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Diversity of introductory students' learning styles, revisited

During the 1980s, Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model (ELM) was featured ina number of studies in the accounting education literature. One of these studies examined the diversity of introductory accounting students' learning styles and the impact of such diversity on learning, one of which is to use a broader range of learning strategies. The instrument used to measure learning style in that study was the Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory. Unfortunately the construct validity of the Kolb instrument was later questioned, which challenged the results of that study. A recent article published in the Harvard Business Review discusses two whole-brain models that appear to not have these validity problems and could therefore be used to revisit the diversity of learning styles question. This paper reviews the earlier research, examines these new models, and provides data to answer the question of whether the students in a typical introductory accounting class have a diversity of learning styles.

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