Personality and Online Learning

Personality and Online Learning

Kevin Downing (City University Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-909-5.ch007

Abstract

This chapter provides a comparative evaluation of two pilot online courses with their traditionally taught counterparts in one of the universities of Hong Kong. As part of a natural experiment, students enrolled on two online courses were compared with their peers who were enrolled on the equivalent classroom based courses. Student satisfaction measures were taken from participants in both modes of delivery and compared with student learning style. This case highlights the impact of adopting a blended learning approach to an undergraduate programme, and suggests that Asian students who behave like Introverts in the classroom environment are likely to behave as online Extraverts when given the opportunity to reflect on what they have learned and contribute to an online discussion forum.
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Setting The Stage

Introduction

Online learning is now generally accepted as an effective method of instruction. Much recent educational research has focused on examining the purposes and situations for which online education is best suited. Typically, this research has concentrated on five main areas:

  • What are the particular characteristics of effective online students and teachers?

  • Is online learning and teaching as effective as traditional face-to-face teaching?

  • What factors determine the most appropriate use of technology in an online teaching situation?

  • How important is teacher-student and student-student interaction in the online learning process?

  • What cost factors should be considered when planning or implementing distance education programs and how are those costs offset by benefits to the learner?

This chapter concentrates on the first two of these five areas and provides a comparative evaluation of two pilot online courses with their traditionally taught counterparts. As part of a natural experiment (an experiment where the conditions observed occur naturally and require no manipulation of variables), students enrolled on two online courses were compared with their peers who were enrolled on the equivalent classroom based courses. Student satisfaction measures were taken from participants in both modes of delivery and compared with student learning style measured using the Honey and Mumford Learning Style Questionnaire (2000).

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