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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Re-Post From The AECT BlogTrack - Learning Styles, Student Performance and Web-based Design

This is the second entryfrom the month of June, the second in the series where I described the research work that I have done to date in virtual schooling, and the tenth overall in the re-posts from this series.

This is the second study that I conducted with the Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation. It began during the first year of operation while I was the Web-Based Initiatives Facilitator for the Vista School District (i.e., I was responsible for the introduction of the CDLI in my school district). In the first year there was only twenty students at only five different schools in a single school district. This particular study was a follow-up that I did with a different CDLI teacher and the students were from across the province.

The purpose of the study was to determine whether the design of the Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation courses were favourable to specific types of learning styles. This particular study considered three learning style theories: traditional learning styles; David Kolb’s theory of experiential learning; and Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. Thirty-one of the forty-two students in a business education course during the 2002-03 school year completed the inventory.

While there were there are a number of issues that are raised for educators and instructional designers of e-learning material the most important of these appeared to be in designing e-learning environments, developers should make sure to include more audio items as students who were auditory learners or who possessed Gardner’s musical-rhythmic intelligence scored lower than other student. There were also issues that are raised for educators who teach in an e-learning environment. The most important of these appeared to be that e-teachers should attempt to provide additional opportunities for students to interact in a verbal (e.g., audio or text-based) way, as again students who possessed Gardner’s verbal-linguistic intelligence and those who scored high in Kolb’s divergent and accommodative learning styles. (For more information, see Barbour & Cooze, 2004; Cooze & Barbour, 2005.)

Selected Bibliography

Barbour, M., & Cooze, M. (2004). All for one and one for all: Designing web-based courses for students based upon individual learning styles. Staff and Educational Development International, 8(2/3), 95-108.

Cooze, M., & Barbour, M. (2005). Learning styles: A focus upon e- learning practices and pedagogy and their implications for success in secondary high school students in Newfoundland and Labrador. Malaysian Online Journal of Instructional Technology, 2(1). Retrieved on July 31, 2005 from http://pppjj.usm.my/mojit/articles/pdf/02-Michael%20Barbour.pdf

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