Sunday 17 November 2013

Paper Review: Learning styles and online education

Zapalska, A., & Brozik, D. (2007). Learning styles and online education. Campus-Wide Information Systems, 24(1), 6–16. doi:10.1108/10650740710726455   Summary
This paper describes an assessment instrument that can be used to identify students’ learning styles. This instrument identifies four distinct learning styles: visual (V); aural (A); reading/writing (R); and kinesthetic (K). It was used to determine learning styles of students who participated in two online courses. It was found that there were only two students in each class who indicated preference for auditory learning, giving these two a multi-modal learning style. This finding may indicate that it is possible that students with prevailing auditory learning preferences may not be selecting online education as an option.

Assessment
The paper argues that learning style of online students must be identified so that the instructor can plan appropriate teaching strategies to accommodate individual strengths and needs. The paper has has provided one questionnaire that can be sued to identify the learning style. This seems to be an important contribution of this paper. The paper’s conclusion that students with prevailing auditory learning preferences may not be selecting online education as an option, needs further validation with larger and more representative sample.

Reflection
Catering to different learning style seems to be an important factor for success of online education.

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