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ERIC Number: ED556369
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 131
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3036-4584-6
How Online Learners Perceive Preparedness and Learning after Discovering Personal Learning-Style-Preferences
Voyles, Shannon
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northcentral University
Many students withdraw from online learning because of their low levels of satisfaction and preparedness, and students are often unprepared to adapt their learning habits to meet the demands of online learning. However, the way in which students incorporate knowledge about their own learning styles into their self-concept as learners and their perceptions of preparedness to be an online student has not been understood. The purpose of this qualitative, exploratory, single-case study was to discover how students incorporated knowledge about their personal learning preferences into their perceptions of preparedness in the online college classroom and of online learning in general. A phenomenological approach was used. A purposeful sample of 14 first time online students was selected from a traditional university in the U. S. Midwest. After participants completed the Index of Learning Styles, data were collected from two diary entries and open-ended, in-depth, semistructured telephone interviews. Several participants discussed that knowing their learning styles encouraged them to create study environments that suited their needs. Seven of the 14 participants stated that they felt more prepared after discovering their personal learning preferences. Ten participants changed their approach to learning and studying after learning about their learning style. Two of these participants initially stated that they had made no changes. Of the six participants who reported that their perceptions of online learning had not changed after discovering their learning preference, several had prepared themselves for the new environment by speaking with others. Thirteen of the fourteen participants found that becoming aware of their own learning style was helpful. Participants reported that knowing their personal learning styles helped them to become more confident and to feel less intimidated in starting their programs. As improved self-confidence leads to improved academic performance, educating students about their own learning style may improve performance in online environments. Future researchers are encouraged to replicate the study in multiple universities. Longitudinal studies to determine the effects on performance and perception over time and throughout a degree program are also recommended. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A