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Wednesday, June 22 • 16:45 - 18:00
POSTER.32 - Undergraduate Grades as Mediated by Study Strategies as Opposed to Learning Styles

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Many students believe they fall under a certain 'learning style' (Kinesthetic, Visual, Auditory etc.) with which they learn best, however there is very little evidence to support that learning styles exist (Rohrer & Pashler 2011). We are proposing that ideas concerning 'learning styles' be abandoned for a more in-depth view of effective studying strategies. We have examined study habits recorded across 2 midterms and a final examination with a particular interest in which study strategies were most and least effective, the effect of studying with previous midterms, and if these study strategies changed over time. We have defined study strategies as the combination of study material with study method (i.e. Lecture Notes; Read Over). Research was conducted in a first year conceptually- based biology course. A multiple correspondence analysis was conducted on the data to organise grades and the study strategies used to achieve them. There was a very clear organisation of grades and study strategies for the final exam. The results for the first and second midterm were less clear. The study materials tended to group together by the method that they were used to study. Reading and recopying materials tended to clump together and were associated with low-average grades. Use of the discussion board, teaching friends, discussing with friends and summarising were associated with high grades. We have found that using previous year's examinations to study from did not have a benefit to grades, and in some cases was detrimental. Study habits were also examined for change across each examination within students and as of this writing is still undergoing analysis. By helping to give students the tools to make their education more effective, it not only increases information retention and grades, it also delivers a means to be more active in their own education.


Rohrer, D. & Pashler, H. (2011) Learning styles: where's the evidence? Medical Education, 46: 630-635

Additional Authors (not presenting):
Steve Newmaster, T. Ryan Gregory, Shoshanah Jacobs


Shoshanah Jacobs

Dr. Shoshanah Jacobs is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph. Her research focuses on knowledge translation and transfer.

Dean Orr

I am an undergraduate research student who is very interested in education, learning, and memory. My first job as a camp counsellor and outdoor centre instructor sparked an interest for education that I have since combined with my love for science. I am studying in the College of... Read More →

Additional Authors

Wednesday June 22, 2016 16:45 - 18:00 EDT
Atrium, Physics & Astronomy Building Western University