Ingeniería y Universidad
versão impressa ISSN 0123-2126
MARIS VAZQUEZ, Stella. Academic Performance and Learning Styles in Engineering Students. Ing. Univ. [online]. 2009, vol.13, n.1, pp. 105-136. ISSN 0123-2126.
The paper seeks to identify the learning styles of a group of first-year engineering students, focusing on learning-style differences attributable to demographic variables and the possible relations between learning-style and academic performance. Vermunt's Inventory of Learning Styles (ILS) has been administered to a sample of 420 first-year engineering students of an Argentine technological university. Demographic data have been gathered, as well as students' examination marks for the subjects making up the elementary courses. Factor analysis determined the validity of ILS scales, with modifications to the self-regulation and learning orientation ones were proved. The reliability test yielded satisfactory results. Second-order factor analysis confirmed the existence of four learning styles, in keeping with Vermunt's findings, except with respect to the reproduction-directed style. Multiple regression bore out the central role of self-regulation in the relations between style components. A distinctive profile of engineering students emerged, with learning-style differences according to age, sex and secondary school. Academic performance differences were found, although ILS is acknowledged to be a weak predictor in this regard. Failure to complete the course in normal time related significantly to surface style, lack of deep processing strategies and low intrinsic motivation.
Palavras-chave : Academic achievement; educational performance; engineering - study and teaching.