group. When given the study techniques that prescribe pre-reading of the summary material, NT's relative mean final grades improve. This is as it should be. Intuitive learners need to see the overall concept first in order to construct a framework into which to fit the details as they come.

SQ 6. I look for patterns or logical explanations when I study. A = all the time, B = most of the time, C = frequently, D = occasionally, E = never.

Virtually all students (>95%) in both groups report looking for patterns or logical explanations at least frequently, with better than 80% at most of the time.

SQ 7. I use metaphors, or figure out how what I am trying to study is like something I already understand. A = all the time, B = most of the time, C = frequently, D = occasionally, E = never.

Control group responses centered about B, with SF's and NF's very slightly stronger. In the treatment group, SF and NF learners were more likely to report using metaphors. (P<0.143, not significant.) The question was likely interpreted with the emphasis on "like something I already understand." Constructivist theory says all learning happens this way. NF learners are characterized by the use of metaphors that are distantly removed in content from the area under study.

SQ 8. I use color, or pictures, or other creative tricks when I study. A = all the time, B = most of the time, C = frequently, D = occasionally, E = never.

Even in the control group, NF learners were significantly more likely to use creativity in studying. Control group Chi Square = 24.514, P<0.017. Other learners responses fell into C-E. The pattern was quite similar in the treatment group, but not statistically significant.

All students taking CH 102 or CH 101 each semester under study were given 2 points extra credit for participating. Students were told that they must actively participate, attend meetings, etc. in order to receive the two points, but since final grade is a variable under investigation, all students received the two points. The study was continued, as performed with Spring `95 CH102's, with all students taking CH101 in the Fall semester of 1995. The Fall replication was modified to include the use of additional printed materials at the beginning of the study for the treatment group to reinforce the study technique instruction. These additional materials included the same material specific to learning styles under the Jungian model, and appropriate study techniques as was given to the CH102 treatment group at mid-semester (Appendix D). The CH102 phase of the study initially included approximately 1000 students and the CH101 replication an additional 1200 students at the beginning of the semester.

This research, having a large population of over 2000 students, carefully controlled and statistically rigorous, demonstrates real differences in how individual students acquire and process information. Given real differences in learning styles among individuals, it is necessary to use a variety of teaching strategies in every course, and in every concept taught. No one method of instruction will work best for all students.