Student Diaspora and Learning Style Impact on Group Performance

Student Diaspora and Learning Style Impact on Group Performance

Kenneth David Strang (State University of New York, USA and APPC Research, Australia)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/ijopcd.2012070101
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Abstract

The study examined diaspora (team culture) and learning style of 700 international students from 19 countries, enrolled at an accredited Australian university. The research focus was to explore online pedagogy by measuring student diaspora and learning style impact on group performance. To accomplish that, a generalized least squares regression model was developed from survey responses, homeland culture, and team project performance, during a flexible learning course (part online, part face-to-face). Teacher reflections were reviewed for additional pedagogical insight into learning style and diaspora interaction.
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Introduction And Purpose

In this study we build on earlier culture-learning-style research by examining how group culture interacts with learning styles in university student teams (Strang, 2010, 2009a, 2009b, 2008). Diaspora is the culture of cohorts in a group as compared to the culture of a whole country or region (the latter is known as national or global culture). A survey and reflective teacher comments are analyzed to evaluation the interaction of culture and learning style. The sampled consisted of 700 undergraduate business students at an Australian university. This research situation was unique because although Australian universities apply western-oriented materials, learning objectives and pedagogy for education, the majority of students in the study (95%) were international (not from Australia). The course was delivered in flexible learning mode which means that it was online (Blackboard via Internet) with occasional classroom-based lectures.

Mixed research methods are used. While the study is generally classified as action research, this manuscript reports on the quantitative data gathered in surveys developed from a priori constructs. Learning style and culture are analyzed using group performance as a dependent variable. The purpose is to determine if culture and learning style impact group performance. Teacher reflections are provided to explain how group culture and learning style interacted.

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