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ERIC Number: ED409854
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Are Distance Education Programs More Acceptable to Field-Independent Learners?
Miller, Greg
The purpose of this study was to determine whether field- independent learners are better suited to agricultural distance education programs than their field-dependent counterparts. The sample population for this descriptive correlational study consisted of all students seeking a degree and/or advanced formal training in agriculture through an off-campus professional agriculture degree program at a midwestern land-grant university. The Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT) was used to determine the preferred cognitive style of the distance learners. To compare attitudes of field-independent and field-dependent learners toward videotape and ICN (Interactive Communications Network) instruction, a media split was used. Attitudinal and demographic data were collected by mailed questionnaire. As a group, the agricultural distant learners were relatively more field-independent than the norm groups. Additionally, field-independent learners were more positive about the likelihood of enrolling in additional courses delivered by either videotape or ICN. Although the orientation of this group, particularly the female students, to a more field- independent cognitive style was noted, field-dependent learners were equally satisfied with videotape delivery of instruction when compared with their counterparts. Field-dependent learners were slightly more satisfied with ICN overall, but the difference between attitude scores was less than expected. Besides issues of diversity, knowledge of cognitive styles of agricultural distant learners may have implications for selecting instructional strategies. This study suggests that distance learning programs can be developed to meet the needs of both field-independent and field-dependent learners. (Contains 17 references.) (AEF)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Group Embedded Figures Test