Results revealed that 33% (f=7) of the associates used the Assimilating learning style and an equal number of employees use the Converging learning style which accounted another 33%. Not far behind is the Diverging learning style with 24% (f=5) of the respondents and the least learning style used is the Accommodating learning style with only 10% (f=3) of the respondents. Most employees would learn best through lectures, group discussion and practical sessions which are already the predominant teaching strategies at HCPA.
Associates of HCPA are diverse creatures with differing abilities and mode for learning. There is no single right way to present material but by providing several different approaches the differing learning styles of the associates can be accommodated. Introduction Associates at the Honda Cars Pangasinan, Inc. (HCPA) are diverse: ranging ages, backgrounds, experiences, interests and learning styles. This diversity presents employee training with an increasing challenge to promote learning and steady motivation that will increase employee productivity and ultimately, produce positive business results.
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Developing knowledge of different learning styles among HCPA employees is important in constructing modules and training materials and adopting training methods that are apt to the learning needs of the employees ensuring money and effort spent for the training would be worthwhile. Background Prominent 20th century scholars like John Dewey, Kurt Lewin, Carl Rogers and Jean Piaget shared the same proposition- that learning is not an outcome, but a process (Kolb, et al. , 2005). According to
Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory, learning is a movement between dialectically opposed modes of adaptation: reflection, action, observation and thinking. He then simplified it as a recursive process of K. Tabladillo © 2010 grasping experience- Concrete Experience (CE) and Abstract Conceptualization (AC) and transforming experience- Active Experimentation (AE) and Reflective Observation (RO). He elucidates: Immediate or concrete experiences are the basis for observations and reflections. These reflections are assimilated and distilled into abstract concepts from which new implications for action can be drawn.
These implications can be actively tested and serve as guides in creating new experiences (Kolb et al. , 2005). Learners develop a preferred way of choosing among the four learning modes on the basis of their hereditary facility, associated lived experiences and contextual demands. These differences of preference in employing different phases of the learning cycle form individual learning styles which are further divided into four: (1) diverging, (2) assimilating, (3) converging and (4) accommodating.
A person whose dominant learning abilities are CE and RO has a diverging learning style. They gather ideas like pieces in a puzzle and put them together to form a general conclusion. Page 1 People with this learning style are predominantly interested with people, tend to be emotional and artistic, and have broad cultural interests. These characteristics make them thrive in learning situations such as group discussions and group activities, where they can listen to varying viewpoints and receive feedbacks to their own ideas (Kolb, et al. , 2005).
A person whose dominant learning abilities are AC and RO has an assimilating learning style. People with this learning style organize a wide range of information into a concise and logical form. They generally hold logical soundness more important over practical application. Thus, they gear towards science, and learn best in lectures, readings and use of analytical models (Kolb, et al. , 2005). A person whose dominant learning abilities are AC and AE has a converging learning style. People with this learning style like to apply theories and ideas into practical situations.
They find answers to questions that form the base of their decision making and are more oriented towards dealing with technical tasks rather than with interpersonal concerns. These characteristics are highly significant in specialist and technical careers. These people learn best when given freedom to experiment and apply new ideas such as during simulations and laboratory assignments (Kolb, et al. , 2005). A person whose dominant learning abilities are CE and AE has an accommodating learning style.
People with this learning style have the tendency to rely on intuition rather than logical analysis. They solve problems based on information collected from people and learn from “hands-on” experiences. These characteristics are effective in sales and marketing careers where they can get actively involved in new and challenging experiences. These people learn best when they plan ahead, collaborate with others to get their job done and try varying approaches towards a solution (Kolb, et al. , 2005).
The dynamic state of learning construe that an individual’s learning style is also a dynamic state. The learning style of an individual however, presents a pattern of behavioral K. Tabladillo © 2010 responses derived from factors that influence and shape its crux. Knowing ones preference in learning is an essential educational tool to increase awareness of their learning abilities. By increasing this self-knowledge, learners can gain more control over their meta-cognitive processes, allowing them to select and apply the learning approach that is relevant to different situations.
Since learning is a lifelong process, learning opportunities does not only occur in classrooms, but extends until the workplace and beyond. Simply put, ensuring that training strategies are aligned to the learning styles of the employees is a contributing factor to the effectiveness of educating employees which plays a part in the company’s success. Mercer suggests that globally competitive companies do not only have employees who have a high job satisfaction rate but also employees who are engaged in the company’s vision and have a high level of commitment to it (Mercer, 2010).
Whether in communicating corporate vision, delineating the standard operating procedures or presenting new marketing strategies, training employees and educating them right is no doubt a responsibility every company should take on. Honda, audacious in their innovative prowess in the motoring business, has called their employees as “associates” treating them as partners in their vision to become leaders in customer service and creating quality products. The company has encouraged its ssociates’ career growth through several training and development opportunities (HCPI, 2009). At Honda Cars Pangasinan, training opportunities such as company sponsored trainings and outside trainings are offered. During theses trainings, the foremost teaching strategies used are (1) lectures, (2) group discussions and (3) practical sessions. Trainings are conducted in the entry level of the associate, upon regularization and up to the management level. Page 2 Purpose The aim of this study was to find out the learning styles of the employees at Honda Cars Pangasinan, Inc.
Findings of the study will serve as a basis for the adaptation of training methods that is befitting to the learning needs of the employees. Methods The study was conducted at Honda Cars Pangasinan in San Miguel Calasiao, Pangasinan. Due to time constraints, convenience sampling was used in this study. Participants The participants included 22 current employees from the following departments: Sales, Service, Accounting and Human Resources. The mean age of the employees was 24. 3 years. 86. 36% of the participants were college graduates while 13. 64% were college undergraduates.
Half of the respondents listed Music as one of their interests (f=11) ranking first, followed by Movies and computers/internet garnering 34,82% (f=7) respectively. Reading ranked third with 27. 28% listing it as their interest (f=6). Instruments questionnaire composed of two parts: questions in ‘complete the sentence’ tabular form describing the learning modes of the employees with 6 items while the remaining 4 items inquired of their age, educational attainment, course and hobbies and interests which are factors that shape and influence the learning style.
A separate learning mode score sheet was composed of four tables that correspond to the scores given from the learning preferences table: (1) Concrete Experience, (2) Reflective Observation, (3) Abstract Conceptualization and (4) Active Experimentation. The interpretation of each learning mode was also included so that participants can immediately identify their dominant learning abilities. Data Collection The variables investigated in this study included selected demographic characteristics of the participants and the employees’ learning styles identified through the Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory (KLSI).
The KLSI was developed as a self assessment exercise and a means of testing the construct validity of the Experiential Learning Theory (ELT). It was originally a 9-item questionnaire when it was developed in 1969. Its latest version (Kolb Learning Style Inventory version 3. 1, 2005) which is a product of four revisions includes 12 items with an updated format, item, scoring and interpretation. We adapted the LSI and condensed it into a 10-item Table 1 Learning modes of HCPA associates (n=21) Learning Styles Abstract Conceptualization Concrete Experience Active Experimentation Reflective Observation
The questionnaire was handed out to the employees by the sales trainer. They were informed that the completion of the questionnaire was voluntary and anonymous. The data collection tools were given to the employees to complete from June 26 to July 3, 2010. Twenty-five questionnaires were given out and all the forms were returned. However, 4 of the forms were returned incomplete resulting to 21 usable questionnaires for data analysis. Results The distribution of the employees learning modes are shown in Table 1. The study revealed that 43% (f=9) were employing Abstract Conceptualization ranking first among the four learning styles.
Another 33% (f=7) identified themselves to learn best through Concrete Experience, ranking second. 14% (f=3) of the employees used Active Experimentation ranking third and followed by Reflective Observation with 10% (f=2) being the least learning mode used. Table 2 shows the learning styles of HCPA Frequency 9 7 3 2 Rate 43% 33% 14% 10% Rank 1 2 3 4 K. Tabladillo © 2010 Page 3 associates, derived from the learning mode with the highest two scores in the KLSI. Findings reveal that HCPA associates are Convergers and Assimilators with 33% (f=7) of the respondents, respectively.
Divergers comprise 24% (f=5) of the respondents and followed by the Accomodators with 10% (f=3) of the respondents. Discussion The study identified that the majority of the HCPA associates have an Assimilating and Converging learning styles. This interesting combination of learning styles among the HCPA associates present the company with an opportunity to use varying teaching methods to accommodate their employees learning needs. The current modes of teaching used in training employees are lectures, group discussions and simulations.
Implications for teaching Assimilators As described earlier, assimilators are intuitive and generally have an introverted personality. These individuals align to educational specializations which are related to Mathematics and Physical Science. Although it is beyond the scope of this study to correlate the educational specializations and personality of the associates, it can be held that these people can grow and thrive in the HCPA working environment. In the company, Mathematics is applied in accounting and finance. The automotive products are also forms of applied Physics.
Since people with and assimilating learning style prefer reading, writing, lectures and individual work, trainings should continue to use present teaching strategies that contain lectures and individual works. Lectures may be useful in initially presenting new ideas but should be followed up with group Table 2 Learning styles of HCPA employees (n=21) Learning Styles Converger Diverger Assimilator Accommodator K. Tabladillo © 2010 discussion or group activity, to provide variety and promote interest. Lectures can be effectively delivered when they are used along with diagrams, symbols and image-rich PowerPoint presentations.
Implications for teaching Convergers On the other hand, convergers are extraverted and greatly rely on logical thinking. These individuals specialize in Engineering, Medicine and Technology. They prefer to experiment with new ideas, simulations and laboratory assignments and so benefit the most from practical sessions. Training of those who are in the Service Department which involve technical jobs can be more effective through teaching strategies such as demonstration and return demonstration, computer simulations and practical applications of lectures.
It was found that lectures, group discussions and simulations are methodologies that prove useful, based on the perceived learning styles of the employees. However, taking into consideration that a learner may change preferences in learning and may apply a different approach to learning depending on contextual demands, there is no single best method of teaching. Teaching styles should be varied to accommodate all types of learners. Information should be presented in as many different formats which are practical and applicable to the learning need.
Limitations of the study As with all surveys, the results presented here are only a ‘snapshot’ of the self-assessed learning styles of the HCPA associates. In this study, it was not possible to explore the complexities of the leaning triad: students, teacher and content. The number of respondents does not also Frequency 7 5 7 2 Rate 33% 24% 33% 10% Rank 1 2 1 3 Page 4 create a base for generalization among HCPA associate’s learning styles. The company and the employees can both benefit from the study more if the research was expanded nationwide.
Conclusions HCPA employees are diverse creatures with differing abilities and modes of learning. There is no single right way to present material but by providing a variety of differing learning approaches so that the differing learning styles of students can be accommodated. The results of the survey highlight the benefits of employee training through the use of creative lectures, group discussion and simulations. Acknowledgements I would like to acknowledge Mr. Chester Lim for helping administer the survey and Dr. Paulita Boado for her guidance. References Honda Cars Philippines.
Honda Cars Incorporated, 2009. Web. 6 September 2010. Kolb, Alice and Kolb, David. “Learning Styles and Learning spaces: Enhancing Experiential Learning in Higher Education. ” Academy of Management Learning and Education, 2005 Vol. 4 No. 2, 193212. June 2005. Web. 1 September 2010. Ibid. “The Kolb Learning Style Inventory- Version 3. 1 2005 Technical Specifications. ” Haygroup © Experience Based Learning Systems, Inc. 15 May 2005. Web. 1 September 2010. Mercer, L. “Engaging employees to drive global business success. ” Mercer Consultancy, New York, NY, 2007. Web. 29 August 2010. K. Tabladillo © 2010 Page 5