Learning style characteristics of the online student: A study of learning styles, learner engagement and gender
Diana Kay Garland, University of Missouri - Columbia, United States
University of Missouri - Columbia . Awarded
The purpose of the study was to explore learning styles of online students. The researcher investigated differences between the learning styles, as determined by the Kolb Learning Style Inventory, of students in courses taught face-to-face and students in matched courses that were taught asynchronously online. The data from this investigation was also examined to determine if a relationship exists between the online student's learning style and the student's engagement in the online course. For purposes of this study, this level of engagement was defined as the number of accesses a student had per area as displayed on the Blackboard course statistics page. Finally, the data from this investigation were used to determine if gender was a factor in the relationship between learning style of online students and the student's engagement in the online course.
A quantitative research design was employed to address the research questions. Data were collected using the Kolb LSI IIa and the Kolb LSI 3, demographic data was gathered from university records, and learner engagement statistics were gathered from the course management system Blackboard.
One-way MANOVA was used to analyze the 168 Kolb inventories that were completed by this sample. It was concluded from the analysis that there was a significant difference in the learning style of the online student and the student enrolled in the face-to-face course. Sixty-one online students completed the Kolb LSI 3. There were no significant correlations identified between the Kolb learning modes of the online student and the student's level of engagement as measured by the statistics for the number of accesses to the four areas of Blackboard. However, when the data set was divided by gender significant differences were identified for male students between the Kolb learning modes and the student's level of engagement, but no significant differences were identified for the female students.
Garland, D.K. Learning style characteristics of the online student: A study of learning styles, learner engagement and gender. Ph.D. thesis, University of Missouri - Columbia.
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