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ERIC Number: EJ1144800
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1528-3518
An Examination of Online Instructional Practices Based on the Learning Styles of Graduate Education Students
Tonsing-Meyer, Julie
Quarterly Review of Distance Education, v14 n3 p141-149 2013
The purpose of this qualitative case study was to understand the perceptions of online learning based on the learning styles of currently enrolled online graduate education students. Designing courses to provide meaningful experiences based on the learning styles of students, as well as the unique approaches to teaching online is a contemporary concern for online learning (Wickersham, Espinoza, & Davis, 2007). This study examined the overall aspects of online learning through the perceptions of online graduate education students with various learning styles in order to improve online instruction practices. Data was collected through the VARK 7.1 questionnaire to determine the learning styles of online graduate education students. A group of 20 online graduate education students were purposively selected to equally represent each of the four learning styles: visual, aural, read/write, and kinesthetic. The group was administered questionnaires to determine their perceptions of online instructional practices regarding individual, small and whole group activities. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the purposively selected learners to triangulate the data. In addition, syllabi from online graduate education courses were analyzed to determine the current instructional practices used. The study results reinforce the supposition that students learn when they are engaged. The perceptions of online learners concurred that meaningful experiences should be developed for online courses. Currently, the read/write learning style is often the main learning style addressed in online learning instructional practices. The findings of this study showed heavy read/write instructional practices being implemented even though the majority of the students did not favor that learning style. The study also indicated regardless of the preferred learning style, instructional practices that were engaging and related to real-world experiences were favored. The outcome of the study also validates the importance of the use of multiple technologies to appeal to multiple learning styles (Green et al., 2010). In addition, the study supports the use of the online learning environment and its associated tools to create situations where theory and practice become integrated.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A