Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is increasingly used as a mode of instruction to more fully engage students, while at the same time promote self-learning and retention. For many students, PBL is a welcome change from traditional professorial lecture approach. In practice, however, some students do not thrive in this less structured environment. We utilize theories of learning styles to shed light on this apparent tension. This paper develops an approach to arrive at a predictive model of how learning styles determine student acceptance of problem-based learning. First, a chronological view of PBL and the learning style literature is provided. This is followed by a discussion of the research constructs, methodology, and survey instruments to be used to predict the efficacy of PBL techniques, based on learning styles. We use Felder and Solomon’s (1996) freely available and widely validated instrument to assess student learning styles, and develop this predictive model through data analysis using Principle Least Squares (PLS). This model will be used to form specific hypotheses which can be tested further. A discussion of how the results from this study may aid professors, and thus benefit students, is then presented.
Olsen, "Timothy and Welke, Richard, "Learning Styles as Predictors of Problem-Based Learning Success in the Information Systems Classroom" (2008). 2008 Proceedings. 14.