About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4244-4254
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain

PERCEPTUAL MODALITIES: THE INTERFACE BETWEEN THE STUDENTS AND WEB-BASED LEARNING

G. Cockerline1, D. Yearwood2

1Brandon University (CANADA)
2University of North Dakota (UNITED STATES)
Information and communication technologies (ICT) are prominently utilized in academe and few seem to question their contributions. However, the rapidly accelerating pace of technological innovations has educators integrating the next generation of electronic tools before we fully understand the pedagogical implications of these tools for learning. Despite the ability of technology to provide more information and quicker communications, technology cannot hurry the process by which the human mind receives, processes and integrates the information provided.

Perceptual modalities play a key role in learning. Students in a class all have the same opportunity to see and experience the course, but what they perceive and acquire varies, in part, due to individual differences in perceptual acuity. It is our senses that allow us to extract information from our surroundings. Indeed, our perceptual senses are our only interface between the environment and our brain, yet there is a scarcity of empirical research looking at students’ visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning modalities as they relate to online learning.

For most academic subjects the customary modes for exchanging information in traditional face-to-face classes are speech and the printed word—kinesthetic, olfactory, and gustatory senses (touch, smell and taste) are generally not significant in acquiring intellectual information. Asynchronous online learning significantly alters this paradigm of teaching by filtering learning through a graphical user interface. Some authors argue that in a traditional classroom, visual and kinesthetic learners are disadvantaged whereas in a web-based setting, it is the auditory learners who are disadvantaged.

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether a relationship existed between students’ visual, auditory, and kinesthetic perceptual modalities and their comfort, use, and satisfaction with asynchronous web-based learning. With regard to student use of online learning, the study found significant negative correlations between those with auditory preferences and their use of WebCT. Conversely, there was a significant positive correlation between students’ kinesthetic preferences and their use of WebCT, though the implication of this is not necessarily positive.

The significance of this study lies in providing preliminary insight into how students with different perceptual modality preferences respond differently to asynchronous web-based learning environments and thus provides a starting point for improving the quality of online learning for all students. More importantly, while the current generation of students – the Net Generation – is more comfortable with technology than previous generations, various authors have noted that there still remains a significant portion of Net Generation students who do not want online courses. One finding of this study suggested that auditory learners might have a significantly lower interest in computers vis-à-vis students with other perceptual modality preferences. In considering those students who had strong auditory preferences, auditory learners had significantly fewer years of experience with computers as compared to visual or kinesthetic learners. Is it possible that there is a correlation between those who do not want online learning and those with auditory perceptual modality preferences? This possibility merits further research.

@InProceedings{COCKERLINE2009PER,
author = {Cockerline, G. and Yearwood, D.},
title = {PERCEPTUAL MODALITIES: THE INTERFACE BETWEEN THE STUDENTS AND WEB-BASED LEARNING},
series = {1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN09 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-9801-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona ,Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {4244-4254}}
TY - CONF
AU - G. Cockerline AU - D. Yearwood
TI - PERCEPTUAL MODALITIES: THE INTERFACE BETWEEN THE STUDENTS AND WEB-BASED LEARNING
SN - 978-84-612-9801-3/2340-1117
PY - 2009
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2009
CI - Barcelona ,Spain
JO - 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN09 Proceedings
SP - 4244
EP - 4254
ER -
G. Cockerline, D. Yearwood (2009) PERCEPTUAL MODALITIES: THE INTERFACE BETWEEN THE STUDENTS AND WEB-BASED LEARNING, EDULEARN09 Proceedings, pp. 4244-4254.
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