Undergrad Learning Style Preferences

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This presentation was presented at the Academy of Business Research Fall 2011 International Conference in Atlantic City.

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Undergrad Learning Style Preferences

  1. 1. Learning Style Preferences of Undergraduate Business Majors Academy of Business Research, Fall 2011 Atlantic City, New Jersey Jennifer Edmonds, PhD Dean Frear, PhD Wilkes University
  2. 2. Research Rationalization <ul><li>There is much speculation regarding the need for diversity of methods in classroom environments. </li></ul><ul><li>The “new” traditional learner has attributes that, when quantified, may indicate a transition in learning preference. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The ‘New’ Traditional Learner <ul><li>DEMOGRAPHICS </li></ul><ul><li>Wealthier </li></ul><ul><li> diversity of student body </li></ul><ul><li> registered learning disabilities </li></ul><ul><li> adult learners </li></ul><ul><li>BEHAVIORS </li></ul><ul><li> tardiness </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer hours spent studying </li></ul><ul><li>~85% study using Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Social networkers </li></ul><ul><li>Bloggers, Internet researchers </li></ul><ul><li>Peer evaluations </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to work on own or in groups </li></ul><ul><li> percentage admitting their need for remedial math </li></ul><ul><li> importance on community leadership </li></ul><ul><li>~ half of undergraduate business students work more than 20 hours per week </li></ul>(Pearlman, 2010) (Frear & Edmonds, 2011) (Pryor et. al., 2006)
  4. 4. Research Rationalization <ul><li>This study examines preferences for </li></ul><ul><li>Humanist </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive </li></ul><ul><li>Behaviorist </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom activities from the undergraduate </li></ul><ul><li>business student perspective. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Research Rationalization <ul><li>Investigates differences in learning style preferences based on: </li></ul><ul><li>Age </li></ul><ul><li>Class standing </li></ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul><ul><li>This research attempts to determine the presence of an emerging learning model. Based on the identified preferences, the results should help educators understand those classroom activities that promote better learning. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Background
  7. 7. BEHAVIORIST <ul><li>Careful organization & presentation of information in a designed sequence </li></ul><ul><li>Closed-ended learning </li></ul><ul><li>Styles Include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lecture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reading Text and/or Other Materials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note-Taking Aids/Worksheets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Question & Answer Sessions </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. COGNITIVE <ul><li>to motivate students to learn something new (using prior knowledge) </li></ul><ul><li>Styles Include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lecture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reading Text and/or Other Materials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Illustrations/Examples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Class Presentations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Case Study </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. HUMANIST <ul><li>More like prescriptions (about what ought to happen) rather than descriptions (of what does happen) </li></ul><ul><li>Open-ended learning </li></ul><ul><li>Styles Include </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In-Class Discussions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In-Class Games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Role-Plays </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Categorization of methods <ul><li>HUMANIST </li></ul><ul><li>Reading Text and/or Other Materials </li></ul><ul><li>In-Class Discussions </li></ul><ul><li>In-Class Games </li></ul><ul><li>Role-Plays </li></ul><ul><li>COGNITIVE </li></ul><ul><li>Lecture </li></ul><ul><li>Reading Text and/or Other Materials </li></ul><ul><li>Illustrations/Examples </li></ul><ul><li>Class Presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Case Study </li></ul>BEHAVIORIST Lecture Reading Text and/or Other Materials Note-Taking Aids/Worksheets Question & Answer Sessions CONSTRUCTIVIST Guided instruction Discovery-based learning
  11. 11. Methodology <ul><li>Over 120 Survey Usable Responses </li></ul><ul><li>Wilkes University Undergraduate Business Students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Private institution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2300 undergraduate students </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Methodology <ul><li>Over 120 Survey Usable Responses </li></ul><ul><li>Wilkes University Undergraduate Business Students </li></ul><ul><li>Slightly higher participation from males (56.5%) </li></ul><ul><li>Predominantly Bus. Admin. Majors (64.7%) </li></ul><ul><li>Online Anonymous Survey Questionnaire </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Demographics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preferences in Instructor Style & Classroom Activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preferred Learning Activities </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Undergraduate Business Students <ul><li>Fairly equal distribution of students among the various levels of employment. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Undergraduate Business Students <ul><li>Fairly equal distribution of students among the various levels of employment. </li></ul><ul><li>Freshmen students were the least represented (at only 11.6%) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Undergraduate Business Students <ul><li>Fairly equal distribution of students among the various levels of employment. </li></ul><ul><li>Freshmen students were the least represented (at only 11.6%) </li></ul><ul><li>Accounting (24.6%) and Entrepreneurship (9.0%) majors also participated in the study. </li></ul><ul><li>Participants range between 18-47 years old. 88.0% of participants are younger than 25. </li></ul>
  16. 16. What are their Preferences for Instructor Style ? <ul><li>There is an overwhelming majority that prefer PowerPoint to accompany lectures… </li></ul>
  17. 17. What are their Preferences for Instructor Style ? <ul><li>There is an overwhelming majority that prefer PowerPoint to accompany lectures… </li></ul><ul><li>… but a preference for in-class discussion (over lectures). </li></ul>
  18. 18. What are their Preferences for Classroom Activities ? <ul><li>There seems to be a varied level of interest in style of interaction between student and material… </li></ul>
  19. 19. What are their Preferences for Classroom Activities ? <ul><li>There seems to be a varied level of interest in style of interaction between student and material… </li></ul><ul><li>… but a strong interest in group presentations. </li></ul><ul><li>92.7% of participants prefer in-class examples over assigned readings for material reinforcement. </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Where MOST Learning Occurs </li></ul><ul><li>Ranked as 1 of Top 3 </li></ul><ul><li>Where LEAST Learning Occurs </li></ul><ul><li>Ranked as 1 of Bottom 3 </li></ul>
  21. 21. What are their Learning Style Preferences? I prefer this method I do not prefer this method = 1 = 0
  22. 23. What are their Learning Style Preferences? I prefer this method I do not prefer this method = 1 = 0
  23. 24. Conclusions <ul><li>Learning Methods </li></ul><ul><li>Students seem to prefer more traditional (guided) methods to learn </li></ul><ul><li>But instructors should look beyond PowerPoint </li></ul><ul><li>Student Interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Students seem to prefer more interesting ways to interact with the material </li></ul>As of yet, basic demographics do not have an impact on student preferences.
  24. 25. Future Research

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