Effective Online Courses in Business Administration: Expanding course design to activate diverse learning styles

Effective Online Courses in Business Administration: Expanding course design to activate diverse learning styles

David L. Sturges (University of Texas-Pan American, USA)
Copyright: © 2011 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-800-2.ch013
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Technologies used to enhance, augment, or replace traditional course content have been widely examined. With few exceptions, study of these technologies focuses on the effects of the technologies in isolation. Only a few discussions have attempted to evaluate multi-technologies and their contribution to effective learning for online students. This chapter looks at the traditional learning styles and creates a model for robust, multi-technology, student learning-centered approach to optimize student learning in online classes in a business school. It finds that a well-designed, multi-technology approach results in better student performance, more satisfied students, and greater cost-benefit for the business school. The results have been adapted into course design to create a new kind of resource for online course deployment.
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Learning Styles

Work done by Grasha and Riechmann on learning styles is different from much of the learning styles research in that it focuses on students’ responses to activities in the classroom (Montgomery and Groat, 1998). Table 1 shows the six learning styles that were identified along with their characteristics and classroom preferences. (Grasha, 1996)

Table 1.
Characteristics of Grasha-Reichmann learning styles
StyleCharacteristicsClassroom Preferences
CompetitiveCompete with other studentsTeacher-centered, class activities
CollaborativeShare ideas with othersStudent-led small groups
AvoidantUninterested, non-participantAnonymous environment
ParticipantEager to participateLectures with discussion
DependentSeek authority figureClear instructions, little ambiguity
IndependentThink for themselvesIndependent study and projects

Further, Grasha suggested teaching methods that were appropriate to clusters of these learning styles. Table 2 shows the Primary Teaching Styles that were found most successful with specific combinations of learning styles (Grasha, 1996).

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