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Using learning technology in university courses: do styles matter?

Using learning technology in university courses: do styles matter? Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the relevance of three different types of styles measure for students' learning in a large introductory university course in psychology, using information technology to enhance teaching. The paper examines the relationship between styles, the usage of learning technology, and academic performance in this course. Design/methodology/approach – Styles are measured using approaches to learning, thinking styles, and cognitive styles. The usage of the online material is measured by considering both time spent on the resources and the amount of material viewed (pages and hits) as well as tools used. Findings – The findings are that the academic performance of students who used the online resources is significantly higher than those who either choose to not use the online materials at all or choose to use to the materials to a lesser extent. It is determined that the measure of approaches to learning (approaches and study skills inventory for students) is the stronger predictor for successful use of the material. Research limitations/implications – Using a reasonably sized sample in an ecologically valid context offered the opportunity to put styles into context and to consider the practical use of styles. This research is limited by the context and the particular sample. It is also difficult to completely exclude the fact that students using the extra material are generally more motivated and would have obtained better grades even without the resources. Originality/value – This paper offers further evidence for the relations between different measures of styles and evaluates the effects that styles might have on usage of online material and academic performance. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Multicultural Education & Technology Journal Emerald Publishing

Using learning technology in university courses: do styles matter?

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1750-497X
DOI
10.1108/17504970910951129
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the relevance of three different types of styles measure for students' learning in a large introductory university course in psychology, using information technology to enhance teaching. The paper examines the relationship between styles, the usage of learning technology, and academic performance in this course. Design/methodology/approach – Styles are measured using approaches to learning, thinking styles, and cognitive styles. The usage of the online material is measured by considering both time spent on the resources and the amount of material viewed (pages and hits) as well as tools used. Findings – The findings are that the academic performance of students who used the online resources is significantly higher than those who either choose to not use the online materials at all or choose to use to the materials to a lesser extent. It is determined that the measure of approaches to learning (approaches and study skills inventory for students) is the stronger predictor for successful use of the material. Research limitations/implications – Using a reasonably sized sample in an ecologically valid context offered the opportunity to put styles into context and to consider the practical use of styles. This research is limited by the context and the particular sample. It is also difficult to completely exclude the fact that students using the extra material are generally more motivated and would have obtained better grades even without the resources. Originality/value – This paper offers further evidence for the relations between different measures of styles and evaluates the effects that styles might have on usage of online material and academic performance.

Journal

Multicultural Education & Technology JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 10, 2009

Keywords: Learning styles; Communication technologies; Internet; Undergraduates

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