About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2195-2201
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-613-9386-2
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-7 July, 2010
Location: Barcelona, Spain

LEARNING STYLES OF ERGONOMICS STUDENTS AT UNDERGRADUATE LEVEL AND IN INDUSTRY

A. Jackson, L. O'Sullivan

University of Limerick (IRELAND)
The limitations of modern instructional approaches remain challenged. A distinct advantage of modern instructional approaches is the flexibility they offer over traditional classroom training. Opportunities remain to optimise the learning experience for students by researching their natural preferred learning approaches and studying how blended and e-learning can be tailored to their preferences. Investigating and identifying learning styles provides the opportunity for the teacher to match the design activity instruction to the preferred style of learning of the student, thus enriching the learning experience. Since the 1970s, an increasing number of researchers have studied learning style theories in an effort to strengthen and improve educational strategies and methods. Students are coming to institutions of higher learning with a greater amount of diversity in their learning needs than ever before. Knowledge of learning styles can improve curricula and the learning-teaching process in higher education (Schroeder 1993). In this respect the Felder-Silverman Model of learning styles has been successfully used in the past to tailor e-learning for specific student groups (Kuljis and Liu, 2005). The specific purpose of this research was to study the learning styles of ergonomics students (who typically comprise a mix of science and engineering students) both at undergraduate level and also for industrial workers studying ergonomics as part of a course in health and safety at night.

The study comprised 22 undergraduate students studying physical ergonomics, 6 taught postgraduate students and 24 workers from industry who were studying ergonomics on a health and safety night-time programme. The Felder Silverman learning styles questionnaire was programmed into Survey Monkey, an online questionnaire surveying system, a link to which was then emailed directly to each participant. While the groups would have comprised quite varying levels of aptitude, a clear trend emerged across the participants indicating a bias towards active learning (68-83%) (versus reflective) intuitive learning 67-100% (versus sensing) visual (50-86%) (versus verbal) and global (66-68%) (versus sequential).

These results suggest that students who typically study ergonomics in this particular university environment would be best served by the following breakdown of blended learning: E-learning in order to cater for the Visual dimension of their learning, especially though the use of graphics (static & interactive) diagrams, charts, flash files, simulations & movies. By listing key points instead of a lot of text it helps visual people get a colourful concept map of the material. It is also the best medium for the Global dimension of their learning, giving them a holistic overview of topics and links to further material as opposed to merely laying them out sequentially, which can be limiting. To a certain extent E-learning is also the best medium for the Active dimension of a learning style in that it gives the student a chance to put into practice their learning via labs/simulations, though active learners also need to be in an environment where they can discuss/debate their learning/views. Hence Classroom Training is ideal for that. It is also best suited to catering for the Intuitive dimension in terms of discovering possibilities and relationships through discussion.
@InProceedings{JACKSON2010LEA,
author = {Jackson, A. and O'Sullivan, L.},
title = {LEARNING STYLES OF ERGONOMICS STUDENTS AT UNDERGRADUATE LEVEL AND IN INDUSTRY},
series = {2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN10 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-9386-2},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {5-7 July, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {2195-2201}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Jackson AU - L. O'Sullivan
TI - LEARNING STYLES OF ERGONOMICS STUDENTS AT UNDERGRADUATE LEVEL AND IN INDUSTRY
SN - 978-84-613-9386-2/2340-1117
PY - 2010
Y1 - 5-7 July, 2010
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN10 Proceedings
SP - 2195
EP - 2201
ER -
A. Jackson, L. O'Sullivan (2010) LEARNING STYLES OF ERGONOMICS STUDENTS AT UNDERGRADUATE LEVEL AND IN INDUSTRY, EDULEARN10 Proceedings, pp. 2195-2201.
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