Learning styles of computer programming students: A Middle Eastern and American comparison

Imran A. Zualkernan, James Allert, Ghassan Z. Qadah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Although there are many studies addressing the relationship of learning style to outcomes in engineering courses, few have attempted direct cross-cultural comparisons. This study investigates similarities and differences in the learning styles of computer science and engineering students at a Middle Eastern institution and an American university in the Midwestern United States. Comparative data on student learning style profiles and course outcomes suggest that, despite vast cultural differences, strong similarities exist between learning styles of these students. Seemingly, a consistent pattern in how these students learn across cultures also exists. These findings have significant implications for the creation of globally effective teaching materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-450
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received May 13, 2005; revised June 15, 2006. This work was supported in part by a grant to J. Allert from the Visual and Digital Imaging Lab (VDIL) of the University of Minnesota Duluth. This work was supported in part by a grant to the University of Minnesota (J. Allert) by the Archibald Bush Foundation for the support of enhancements in teaching and learning. I. A. Zualkernan and G. Z. Qadah are with the Computer Engineering, American University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE (e-mail: izualkerman@ausharjah. edu). J. Allert is with the Department of Computer Science, University of Minnesota—Duluth (UMD), Duluth, MN 55812-3036 USA. Color versions of Figs. 1–4 are available online at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org. Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/TE.2006.882366

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Computer engineering
  • Computer science
  • Learning styles
  • Programming
  • Training and education

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