Cross-Sectional Evaluation of Distance Education Students' Learning Styles and Critical Thinking Dispositions in Turkey

Cross-Sectional Evaluation of Distance Education Students' Learning Styles and Critical Thinking Dispositions in Turkey

İsmail Yüksel (Faculty of Education, Eskişehir Osmangazi University, Eskişehir, Turkey) and Ercüment Türkses (Department of Foreign Languages, Kırklareli University, Kırklareli, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/ijdet.2015010104
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This study aims to examine distance education students' learning styles and critical thinking dispositions. This cross sectional survey was conducted on 114 Turkish distance education students from various departments in a state university. The data of the study were collected through Grasha-Riechmann Student Learning Style Scale (GRSLSS) and California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI). Cronbach Alpha coefficiencies of the scales were .76 for GRSLSS and .79 for CCTDI. To analyze the data, descriptive statistics (frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations), t-test and one-way analysis of variance tests were used. The results indicated that the dependent learning style was the most preferred style and the avoidant learning style was the least preferred style. The further analysis regarding learning style indicated that female students perceived themselves more dependent than male students. The results also indicated that students in teacher training programs scored higher in independent and avoidant sub-scales, while students in arts and sciences programs scored higher in dependent, collaborative, competitive and participant sub-scales. The results manifested that students' critical thinking dispositions were at a low level, and they mostly had analyticity and open-mindedness dispositions. Female students were found to have more critical thinking dispositions than male students.
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2. Literature Review

Over the last decades, it has been a matter of issue how students think and in which way they try to think and learn in the education system. From this standpoint, the term “learning style” may help for understanding the extent of how individuals learn and the term “critical thinking” in the extent of how they need to think.

Human beings are as unique as are the fingerprints used to identify them. While there are certainly extensive categories for grouping people, every individual will have their own unique type of learning style. According to Dunn & Dunn (1992), learning styles refer to students' preferred physical and socio-psychological conditions and preferred teaching/learning methods.

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