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Learning Styles and the Online Classroom: Implications for Business Students


Journal of College Teaching & Learning Volume 5, Number 10, ISSN 1544-0389


This paper discusses the importance of student learning styles within a Distance Learning (DL) classroom. The study examines the learning style preferences of online business students as measured by the Kolb Learning Style Inventory and determines if a significant difference in course grades and course completion rates exist between students when they are sorted by learning style preference. Subjects in the study were 344 online business students from a southeastern university in the United States. Examination of the quantitative data indicated "a significant difference" existed for Diverger Style Preference learners compared to the Assimilator, Accommodator and Converger learning styles. They had a lower Mean Grade Point (GP) earned. The study revealed approximately one out of five (20%) of the respondents had a Diverger Learning Style Preference. Respondents with this learning style preference appear to be somewhat less likely to be successful in a distance learning environment. A Chi Square calculation showed "no significant difference" existed among learning styles for those dropping a course although one group (Accomodators) had approximately twice the drop rate of the others. This paper and corresponding study offers university administrators who seek to maintain quality instruction evidence and suggestions for addressing 20 percent of their online population who may be at risk of not obtaining content mastery. This includes implications for DL course design and pedagogy. (Contains 2 figures and 5 tables.)


Nastanski, M. & Slick, T. (2008). Learning Styles and the Online Classroom: Implications for Business Students. Journal of College Teaching & Learning, 5(10), 29-50. Retrieved September 15, 2019 from .

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