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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

An analysis of preferred learning styles, as they affect adult learners in the synchronous online environment
by Greenberg, Allan, Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2009, 140; 3373504
Abstract (Summary)

Online learning has grown exponentially in recent years. Limited knowledge and research exists concerning the relationship between synchronous online learning and its influence on student learning styles. The research questions guiding this study were (a) How are students' learning styles affected by synchronous online learning environments? (b) What are the learning style preferences before the online class? (c) What are their learning styles after the online classes? (d) Do adults change their learning styles when confronted with online synchronous learning? The research questions were answered using the Soloman-Felder learning style assessment. Data were collected from 20 respondents, all graduate students in a synchronous online course of study. A preexisting online learning style questionnaire was used to test and measure the participants' learning styles. There were several significant findings in the study. First, the research showed that levels of education, gender, or ethnicity did not influence adults' preferred learning style. Second, students with prior online learning experience appeared to prefer intuitive styles as opposed to sensing styles. Third, the data from this study showed that 90% (n = 18) of the research participants did in fact alter their learning styles during the duration of the course, but by the end of the course these students had reverted back to their original learning style. Future research should look at the impact of technology on adult learners and their commitment and motivation to learning. Additionally, future research should explore whether preferred learning style has any relationship to adults' success in learning.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Watnick, Beryl
School: Union Institute and University
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 70/08, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Adult education, Educational technology, Higher education
Keywords: Adult learning, Learning styles, Learning styles assessment, Online, Online learning, Synchronous delivery
Publication Number: 3373504
ISBN: 978-1-109-33867-6
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