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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the preferred learning style and personality types of freshman-level pre-athletic training students. The secondary purpose was to identify any possible differences in learning styles and personality types of students admitted into the athletic training program versus those that were denied admission or changed their major. Methods: Data collection took place during a college introductory course over a period of seven years. Four hundred seventy-two freshmen (188 men, 284 women; average age 18.66 ± 0.87 years) considering athletic training as their major at a CAATE-accredited athletic training program participated in this study. A 48-item Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory questionnaire and 126-question Myers-Briggs Type Indicator form G were used to determine students’ preferred learning style and personality types. Results: The most common personality types among pre-athletic training students were Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perception (ESTP) (14.2%) and Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judging (ISTJ) (13.3%), and 35.8% of pre-athletic training students preferred accommodator learning style. However, converger learning style was the most common (30%) among students admitted into the athletic training program. The most common personality type for students admitted into the athletic training program was Extraversion, Sensing, Thinking, Judging (ESTJ). This was true for both groups of admitted and not admitted students. Personality types of students specific to their preferred learning styles were also examined. Accommodators placed in Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging (ESTJ) category (21%), divergers in Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Judging (ESFJ) category (14.9%), convergers in Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perception (ESTP) (22%), and assimilators in Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging (ESTJ) (14.7%) category. Conclusions: Based on the findings of this study, freshman pre-athletic training students demonstrated great diversity in their learning styles and personality types. These students prefer hands-on learning, rely on each other to solve a problem, enjoy solving problems, and excel in finding practical use while learning. They benefit from multimodal teaching methods. Educators should consider integrating concrete and abstract material into the curriculum. Athletic training students need to have the ability to participate in all different learning style preferences because athletic training is a science–based profession where abstract conceptualization is important along with effective interpersonal relationships with their patients and ability to act effectively in critical situations.

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Markéta Schüblová is an assistant professor in the Athletic Training program at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania since 2007. She serves as the Clinical Education Coordinator. Dr. Schüblová completed her doctoral degree in Higher Education Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Athletic Training at Ohio University. Dr. Schüblová’s clinical research focuses on thermoregulation and her didactical research include critical thinking, clinical reasoning, learning styles and personality types of athletic training students.

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