Learning Styles as a Tool to Improve both Guidance and Tutoring Actions

Case study in UNICAM

The reduction of the dropout represents, at the moment, a big point of attention for all the institutions.
In Italy, the percentage of population with a high level of education is dramatically lower with respect to other UE countries. The Europe 2020 strategy for growth includes strategies to improve the educational levels.

University of Camerino support the students with Guidance and counseling centre with the aims to promote self-awareness and self-expression. In parallel, a critical revision of general plan, teaching programs, student performance and so on, is performed every year.
In the course of “Nutritional Biology”, a big number of dropout students was observed. Moreover, the students with an adequate number of ECTS/year is not enough.
In order to reduce the dropout and increase the performance of the students, a pilot study was developed.
Firstly, the possible approaches useful to analyze the target involved in the study and suitable to develop a personalized learning, were evaluated.
We chose to analyze a sample of 64 students enrolled in the first year of nutritional biology utilizing two questionnaires to find indicators relate to the teaching/learning activities and to define a plan of guidance (helping students to become aware of their individual strengths/weaknesses) and strategies for effective teaching and tutoring. The questionnaires, compiled online and in personal form, lead us to define the socio-cultural contexts and learning styles of the students.
Learning styles were defined by using the CHAEA questionnaire (Cuestionario Honey-Alonso de Estilos de Aprendizaje) and the data obtained indicate that the predominant learning style results to be Reflexive followed by Theoretical, Pragmatic and Active. In addition, the data indicates that learning style is influenced by several factors: it’s related to gender, high school and family context.
The study of learning styles is useful as a starting point for improve strategies in the field of learning/teaching and to stimulate the students' self-evaluation. The obtained results encourage the use of CHAEA questionnaire, considered of great value such as innovative support in the field of University teaching. 

Mauro AngelettiSchool of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine. University of Camerino (Italy)
Valeria PolzonettiSchool of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine. University of Camerino (Italy)
Gabriella Giulia PulciniPh.D. Student, International School of Advanced Studies. University of Camerino (Italy)

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