St. John's University (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 97-105
ISBN: 978-84-613-5538-9
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 4th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-10 March, 2010
Location: Valencia, Spain
Most college professors verbalize that learners are diverse and should be taught and treated as individuals. Nevertheless, they maintain the identical course requirements and expectations, and teach with exactly the same instructional strategies and resources for everyone in the same class.
Comparing students of today, whom we call the millennial to the Generation X era it is evident that educators must look at teaching and learning in a different context. The millennial needs to be engaged in the learning process. and is considered the generation of information overload but in the same token they enjoy and long for the quick immediacy that technology offers. They are team players who seek individual recognition.
They long for engagement and the mastery of core curriculum courses through learning styles and the utilization of technology are essential to the success of college students. During the Fall 2008 and Spring 2009 semesters the author conducted an experimental study to determine the relative effects of teaching three different but equally difficult core curriculum topics to undergraduate college students in a large, private, metropolitan liberal arts institution through the use of a Contract Activity Package, a Programmed Learning Sequence, and through Traditional Teaching.
The participants in this study included 88 traditional college students attending a large, private metropolitan university who were registered for three instructors’ Core Curriculum course titled “Discover New York”. The Building Excellence (BE) (Rundle & Dunn, 2008) assessment to identify the learning style of each participant was administered. This research was designed to determine:
1.Extent of diversity that actually existed among these young adults’ learning styles;
2.Whether undergraduates’ learning styles correlated with gender; and
3.Whether specific instructional strategies responded better or less well to individuals’ learning styles; and
A counterbalanced, repeated measures design and random assignment of students to groups permitted each section to study the content through three different instructional strategies. All sections were administered the identical pre- and posttests on the same curriculum topics to determine their comparative gains with each of the three instructional strategies. Relationships between each student’s achievement gains through each of the three instructional strategies were examined and compared to determine whether correlations existed between their individual learning-styles and their test gains.
Data were organized, formatted, and analyzed using templates created with Microsoft Word 2007, Microsoft Excel (Microsoft, 2007) and the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) for Windows (version 16.0, 2007). These tools were employed to allow the researcher to make several critical determinations. At first analysis, many of the students were classified as traditional in accordance with the college’s definition of the term. However, when an analysis of their learning-style preferences was established using the Building Excellence survey, the author was able to make a more accurate assessment of those students who normally would be considered traditional versus non-traditional.
The findings reported that students responded better or less well to each of the three approaches based on their gender and learning styles as revealed by Building Excellence, an adult identification assessment.
Learning Styles.