The Canfield Instructional Styles Inventory and the
Canfield Learning Styles Inventory were used to identify
the teaching styles of business instructors and the
learning styles of their students. The study purposes
included determining if a match existed between students'
learning styles and instructors' teaching styles and
determining if relationships existed between style match
and student success as indicated by course grades and
final exam scores and between style match and student
evaluations of instructors.
The participants were 5 business instructors and
99 students from two community colleges in Southwest
Virginia. The ages of the student participants ranged
from 18 to 62 with the average age being 35. The
instructors favored the Organization, People, Direct
Experience, and A-Influence scales of the Canfield
Instructional Styles Inventory, implying that they present
material to their students in a clear, logical, and
organized manner. Opportunities are created for students
to interact in activities that relate to real-world
experiences. Their least preferred instructor scales were
Competition, Numeric, Reading, and D-Influence. On the
Canfield Learning Styles Inventory, the student
participants favored the Organization, People, Direct
Experience and B-Expectation scales, implying that they
like clearly organized and meaningful course work that
requires hands-on or performance situations.
Additionally, they like interaction with the instructor
and classmates involving activities closely related to
real-world experiences. Their least preferred scales
were Independence, Numeric, Reading, and D-Expectation.
In this study, 36% of the students' preferred learning
styles matched the instructors' preferred teaching styles. The outcomes of the analysis of variance revealed that there was no significant relationship between learning style/teaching style match and student success as indicated by course grades and final exam scores. Furthermore, there was no significant relationship between learning style/teaching style match and higher evaluations of instructors. However, there was a significant relationship between course grades, final exam scores, instructor evaluations, and GPA as would be expected. Students who were categorized as high achievers according to GPA scored higher on course grades and final exam scores and evaluated instructors higher than those categorized as low achievers.