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Are Learning Styles, Study Habits, and Performance Correlated in Woody Plant Identification Students? /

by Ryan N. Contreras; Rob Golembiewski; Jonathan J. Velez; Department of Agricultural Education and General Agriculture, 112 Strand Agriculture Hall, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331-2204; Department of Horticulture, 4017 Agriculture and Life Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331-7304.
Material type: materialTypeLabelComputer fileSeries: HortTechnology.Publisher: American Society for Horticultural Science, 2013Description: Journal article.ISSN: 1943-7714.Online resources: Link to original article. In: HortTechnology (Vol.) 23. (No.) 1. 2013. (Pages.) 130-133.Summary: New technologies such as online databases, interactive dichotomous keys, and online courses have changed the way some plant identification courses are delivered. These changing resources may create discrepancies between traditional instruction of landscape plant materials courses and the way modern students learn, which may result in students not meeting their potential. However, what resources students are using to study plant materials is unclear. We investigated the relationship between learning styles, study habits, and performance of students during two terms of woody landscape plant materials courses. To assess these relationships, we determined the characteristics of the participants and their preferred study method throughout the duration of the term as well as correlations between 1) preferred learning styles and performance, 2) preferred learning styles and preferred study method, and 3) performance and preferred study method. The participants in this study (n = 31) consisted of 14 males and 17 females. Of the 31 participants, 3 were freshmen, 3 were sophomores, 16 were juniors, 7 were seniors, and 2 were graduate students. Based on preference scores for learning style, 15 students were identified as visual learners, 3 as auditory, and 13 as kinesthetic learners. No significant relationships were observed between preferred learning style and performance or between preferred learning style and preferred study method. The two preferred study methods were using branch samples collected by the instructor and notecards created by students. No relationship existed between preferred study method and performance in the course. Our study provides information on study methods of woody plant identification students enrolled in a site-based course. We did not observe statistically significant relationships among preferred learning style, preferred study method, and course grade, but anecdotal evidence indicated students who prepared their own study aids by making notecards scored better in these courses.
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New technologies such as online databases, interactive dichotomous keys, and online courses have changed the way some plant identification courses are delivered. These changing resources may create discrepancies between traditional instruction of landscape plant materials courses and the way modern students learn, which may result in students not meeting their potential. However, what resources students are using to study plant materials is unclear. We investigated the relationship between learning styles, study habits, and performance of students during two terms of woody landscape plant materials courses. To assess these relationships, we determined the characteristics of the participants and their preferred study method throughout the duration of the term as well as correlations between 1) preferred learning styles and performance, 2) preferred learning styles and preferred study method, and 3) performance and preferred study method. The participants in this study (n = 31) consisted of 14 males and 17 females. Of the 31 participants, 3 were freshmen, 3 were sophomores, 16 were juniors, 7 were seniors, and 2 were graduate students. Based on preference scores for learning style, 15 students were identified as visual learners, 3 as auditory, and 13 as kinesthetic learners. No significant relationships were observed between preferred learning style and performance or between preferred learning style and preferred study method. The two preferred study methods were using branch samples collected by the instructor and notecards created by students. No relationship existed between preferred study method and performance in the course. Our study provides information on study methods of woody plant identification students enrolled in a site-based course. We did not observe statistically significant relationships among preferred learning style, preferred study method, and course grade, but anecdotal evidence indicated students who prepared their own study aids by making notecards scored better in these courses.

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