Cognitive Effect Indicators: The Impact of Student and Teacher Styles on Course Grades

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Virginia Tech

This study was descriptive, correlative and explanatory. It summarized the problem solving and learning styles of students enrolled in the spring 2008 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Agricultural Technology program, identified relationships between problem solving and learning styles, and used problem solving and learning styles to explain students' end of course grades. Ninety-three students and six faculty members elected to participate in the study.

There were differences between degree options in terms of orientation to change. Second year students were likely to be internal processors. There were not significant differences among the population in ways of deciding. However, Agricultural Technology teachers were more task oriented problem solvers, while their students were people oriented. Teachers were more field independent than the students. There were no relationships between problem solving and learning style. There was a high degree of association between student ways of deciding and manner of processing.

Student and teacher problem solving and learning styles were used to explain 11% of the variance in students' end of course grades for the six teachers in the study. Student orientation to change, student manner of processing, teacher manner of processing and teacher ways of deciding scores produced a model that significantly explained end of course grades. Suggestions for further research included identifying other career areas with stylistic trends and further identifying the impact cognitive effect has on student behavior.

Course grades, Associate's degree, Problem solving style, Learning style, Cognitive effect