Department of Educational Administration


Date of this Version

Spring 5-2010

Document Type



A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts Major: Educational Administration Under the Supervision of Professor Richard E. Hoover Lincoln, Nebraska May, 2010


The purpose of this study was to compare the learning styles, as defined by David A. Kolb, of traditional freshmen students and non-traditional freshmen students to determine if there is a significant difference between them. The researcher also collected data to determine if there is a correlation between learning styles for gender and traditional/non-traditional student status.

Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory (LSI) was used as the survey instrument and was administered to all students in the sample. The stratified random sample population consisted of 550 students selected from the freshmen class and provided to the researcher by the Office of Institutional Research at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. One half (275) of the students (traditional) in the population were first-time entering freshmen with a high school graduation year of 2009, under the age of 25, and enrolled full-time (12 or more credit hours). The remaining 275 students (non-traditional) in the sample population were classified as other freshmen and had one of the following characteristics: enrolled part-time (less than 12 credit hours), age 25 or over, or had delayed enrollment by at least one year following high school graduation. The LSI was used to determine the learning styles of the participants.