Vol. 6 (2021): American Journal of Educational Research and Reviews

Learning Style Preferences in College Students with Different Majors

I-Ju Chen1, Kai-Ru Cheng2
1Ling Tung University, Taiwan 2Language Center, Ling Tung University


  • Learning styles; EFL learners; Visual style; Auditory style; Haptic style

How to Cite

I-Ju Chen1, Kai-Ru Cheng2. (2021). Learning Style Preferences in College Students with Different Majors. American Journal of Educational Research and Reviews, 6(1), 81. https://doi.org/10.28933/ajerr-2020-11-2307


In this study, we investigated the learning style preferences of college students with different majors and the relationship between learning styles and the majors. In total, 120 English as a foreign language college students with different majors from Taiwan participated. Descriptive statistical analysis and the chi-square test results indicated that learners across majors generally preferred the visual learning style. However, business and information technology majors preferred the auditory learning style and design majors preferred the haptic learning style. Nevertheless, although learning background may play a vital role in the development of a student’s learning style, the differences between learning style preferences and educational background were non-significant. Learning style preferences may also relate to other variables and may change over time, across contexts, and between different tasks.


  1. Alkooheji, L., & Al-Hattami, A. (2018). Learning Style Preferences among College Students. International Education Studies, 11, 50-63. https://doi.org/10.5539/ies.v11n10p50
  2. Awang, H., Samad, N. A., Mohd Faiz, N. Z., Roddin, R., & Kankia, J. D. (2017). Relationship between Learning Styles Preferences and Academic Achievement. International Research and Innovation Summit, 226, 1-5
  3. Bailey, P. Onwuegbuzie, A. J., & Daley, C. E. (2000). Using Learning Style to Predict Foreign Language Achievement at the College Level. System, 28, 115-133.
  4. Bicer, D. (2014). The Effect of Students’ and Instructors’ Learning Styles on Achievement of Foreign Language Preparatory School Students. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 141, 382-386. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.05.067
  5. Chen, Y. C. (1999). The perceptual learning style preferences of Taiwanese junior high school students in learning English. Unpublished master thesis, National Changhua University of Education, Changhua, Taiwan.
  6. Chen, C., Jones, K. T. & Xu, A. S. (2018). The Association between Students’ Style of Learning Preferences, Social Presence, Collaborative Learning and Learning Outcomes. Journal of Educators Online, 15(1). 1-16
  7. Cimermanova, I. (2018). The effect of learning styles on academic achievement in different forms of teaching. International Journal of Instruction, 11(3), 219-232.
  8. Cutolo, A., & Rochford, R. A. (2007). An Analysis of Freshmen Learning Styles and Their Relationship to Academic Achievement. College Quarterly, 10, 1-17.
  9. Dai, Y., Wu, Z. & Dai, L. (2015). The Relationships among Motivation, Learning Styles and English Proficiency in EFL Music Students. International Journal of English Linguistics, 5(6), 75-83
  10. Dunn, R., Dunn, K., Price, G. E. (1991). Productivity Environmental Preference Survey. Price Systems, Inc., Lawrence, KS.
  11. Fleming, N. D. (1995). I’m different; not dumb. Modes of presentation (VARK) in the tertiary classroom. In Zelmer, A., (ed.) Research and Development in Higher Education. Proceedings of the 1995 Annual Conference of the Higher Education and Research Development Society of Australia (HERDSA), pp. 308-313.
  12. Fleming, N.D. and Mills, C. (1992) Not Another Inventory, Rather a Catalyst for Reflection. To Improve the Academy, 11, 137.
  13. Felder, R. M. & Silverman, L. K. (1988). Learning and teaching styles in engineering education. Engineering Education, 78(7), 674-781.
  14. Felder, R. M., & Soloman, B. A. (1996). Index of Learning Styles. Retrieved from http://www.engr.ncsu.edu/learningstyes/ilsweb.html
  15. Gohar, M. J., & Sadeghi, N. (2015). The Impact of Learning Style of Preferences on Foreign Language Achievement: A Case Study of Iranian EFL Students. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 171, 754-764. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.01.188
  16. Jiraporncharoen, W., Angkurawaranon C., Chockjamsai, M., Deesomchok, A. & Euathrongchit, J. (2015). Learning styles and academic achievement among undergraduate medical students in Thailand, J Educ Eval Health Prof, 12- 38 http://dx.doi.org/10.3352/jeehp.2015.12.38
  17. Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential Learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliff, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
  18. Liu, F., Hu, L., & Gan, J.J. (2013). A study on the Learning Style Preferences with Different Academic Backgrounds—Taking Tujia EFL Learners As examples. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 3, 100-107.
  19. https://doi.org/10.4304/tpls.3.1.100-107.Naserieh, F., & Sarab, M. R. A. (2013). Perceptual Learning Style Preferences among Iranian Graduate Students. System, 41, 122-133. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2013.01.018
  20. O’Brien, L., (1990). Learning Channel Preference Checklist (LCPC). Specific Diagnostic Services, Rockville, MD.
  21. Power, C. M. (2016). Music Student Satisfaction: The Relationship Between Learning Style Preferences and Major Satisfaction, Unpublished Master Thesis, Knoxville: The University of Tennessee
  22. Reid, J. M. (1984). Perceptual Learning Style Preference Questionnaire. University of Wyoming, Department of English, Laramie.
  23. Riechmann, S. W. & Grasha, A. F. (1974). A rational approach to developing and assessing the construct validity of a student learning style scales instrument. The journal of Psychology, 97, 213-223.
  24. Sreendihi, S. K. & Helena, T. C. (2017). Styles of learning based on the research of Fernald, Keller, Orton, Gillingham, Stillman, Montessori, and Neil D. Fleming. International Journal for Innovative Research in Multidisciplinary Field, 3(4), 17-25.
  25. Sarabi-Asiabar, A., Jafari, M, Sadeghifar, J., Tofighi, S, Rouhollah, Z., Peyman, H, & Shams, J. (2015). The relationship between learning style preferences and gender, educational major, and status in first year medical students: A survey study from Iran. Iran Red Crescent Med Journal, 17(1). Available from: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/The-Relationship-Between-Learning-Style-Preferences-Sarabi-Asiabar-Jafari/f2a914d96db8c4db444da57ed4eb465628c51094
  26. Soureshjani, K. H. & Naseri, N. (2012). Perceptual Learning-Style Preferences of Iranian EFL Learners in Relation to Their Proficiency Level. American Journal of Linguistics, 1(4), 70-74 DOI: 10.5923/j.linguistics.20120104.01
  27. Sun, M. L. (2011). Experimental study of Chinese non-English students’ overall learning style preferences. US-China Education Review A3, p. 346-354
  28. Tuckman, B. W, (1999). Conducting Educational Research, 5th ed. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace.
  29. Uhrig, K. (2015). Learning styles and strategies for language use in the context of academic reading tasks. System, 50, 21-31.