The Effects of Learning Styles on Student Engagement Among University Students
This research examined both the relationship and the effects of learning styles and student engagement at three selected UniversitiTeknologi MARA, (UiTM) Malaysia state campuses using the VARK learning style model. The effects of students’ learning styles and their relationships to classroom engagement were analyzed. Three categories ofstudents’ majorswhich wereSocial Science (SS), Technical Science (TS) and Pure Science (PS) weresegregated to identify the influence of learning stylesamong these different types of student majors and classroom engagement. Results showed that there exists significant and positive relationship between Visual and Auditory learning styles towards classroom engagement. However, kinesthetic learning was not found to have any significant relationship with student engagement.The homogenous profile of the students as well as cultural background must be taken into account in interpreting the findings of this study. All of the subjects under investigation were from one race (Malay) who are known to be timid and somewhat passive learners in class. The study also found that all students in three different study areas preferred or used visual learning style with those in the technical sciences had the highest mean (M=4.00, SD=0.565) followed by Social Sciences (M=3.97, SD-0.771) and Pure Sciences (M= 3.83,SD=0.727 respectively. In assessing the learning styles versus fields of study, it was reported that visual learning style had an influence on student engagement in all fields of study. However, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles did not influence student engagement in technical and pure sciences. Recommendations include to identify student learning style prior to teaching a class and to match it with specific pedagogical approach in classroom.
Keywords - Learning styles, student engagement, university students, homogenous group