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IDENTIFYING STUDENTS LEARNING STYLE PREFERENCES AT IAIN TERNATE

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Abstract

Students are the unique entities with different characteristics to be paid attention by the teachers in teaching and learning process. Teachers can feed their students based on their unique characteristics. Students learning style is one of the entities which will contribute toward students’ success in learning. This paper is aimed (1) to identify and to prepare information about students’ major perceptual learning style preferences and (2) to identify and to prepare information about students’ minor learning preferences. This research was conducted at State Institute for Islamic Studies (IAIN) Ternate towards 116 students of Shariah Department of academic year 2012/2013 which are chosen purposively as the sample of the research. The data of the research were elicited by using Reid’s (1987) Perceptual Learning Style Preferences (PLSP). The data were analyzed into statistical descriptive by using Microsoft Excel 2007. The finding of the research stated that the students’ major perceptual learning style preferences are visual (mean=40.2). and the minor perceptual learning style preferences are kinesthetic (mean=37.0), individual (mean=36.7), tactile (mean=36.3), auditory (mean=35.8), and group (mean=33.9). The characteristics of students with visual learning style preferences are: (a) The students remember better when they read instructions; (b) The students understand better when they read instructions; (c) The students learn better by reading what the teacher writes on the writing-board; (d) The students learn better by reading than by listening to someone; and (e) The students learn more by reading textbooks than by listening to lectures.
International Journal of Education
Vol. 10 No. 2, February 2018, pp. 121-129
©2018 Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia
doi: http://dx.doi.org/
127
IDENTIFYING STUDENTS LEARNING STYLE PREFERENCES AT IAIN TERNATE
Jumahir Jamulia
Institut Agama Islam Negeri (IAIN) Ternate, Indonesia
jumahir@yahoo.com
First draft received: 30 Oct 2016 Accepted: 29 Dec 2017 Final proof received: 5 Feb 2018
Abstract
Students are unique entities with different characteristics to be paid attention to by teachers in the teaching
and learning process. Teachers can teach their students based on their unique characteristics. Students
learning style is one of the factors which will contribute toward students’ success in learning. This paper is
aimed to identify and prepare information about students’ major perceptual learning style preferences and
minor learning preferences. This research was conducted at State Institute for Islamic Studies (IAIN) Ternate
towards 116 students of Shariah Department of academic year 2012/2013 who were chosen purposively as
the sample of the research. The data of the research were elicited by using Reid’s (1987) Perceptual
Learning Style Preferences (PLSP). The data were analyzed with descriptive statistics by using Microsoft
Excel 2007. The findings of the research show that the students’ major perceptual learning style preferences
were visual (mean = 40.2), and the minor perceptual learning style preferences were kinesthetic (mean =
37.0), individual (mean = 36.7), tactile (mean = 36.3), auditory (mean = 35.8), and group (mean = 33.9). The
characteristics of students with visual learning style preferences are: (a) The students remember better when
they read instructions; (b) The students understand better when they read instructions; (c) The students learn
better by reading what the teacher writes on the writing-board; (d) The students learn better by reading than
by listening to someone; and (e) The students learn more by reading textbooks than by listening to lectures.
.
Keywords: learning style; PLSP; sharia students; IAIN Ternate
To cite this paper (in APA style):
Jamulia, J. (2018). Identifying students learning style preferences at IAIN Ternate. International Journal of
Education, 10(2), 121-129. doi: http://dx.doi.org/
INTRODUCTION
Successful learning of English as a foreign language
(EFL) in Indonesia is determined by many factors,
ranging from curriculum design to classroom
instruction. The changing of national curriculum
periodically and the shifting from teaching paradigm
into learning paradigm in all levels of educational
institutions are intended to optimize the learning
process and to obtain the learning objective
successfully. Chung (2005) argued that the present
programs such as student-centered learning and self-
instruction learning are among the approaches that
support student needs’ analysis and personalization.
Students, as one of the independent factors in
education, are unique entity with distinct internal and
external characteristics. The internal characteristics
are, for instance, motivation, attitude, and belief,
personality, learning style, and learning strategy,
whereas the external characteristics are
environmental factor, social background, physical
differences, and past experiences. Since these
characteristics are essential factors in determining the
successful of language learning, they need to be
optimized fully and paid more attention both by
teacher and students.
To meet the students’ divergent characteristics,
Walqui (2000) stated that it should be created such
techniques and environment which will strongly
support the desire and the ability to learn a new
language, second or foreign language because
students come from dissimilar background with
different needs and goals. However, the students do
not only have different needs and goals, but they also
have distinct favor on language skills to be learned, for
example in EFL context in Indonesia, Jubhari (2006)
stated that most of the students prefer conversation or
speaking to writing and reading.
It might be asserted that students are not alike in
their needs, goals and courses or skills. Moreover,
they also vary in the way of perceiving, absorbing and
retaining the lesson, and in solving their problems
appear due to the differences of their learning styles
and learning strategies in approaching a new
language. Skehan (1989) stated that students as
individuals vary greatly in the ways they learn a
second language. He added that some learners are
more analytically oriented, others are more globally
oriented. Some learners are more visually oriented,
others more geared to sounds.
In addition, Chung (2005) argued that among a
group of learners, some learn better with pictures and
Jamulia
Identifying students learning style preferences at IAIN Ternate
122
diagrams (visual learners) and some absorb
knowledge faster by participation (kinesthetic
learners). Some respond strongly to visual forms of
information and many others prefer to learn actively
and individually (Felder and Spurlin, 2005; Svinicki
and Dixon, 1987).
Due to the arguments from Chung (2005), Felder
and Spurlin (2005), Skehan (1989) and Svinicki and
Dixon (1987) stated above, the teachers, in doing the
needs analysis, need not only to seek information
related to the students’ needs and goals in learning
English, and what is the most preferred subject,
course or skill to be learned, but they are also
responsible to help their students in identifying their
learning styles since they interact mostly with the
students.
Reid’s (1987) comparative study of college
students learning English as a second language (ESL)
among Arabic, Spanish, Japanese, Malay, Chinese,
Korean, Thai, and Indonesian students stated that
Indonesian speakers appeared to be most closely
related to native English speakers. She added that
both groups chose auditory and kinesthetic as major
learning styles, visual, tactile, and individual learning
as minor styles, and group learning as a negative
style.
Rossi-Le (1989) studied 147 adult immigrants
from Chinese, Laotian, Vietnamese, Spanish and
other who enrolled in community college English as a
Second Language (ESL) classes. The result of study
showed that perceptual learning styles preferences
were influenced by factors in the learners’
background, particularly native language. In
conclusion, she affirmed that the dominant learning
style preferences for the sample were tactile and
kinesthetic.
Jones’ (1998) study by applying Reid’s
perceptual learning style preferences questionnaire
argued that students generally had three major
learning styles (kinesthetic, tactile, group), two minor
learning styles (visual, auditory) and one negative
style (individual).
In Indonesian context, especially in Makassar,
Husain (2000) studied 31 students at FBSS UNM
Ujung Pandang which were grouped into visual-
directory, visual-sosializer, visual-relator, visual-
thinker, auditory-relator and auditory-thinker. She
pointed out that all groups had the same achievement;
however the visual-relator group had lower
achievement than others. Even so, she suggested that
by matching teaching style with students' learning and
personality styles can produce good learning
achievement. A decade later, Jamulia (2010) did a
similar research on students’ learning style by
applying Reid’s PLSP at English Department Students
in Ternate. Through this research, he supported the
earlier findings, that the major perceptual learning
styles preferences of English Department Students in
Ternate are visual (mean=39.70), kinesthetic
(mean=39.07), and tactile (mean=37.88).
Peacock (2001) studied the correlation between
learning and teaching style based on Reid’s
hypotheses. He suggested that a mismatch between
teaching and learning styles can cause learning
failure, frustration and demotivation. He also found
that learners favored kinesthetic and auditory and
disfavored individual and group styles, while teachers
favored kinesthetic, group and auditory styles.
Park (2002) investigated the learning styles of
English learners among Armenian, Hmong, Korean,
Mexican, and Vietnamese in secondary schools in
California. The results of this study stated that all the
ethnic groups were major on kinesthetic and minor on
tactile learning style, all of them appeared to be visual
learners, and then Hmong, Mexican and Vietnamese
students preferred group learning while Armenian and
Korean students did not.
Palappu (2007) studied the effect of learning
styles on learning to 22 Caucasian aged of 20-25
years by using Index of Learning Styles. The study
was aimed to determine whether the visual/verbal
learning styles affected the learning of the learners.
The finding of this study suggested that the learners’
grades had significant statistical difference between
visual and verbal learners. The visual learners
(M=164.267) achieved higher scores than the verbal
learners (M=115.714).
Renou (2008) on his study "A study of
Perceptual Learning Styles and Achievement in a
University-level Foreign Language Course" suggested
that "it seems reasonable to claim that if we teach in
the three sensory modes --auditory, visual and tactile,
we would help our students retain and retrieve far
more information than they would if we exposed them
to only one sensory mode of learning."
Liu and Tseng (2009) studied 361 nontraditional
EFL students by applying Reid’s perceptual learning
style preference questionnaire. The findings which
emerged from this study may be somewhat contrary to
earlier similar study done by Reid in which adult
college level students preferred kinesthetic (activity)
learning style first and followed by auditory learning
style. Most of the students in this study preferred the
auditory style of learning while individual study and
visual styles (reading) were the least preferred style.
Mulalic, et al. (2009) attempted to determine the
learning styles of the students, and the differences in
learning styles of the students according to the gender
and ethnicity of 160 students (53.8% male) and
(46.3% female) at Universiti Tenaga Nasional with
ethnicity composition of the samples was 56 Malays
(35.0%), 52 Chinese (32.5%) and 52 Indian (32.5%).
The results of the study revealed that the students’
preferred learning style was kinesthetic. They express
minor preferences for visual, auditory and group
learning. In addition, students expressed negative
preferences toward individual and tactile learning
styles. Understanding the students learning styles, on
the other hands, will help the teachers to match their
teaching style, and be able to prepare and present
their learning materials fitting to the students learning
International Journal of Education
Vol. 10 No. 2, February 2018, pp. 121-129
©2018 Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia
doi: http://dx.doi.org/
127
styles. Fox (1993) stated that by identifying students
learning styles, teachers could apply appropriate
teaching technique and match their teaching style
which will maximize the learning and even educational
opportunity.
Based on a synthesis of the previous studies and
the problems laid in the background, this research
was conducted based on the research questions as
follows:
1. What are the major perceptual learning styles
preferences of the first year students at IAIN
Ternate?
2. What are the minor perceptual learning styles
preferences of the first year students at IAIN
Ternate?
Hopefully, this research can give the significance both
academically and practically. Academically, the results
or findings of this research will enrich the literature
about learning styles preferences specifically related
to Reid’s Perceptual Learning Style Preferences. On
the other sides, practically, this research will give a
great contribution towards teaching and learning
English as a foreign language in Indonesia. Firstly, it
will give information about students' learning styles, so
that the teachers could match their teaching styles
with students learning styles. Secondly, through the
matching of teaching-learning styles, the teachers will
select the proper materials, tasks, and activities used
in the classroom. Next, it will support both the
teachers and the students with good strategies used
by good learners so learning can be accelerated in
order to achieve learning objective. Finally, the
findings of this research will provide the evidence and
information for the teachers and administrators about
learning condition at IAIN Ternate.
LITERATURE REVIEW
Definition of Learning Style
Learning style has been defined differently by experts
and researchers in ESL/EFL learning. However, the
literature on learning styles uses the terms learning
style, cognitive style, personality type, sensory
preference, modality, and others rather loosely and
often interchangeably (Ehrman, Leaver and Oxford.
2003).
Keefe (1979 as cited from Brown, 1994)
proposes that learning style may be defined as the
"cognitive, affective, and psychological traits that are
relatively stable indicators of how learners perceive,
interact with, and respond to the learning
environment". Meanwhile, Dunn & Griggs (1988 as
cited from Bachetti, 2003) defined that learning style is
the biologically and developmentally imposed set of
characteristics that make the same teaching method
wonderful for some and terrible for others.
In addition, Dunn, et al. (1993 as cited from
Dunn, et al., 2009) defined learning styles as the way
individuals begin to concentrate on, process,
internalize, and retain new and difficult information. On
the contrary, Brown (1994) defined learning style as "a
term that refers to consistent and rather enduring
tendencies or preference within an individual. Similar
to Dunn, et al., Felder & Henriques (1995) define
learning styles as "the ways in which an individual
characteristically acquires, retain, and retrieves
information".
Grasha (1996 as cited from Diaz & Cartnal,
1999) defined learning styles as "personal qualities
that influence a student's ability to acquire information,
to interact with peers and the teacher, and otherwise
participate in learning experiences." Similar to Dunn,
et al. and Felder & Henriques, Reid (2002 as cited
from Hong, 2007) defines learning style as individual's
natural, habitual, and preferred ways of absorbing,
processing, and retaining new information and skills.
Referring to the above definitions, in general,
learning style can be concluded into three
characteristics, namely (1) the way of absorbing,
retaining, recalling, and retrieving information; (2)
learning style is a set of characteristics and personal
qualities that influence learners’ ability to acquire
information, interact with and respond to learning
environment; and (3) learning style is consistent and
stable indicators.
What is noticeable in all the definitions stated
above is that language learners differ from one learner
to another, that is a learner in learning English may
prefer seeing and hearing to speaking and being
actively involved in the activities. Another learner may,
in contrast, be more interested in having an
outstanding part in classroom activities and being
actively engaged in classroom debates. Therefore,
language learners do not learn all in the same way.
Reid’s (1987) Perceptual Learning Style
Preferences
Reid’s (1987) Perceptual Learning Styles Preferences
are measured by applying her Perceptual Learning
Style Preferences Questionnaire (PLSPQ), where
language learners’ styles are divided into six cubes of
styles: visual, auditory, kinesthetic, tactile, group, and
individual.
Visual learners are most comfortable with
pictures, images and graphs while studying and
retaining information.
Auditory learners learn best when hearing the
information and, perhaps, listening to the lecture.
Thus, the learner needs to express verbally what
he/she learns, solve problems by talking about them
and discusses the material in the class.
Kinesthetic learners prefer active participation
experiences, for example drama, role-play or moving
around. Such students learn best by experience and
by being involved physically in classroom
experiences. A combination of stimuli, for example an
audio tape combined with an activity helps learner
understand new material.
Tactile learners prefer hands on work, for
example, handling materials or taking notes. Working
on an experiment in the laboratory is the best way for
such students to learn new material. Writing notes or
instruction can help such learners to remember
Jamulia
Identifying students learning style preferences at IAIN Ternate
124
information easily and physical involvement in the
class pays major role in their retention of the
information.
Group learners prefer studying with others.
Group studying make them feel comfortable and it is
best way for them to acquire knowledge. Students
also value class interaction and class work with other
students, and they remember information when they
work with two or three classmates. The stimulation of
group work will help such learner to understand new
information better.
Individual learners prefer studying alone and
they learn best independently. Such students learn
new material best when reading it themselves.
Progress and achievement is best visible when they
learn alone.
METHOD
This research is categorized as survey research. The
survey method is the technique of gathering data by
asking questions to people who are thought to have
desired information. It is the field that studies the
sampling of individuals from a population with a view
towards making statistical inferences about the
population using the sample.
This research is a descriptive, namely an effort
to know or to understand the value of an independent
variable or more variables without making a
comparison or association with other variables
(Sugiono, 2003).
The research was conducted at State Institute
for Islamic Studies (IAIN) Ternate, which specifically
addressed to the first year students of academic year
2012/2013. IAIN Ternate has four departments,
Tarbiyah (Education and Teacher Training), Sharia
(Law and Jurisprudence), Adab (Civilization and
Humanity), and Usuluddin (Theology). However, this
research only focuses on the students of Sharia
Department which grouped into five classes:
Muamalah A, Muamalah B, Ahwal al-Syakhsiyah,
Islamic Banking A, Islamic Banking B, and Islamic
Banking C. The sampling technique used in this study
was purposive sampling or judgmental sampling. The
Shariah Department students were choosen as the
sample since the researcher teach in this department
so it is easy to meet the students everyday. However,
not all students were participated in this research, only
those who are active or attend the class who consider
as the sample in this research. The total sample of
this research was 116 students (female=77, male=39)
as presented in the following table.
Table 1: Respondents of the Study
Respondent
Male
Female
Muamalah A
4
11
Muamalah B
7
13
Ahwal al-Syahksiyah
19
6
Islamic Banking A
2
18
Islamic Banking B
4
18
Islamic Banking C
3
11
Total
39
77
The researcher, in order to obtain the data in this
research, applied Reid’s (1987) Perceptual Learning
Styles Preferences Questionnaire (PLSPQ) developed
particularly for learners of foreign language. This
questionnaire was used to elicit the data about
students’ learning styles.
PLSPQ consists of 30 self-report questions
distributed into visual learning style (question 6, 10,
12, 24, and 29), auditory learning style (question 1, 7,
9, 17, and 20), kinesthetic learning style (question 2,
8, 15, 19, and 26), tactile learning style (question 11,
14, 16, 22, and 25), group learning style (question 3,
4, 5, 21, and 23) and individual learning style
(question 13, 18, 27, 28, and 30).
The subjects or respondents were expected to
indicate how much they agree with each item on a
scale from 1 to 5 when they learn English. Each
number notes certain measurement such as: (5)
strongly agree, (4) agree, (3) undecided or neutral, (2)
disagree, and (1) strongly disagree. Score of self-
report questions were classified into major (range 38
50); minor (range 2537) and negligible or negative
(range 024) for each learning styles preferences.
The students’ responses to the PLSP
questionnaire were analyzed into descriptive statistic
to measure the frequencies, percentages, means and
avarage. The result of statistic calculation then being
interpreted and explained to gain the conclussion.
FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
The data of perceptual learning styles preferences
were obtained through the distribution of Reid’s (1987)
Perceptual Learning Styles Preferences Questionnaire
(PLSPQ). This 30 question questionnaire is using
Likert scale ranging from 1 to 5 (1=strongly disagree,
2=agree, 3=neutral, 4=agree, and 5=strongly agree),
which used to elicit the data about visual learning style
(question 6, 10, 12, 24, and 29), auditory learning
style (question 1, 7, 9, 17, and 20), kinesthetic
learning style (question 2, 8, 15, 19, and 26), tactile
learning style (question 11, 14, 16, 22, and 25), group
learning style (question 3, 4, 5, 21, and 23), and
individual learning style (question 13, 18, 27, 28, and
30). The sum of each category of perceptual learning
style preferences (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, tactile,
group and individual) was then multiplied by two, and
International Journal of Education
Vol. 10 No. 2, February 2018, pp. 121-129
©2018 Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia
doi: http://dx.doi.org/
127
the result of the multiplication was classified into major
(range 3850); minor (range 2537) and negligible or
negative (range 024).
In the following, it will be presented the mean
scores of all perceptual learning styles preferences
(visual, auditory, kinesthetic, tactile, group and
individual). Based on the result of mean scores of
each perceptual learning style preferences, it is clearly
can be said that the first year students of academic
year 2012/2013 at IAIN Ternate are major on visual
learning style (mean= 42,2), and minor on kinesthetic
(mean= 37,0), individual (mean= 36,7), tactile (mean=
36,3), auditory (mean= 35,8), and group learning style
(mean= 33,9).
Tabel 2: The mean of each perceptual learning style preferences
N
X-Min
X-Max
X
Mean
Visual Style
116
28
50
4666
40.2
Auditory Style
116
26
48
4156
35.8
Kinesthetic Style
116
20
48
4290
37.0
Tactile Style
116
20
50
4208
36.3
Group Style
116
14
48
3938
33.9
Individual Style
116
22
50
4254
36.7
As structured on the PLSP questionnaire, that
all perceptual learning styles preferences are
constituted by five questions or statements, and these
statements are the representation of the
characteristics of each perceptual learning style.
Therefore, it is important to know to what extent the
degree of each statement of the major perceptual
learning styles preference (visual learning style), and
of the minor perceptual learning styles preferences
(kinesthetic, individual, tactile, auditory, and group
learning style) preferred by the first year students of
IAIN Ternate, in academic year 2012/2013.
The following criteria in table 3 were adapted
from Muhidin and Abdurahman (2007:146), which can
be used to give the explanation concerning to the
degree of each statement on the preferred language
learning styles. The mean score of each statement
was consulted to the criteria in order to know the
degree of each statement preferred by the first year
students of IAIN Ternate, in academic year
2012/2013.
Table 3: The Description Analysis Criteria
Score Category Range
Description Analysis
1.00 1.79
1.80 2.59
2.60 3.39
3.40 4.19
4.20 5.00
Strongly Low
Low
Sufficient
High
Strongly High
1. The description of visual learning style statement
The visual learning style was the major preferred
learning style of the first year students at IAIN
Ternate. The following table presents the mean score
of the statements on visual learning style. In addition,
the mean score of each variable was corresponded to
the table of Description Analysis Criteria above to
determine the degree of each statement on visual
learning style.
Table 4: The description of visual learning style statements
Statements on Visual Learning Style
N
X
Mean
(1) I learn better by reading what the teacher writes on the
chalkboard.
116
479
4.13
(2) When I read instructions, I remember them better.
116
514
4.43
(3) I understand better when I read instructions.
116
512
4.41
(4) I learn better by reading than by listening to someone.
116
468
4.03
(5) I learn more by reading textbooks than by listening to lectures.
116
441
3.80
Due to the mean score of each statement
corresponded to the Description Analysis Criteria
table, it shows that among the five statements in
visual learning style, the visual learner students were
strongly high on statement 2, When I read
instructions, I remember them betterand statement 3,
I understand better when I read instructions, while
the statement 1, 4 and 5 were preferred at high level.
Jamulia
Identifying students learning style preferences at IAIN Ternate
126
2. The description of kinesthetic learning style
statement
The kinesthetic learning style was the minor preferred
learning style of students at IAIN Ternate. The table 5
below presents the mean scores of kinesthetic
learning style statements preferred by the first year
students of IAIN Ternate.
Table 5: The description of kinesthetic learning style statements
Statements on Kinesthetic Learning Style
N
X
Mean
(1) I prefer to learn by doing something in class.
116
385
3.32
(2) When I do things in class, I learn better.
116
431
3.72
(3) I enjoy learning in class by doing experiments.
116
481
4.15
(4) I understand things better in class when I participate in role.
116
428
3.69
(5) I learn best in class when I can participate in related activities.
116
490
4.22
The data of mean scores in table 10 above, it
shows that the characteristics of kinesthetic learners
were strongly high on statement 5, I learn best in
class when I can participate in related activities”.
3. The description of individual learning style
statement
The table 6 below presents the mean scores of
individual learning style statements preferred by the
first year students of IAIN Ternate.
Table 6: The description of individual learning style statements
Statements on Individual Learning Style
N
X
Mean
(1) When I study alone, I remember things better.
116
493
4.25
(2) When I work alone, I learn better.
116
477
4.11
(3) In class, I work better when I work alone.
116
452
3.90
(4) I prefer working on projects by myself.
116
381
3.28
(5) I prefer to work by myself.
116
440
3.79
The data of mean scores in table 6 above, it
shows that the characteristics of individual learners
were strongly high on statement 1, When I study
alone, I remember things better”.
4. Description analysis of tactile learning styles
statements
The table 7 below presents the mean scores of tactile
learning style statements preferred by the first year
students of IAIN Ternate.
Table 7: The description of tactile learning style statements
Statements on Tactile Learning Style
N
X
Mean
(1) I learn more when I can make a model of something.
116
472
4.07
(2) I learn more when I make something for a class project.
116
441
3.80
(3) I learn better when I make drawings as I study.
116
378
3.26
(4) When I build something, I remember what I have learned
better.
116
499
4.30
(5) I enjoy making something for a class project.
116
402
3.47
The data of mean scores in table 7 above, it
shows that the characteristics of tactile learners were
strongly high on statement 4, When I build
something, I remember what I have learned better.
5. Description analysis of auditory learning styles
statements
The table 8 below presents the mean scores of
auditory learning style statements preferred by the first
year students of IAIN Ternate.
Table 8: The description of auditory learning style statements
Statements on Auditory Learning Style
N
X
Mean
(1) When the teacher tells me the instructions, I understand better.
116
527
4.54
(2) When someone tells me how to do something in class, I learn
better.
116
438
3.78
(3) I remember things I have heard in class better than things I
have read.
116
407
3.51
(4) I learn better in class when the teacher gives a lecture.
116
430
3.71
(5) I learn better in class when I listen to someone.
116
330
2.84
International Journal of Education
Vol. 10 No. 2, February 2018, pp. 121-129
©2018 Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia
doi: http://dx.doi.org/
127
The data of mean scores in table 8 above, it
shows that the characteristics of auditory learners
were strongly high on statement 1, When the teacher
tells me the instructions, I understand better”.
6. Description analysis of group learning styles
statements
The table 9 below presents the mean scores of group
learning style statements preferred by the first year
students of IAIN Ternate.
Table 9: The description of group learning style statements
Statements on Group Learning Style
N
X
Mean
(1) I get more work done when I work with others.
116
379
2.27
(2) I learn more when I study with a group.
116
392
3.38
(3) In class, I learn best when I work with others.
116
389
3.35
(4) I enjoy working on an assignment with two or three classmates.
116
441
3.80
(5) I prefer to study with others.
116
424
3.66
The data of mean scores in table 9 above show
that the students of IAIN Ternate do not learn strongly
high on this style. If the students have to be groupped,
it must be limited into small group (two or three
classmates) as shown on statement 4, I enjoy
working on an assignment with two or three
classmates”. This statement was reported high
according to the table of The Description Analysis
Criteria (Table 3).
The result of data analysis of reported
questionnaire of PLSP on the previous section shows
that the data which meet the major range requirement
(range 38-50) are visual learning style (mean =
40.2). Meanwhile, the minor perceptual learning
styles preferences are kinesthetic (mean=37.0),
individual (mean=36.7), tactile (mean=36.3),
auditory (mean=35.8), and group learning style
(mean=33.9).
The finding on perceptual learning styles
preferences on this research do not corresponds to
the previous similar research on learning styles field
done worldwide which applied Reid’s (1987) PLSPQ.
Mulalic, et al. (2009) stated that students at University
Tenaga Nasional preferred kinesthetic learning style.
Peacock (2001) found that learners favored
kinesthetic and auditory learning style. Jones (1998)
proved that kinesthetic, tactile and group are major
preferred learning styles. It was also reported that
students have more than one preferred learning style
preferences (Jones, 1998; Peacock, 2001;), even with
the latest research done in Ternate, that students are
major on more than one learning style preferences,
namely: visual (39.70), kinesthetic (39.07), and tactile
(37.88), while the minor learning style preferences are
auditory (36.24), individual (35.91), and group (34.09)
(Jamulia, 2010; 2011; 2012). However, in general
sense, the findings of this research support Reid’s
statemant (1987 cited from Oxford, 2003:4) that
students from Asian cultures, for instance, were often
highly visual, with Koreans being the most visual.
1. The characteristics of major (visual) learning
style
Although the students of IAIN Ternate were major in
visual learning style, they are not strongly high on all
statements or indicators of visual learning style
preferences. The followings are the characteristics of
visual learning style preferences of the students at
IAIN Ternate, based on the order of the mean score of
each statement in visual learning style:
a. The students remember better when they
read instructions.
b. The students understand better when they
read instructions.
c. The students learn better by reading what the
teacher writes on the writing-board.
d. The students learn better by reading than by
listening to someone.
e. The students learn more by reading
textbooks than by listening to lectures.
Oxford (2003) stated that visual students like to
read and obtain a great deal from visual stimulation.
For them, lectures, conversations, and oral directions
without any visual backup can be very confusing.
Therefore to meet the visual learners of the first year
students of IAIN Ternate, the teacher should: (1)
adjusted the learning materials into manual
instruction” which describe the lesson into step by
step, since they are better in understanding and
remembering by reading the instruction; (2) write
down the summary or key concepts on the writing-
board or display the summary and key concept with
power point presentation; (3) prepare the students
with the copy of learning materials, since they will
learn more through reading activities than listen to the
lecture.
2. The characteristics of minor learning styles
The findings of this research show that the students
are major only on visual learning style preferences
and they are minor on other learning styles:
kinesthetic, individual, tactile, auditory, and group
learning style. However, this does not prevent them to
learn in these learning styles. The following are the
reported characteristics of the conditions where the
students can learn strongly high through their minor
learning styles.
a. The students learn best in class when they
can participate in related activities.
b. The students remember things better when
they study alone.
Jamulia
Identifying students learning style preferences at IAIN Ternate
128
c. The students remember what they have
learned better when they build something.
d. The students understand better when the
teacher tells them the instruction.
e. The students assignment with two or three
classmates.
CONCLUSIONS
The major perceptual learning styles preference of the
first year students of IAIN Ternate is visual learning
style (mean=40.2), while the minor learning style
preferences are kinesthetic (mean=37.0), individual
(mean=36.7), tactile (mean=36.3), auditory
(mean=35.8), and group learning style (mean=33.9).
Generally, students with visual major learning
style preferences learn well from seeing the words in
books, on the chalkboard, and in work-books. They
remember and understand information and
instructions better if they read them. They do not need
as much oral explanation as an auditory learner, and
they can often learn alone, with a book. The students
should take notes of lectures and oral directions if they
want to remember the information.
Although the first year students of IAIN Ternate
in majority have visual learning style preferences, they
can still learn better from the following conditions
according to their minor learning style preferences: a)
The students learn best in class when they can
participate in related activities; b) The students
remember things better when they study alone; c) The
students remember what they have learned better
when they build something; d) The students
understand better when the teacher tells them the
instruction; and e) The students assignment with two
or three classmates.
The visual students like to read and obtain a
great deal from visual stimulation. For them, lectures,
conversations, and oral directions without any visual
backup can be very confusing. Therefore to meet the
visual learners of the first year students of IAIN
Ternate, the teacher should: (1) adjusted the learning
materials into “manual instruction” which describe the
lesson into step by step, since they are better in
understanding and remembering by reading the
instruction; (2) write down the summary or key
concepts on the writing-board or display the summary
and key concept with power point presentation; (3)
prepare the students with the copy of learning
materials, since they will learn more through reading
activities than listen to the lecture.
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