Profile of Learning Styles - Development of a comprehensive computer-based measure of learning styles for use in further and higher education

David Grimsell

Chartered Occupational Psychologist

The workshop will describe the development of a new measure of learning styles, the Profile of Learning Styles, to be published by NFER-Nelson in May/June 2000. The component scales, technical properties and factor-analytic data will be described and delegates will have the opportunity to complete the questionnaire on screen and receive a computer-generated report.

The Profile of Learning Styles (PLS) comprises fifteen dimensions of learning style in five broad areas. The areas and component scales are,

Information Preferences




Behaviour Preferences



Time to Learn

Social Preferences




Emotional Preferences

Need for Achievement

Inner Direction

Need for Structure

Thinking Preferences




The Profile is designed to provide short, sound measures of a range of learning style dimensions which have a strong conceptual history and which are relevant to the learning needs of students in further and higher education. The instrument brings together scales relating to several broad domains, usually assessed separately, and focuses them on learning in education. The 120-item questionnaire is presented on computer and provides an individualised computer-generated report for use by the student alone or with tutor support. The Profile has been piloted on 400 students in further and higher education during its development.

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