-133350-2000254781550-200025Adjustments in Learning Styles of BSMT Students With the Zero-Based Grading System A Thesis Presented to the Lyceum International Maritime Academy College of Education

-133350-2000254781550-200025Adjustments in Learning Styles of BSMT Students
With the Zero-Based Grading System
A Thesis Presented to the
Lyceum International Maritime Academy
College of Education, Arts and Sciences
Lyceum of the Philippines University BatangasIn Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the
Completion of the Third Academic Curriculum of
Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation

Comia, Harold P.

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Cruzar I, Eriberto D.Alarcon, Crizander R.

De Chavez, ArjonRhey B.

Cabuya, Joshua P.

and Eleonor C. Magadia [email protected]
December 2017
INTRODUCTION
Learning styles is a factor in a students’ life in school since this is how they grasp information and understand the lessons they need to know in order to apply the skills and attitude they learned as being a LIMA students once they graduated. This is a means of acquiring competencies needed to master the course or the program they are pursuing. It is a learning approach on how best to practice the theories and concepts learned in Marine Transportation in the real scenario and how best it can be applied particularly in managing a ship in the future.
Certain adjustments to learning styles are needed to cope with the school requirements and applying the principles of Marine Transportation in the best way to preserve the functionality of a ship once they are on-board. It is a must and an imperative to apply their knowledge and skills in navigating a ship. The learning styles that they have employed will guide them in sustaining the foundations that they needed to maintain their status in controlling a ship.
On the other hand, zero-based grading system is a system of grading which focused on the raw score divided by the total number of test points multiply by one hundred percent. In reference to CHED Memo No 20 s. 2015, the passing standard shall be the grade of fifty percent. However, the institution may raise the passing standard. This zero-based grading system was implemented in the LIMA during Second Semester 2015-2016. This was implemented to enhance the academic performance of the students and to ensure the students acquire the required level of competence to make the students globally competitive in a maritime profession.
Due with the newly implemented LIMA Zero-Based Grading System, the researchers see the need to investigate on the learning style adjustments of BSMT students to find out how the students cope with the new grading system to meet the standards set for their academic performance.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
This study aims to assess the adjustment in learning styles of BSMT students with the zero-based grading system. Specifically, the researchers seek to identify the learning styles of BSMT students, to determine the adjustments in learning styles of BSMT students with the zero-based grading system and to evaluate significant relationship between learning styles and adjustments.

REVIEW OF LITERATURE
Knowledge, skills and attitude are the learned competencies acquired by the students in school. Learning is the manifestation of the child towards his/her environment, social, emotional, and physical stimuli and how they understand new information (Collins Concise Dictionary ; Thesaurus of English Language, 2012). The key elements of a good learning environment are good teachers, good study environment, course of study, parents’ cooperation, high quality books, and most importantly, good study habits (Robinson, 2011).

Most students lack adequate study skills and ability which make them fail with the subjects (Menzel, 2011). Study habit is the tendency of a student to learn in a systematic and efficient way, when opportunity is given. It is also defined as the devotion of time and attention to acquire information or knowledge especially from books or in other words it’s the pursuit of academic knowledge by a detailed investigation of a subject or situation (Oxford Dictionary ; Thesaurus of English Language, 2013). Performing students are not born but are made by constant and deliberate practice of good study habits (Ames ; Archer, 2012). In improving the academic performance of students, it is imperative to improve their study habits wherein the desired outcomes cannot be achieved. Good study habits developed in children predicts good academic performance where parents and teachers are involved (Kizlik, 2011).
Academic performance underlies several skills and abilities such as memory, prior knowledge as well as psychological factors such as desire, passion, and drive (Deary, Whiteman, Starr, Whalley, ; Fox, 2014). There are many determinants of academic performance as categorized by educational psychologists and researchers (Chamorro-Permuzic ; Furnham, 2013). Good study habits predict students with higher marks as compared to students who had ineffective study habits (Danskin and Burnett, 2012). Accordingly, Crow and Crow (2013) poor achievers have less effective study habits than those with high achievers. According to Sorenson (2014) exemplified that pupils with more scholarships foster good study habits than those with less scholarships. For academic achievement, being smart is more important than being intelligent and hardworking and involves being practical, having common sense and using better organization and application of good study habits (Clark, 2011). Cohort of researches demonstrated the importance of parental involvement for a boosted children’s academic performance (Heller & Fantuzzo, 2013).

Moreover, hereditary factor can one of the predictors and determinants of academic performance. Poor genes inherited by a child could cause him/her not to attain a high level of academic performance. In contrast, a child who inherited high gene may perform well in the environment even if it is not stimulating (Community Development, Sound Education, Good Health and Social Life Initiative, 2013).

In reference to preferred learning styles, it is constructive to think of learning as an array of styles to achieve. Those having only one learning style is inappropriate where the knowledge about learning styles may be incomplete. According to Howard Garner there were five categories of learning styles, Visual Learning which includes visualizing the content, drawing, writing process, pictures & real objects, concept mapping, plans & diagrams, film, video & computer images, etc; Auditory Learning which includes hearing writing read aloud, collaborative writing, role playing, interviewing & telephoning, hearing the voice, talking about words, etc.; Kinesthetic Learning which includes practical investigations, feeling the meaning of words, moving around to collaborate with others, moving ideas physically, etc.; Interpersonal Learning which includes collaborative working, collaboration to develop reasoning, etc.; and Intrapersonal Learning which includes knowing learning objectives, feedback, reflection of opportunities, etc.

A number of studies showed that learning style differences exist where students’ attitudes affect learning performance of students in school (Kolb ; Kolb, 2011; Tseng, Chu, Hwang, ; Tsai, 2010). Other factors influencing student performance have certainly been identified and explored, including psychological threat, racial context, motivation, self-regulation of learning, socio-economic status, language proficiency, and student-teacher relationships (Herman, 2011; Walton ; Spencer, 2010). Despite continued debate about the direct effects of learning styles on academic achievement, it appears there is strong evidence that learning styles influence students’ attention to and perceptions of learning experiences (Kratzig & Arbuthnott, 2015).
Some critics of the learning style theory posited that orientation does not necessarily imply proficiency (Cuthbert, 2015) and claimed that learning approaches are flexible rather than fixed (Cuthbert, 2015; Felder & Brent, 2015). As contrasted many experts affirm the value of educating students about their individual learning preferences, noting the benefits of metacognition and empowerment resulting from such experiences (Felder & Brent, 2015). Developing a greater understanding of the learning process and the ways by which they learn best improves students’ perceptions of their ability to learn, encourages ownership of the learning process and outcomes, and provides increased motivation for doing learning and overcoming potential obstacles (Kolb ; Kolb, 2011). Further, by learning to recognize effective methods for completing learning tasks and mastering new material, students may become more successful at learning how to learn and are more likely to become lifelong learners and maximize their true potential (Kolb ; Kolb, 2011).
In addition to increased perception of their ability as effective learners, students receiving learning-style based training also tend to demonstrate improved attitudes and behavior in school (Noble, 2014). Cultivating an understanding of students’ individual learning style preferences and incorporating instructional practices that take these into consideration communicates a sense of caring, creates a comfortable learning environment, and promotes student self-esteem (Honigsfeld & Schiering, 2014).
With regards to grading systems, in an effort to bring greater clarity and specificity to the grading process, many schools and school districts have initiated standards-based grading process procedures and reporting forms (Guskey & Bailey, 2011). According to Walvoord and Anderson (2011), by grading, we mean not only bestowing an “A” or a “C” on a piece of student work. We also mean the process by which a teacher assesses student learning through classroom tests and assignments, the context in which good teachers establish that process and the dialogue that surrounds grades and defines their meaning to various audiences. Grading encompasses tailoring the tests or assignment to the learning goals of the course, establishing criteria and standards, helping students acquire the skills and knowledge they need, assessing student learning over time, shaping student motivation, planning course content and teaching methods, using in-class and out-of-class time, offering feedback so students can develop as thinkers and writers, communicating about students’ learning to appropriate audiences, and using results to plan improvements in the classroom, department, and institution. In short, grading is a complex dependent process that serves multiple roles. Grading has been a difficult job for teachers. An exercise of professional judgment and evaluation of students’ performances should be practiced. Moreover, issues governing the grading system have been a problem since then.
In Adamson University for example, the implementation of new grading system had created a vast range of protest. Students and teachers of Adamson University were up in arms over a new grading system (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2010). According to a news article posted in The Manila Standard Today (2010), professors and instructors of Adamson University has asked a Manila Regional Trial Court to stop the administration from using the new grading system, saying it will cause chaos among faculty members and students. A movement that calls for “No to zero based grading system in Adamson University” petition was posted in www.petitiononline.comwhich listed the reasons why zero based grading system should be ignored.

Psychologists recognized that students’ perceptions are important for a very long time. Today, cognitive psychologists are interested in motivation (students’ wishes and intentions) and volition (students’ action) as basis for effort in school. What students want and decisions they make are clearly students’ perception. To describe the perception of students about the grading system, Guskey and Bailey (2001) said that student’s perception on grading and reporting tends to be quite different from those of teachers. Student’s perceptions of grades begin to change although the reasons for this change are uncertain it seems likely due to teachers’ shifting emphasis from the formative aspects of grades to their summative functions. As a result, students no longer see grades as source of feedback to guide improvements in their learning. Instead, they regard grades as the major commodity teacher and schools have to offer in exchange for their performances. This change brings a slow but steady shift in students’ focus away from their learning and toward what they must do to obtain the grade commodity.
According to Shermis and Di Vesta (2011) from the students perspective interpretations of whatever assessments are made of performance provide a source of feedback that guides learning. It affects both what and why students learn and how they learn. Although students will normally draw conclusions about their performance, the teachers’ interpretations of performance measures are likely to be more accurate because teachers are more informed about such matters. As much as the grade itself, the interpretation you make to the student mat shape his or her reaction to the test, but the final determinant of it effect would be the student’s perception, however naïve that might seem to be. Constructive interpretation improves future learning; interpretations of grades and scores that are more formative and less summative will have positive effects on cognitive processes important to educational performance. Teachers’ perceptions would be different from those of the students.

According to Guskey and Bailey (2011) in the final analysis, nearly all teachers admit they really don’t like grading and reporting. They describe the process as troublesome, time-consuming, and counter to what they consider to be their major responsibilities as teachers, which involve engaging students in a variety of high-quality learning experiences. What they want as a more effective reporting system that would enhance these instructional responsibilities rather than detract from them. Moreover, Shermis and Di Vesta (2011) said that from the teachers’ perspective, constructive interpretations can be used to chart the overall effective of teaching methods, ranging from student placement and special programs to style of teaching and the establishment of classroom climate. These interpretations are essential aids in sequencing curricular content, selecting remedial interventions, and evaluating the effectiveness of special procedures such as the used of group discussions, seatwork, or specific enrichment exercises.

METHODS
Research Design
The study will make use of the descriptive type of research to determine the learning styles of BSMT students of LIMA, and to determine their adjustments to zero-based grading system. According to Polit and Hungler (1999) this type of studies describes what exists and may help to discover new facts and meanings. The purpose of this research is to observe, describe and to prove the aspects of situation as it evidently takes place.

Participants
The respondents of the study comprised of 251 BSMT students of LIMA this first semester school year 2017-2018 using five percent margin of error and ninety five percent of confidence interval. The researchers will use stratified random sampling to know the sample per section.

Instruments
The study will make use of the questionnaire that is divided into two parts. For part one a standardized questionnaire reproduced by O’Brien (1985) which is “The Learning Style Questionnaire” to be able to determine the learning styles of BSMT students of LIMA and for part two, a self-made questionnaire that addresses the adjustments of the BSMT students to Zero-Based Grading system.

Procedures
The researchers will first seek the approval and guidance of the research adviser. The adviser then checks and approves the title which is “Adjustments in Learning Styles of the BSMT Students with the Zero-Based Grading System”. Then the researchers will find the standard questionnaire and construct a self-made questionnaire based on the topic and it will validate by the research adviser. After the questionnaire had been checked and verified, we will distribute it to the participants of the study. Thereafter, we will collect the questionnaires then summarize and tally the counts using Microsoft Excel. After the data collection, we will use all the information we gathered to summarize the results.
Data Analysis
The needed data will be tallied, encoded and interpreted using different statistical tools. The tools include weighted mean and Pearson Product Moment correlation which will be used based on the objective of the study. All data will be treated using a statistical software PASW version 18 to further analyze the results of the study.

Ethical Considerations
The data that will be provided by the BSMT students through the questionnaire will be treated with utmost confidentiality and for academic purposes only. The Zero-Based Grading System implemented in the LIMA will not be disclosed fully to protect the school for any recopy or reproduction of the grading system being used in the other outside sources.

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