Relationship between learning style, Internet success, and Internet satisfaction of students taking online courses at a selected community college.
Author(s)Reed, Thomas Earl.
KeywordsEducation, Community College.
Education, Technology of.
Learning, Psychology of.
Internet in higher education.
Community colleges Computer-assisted instruction.
Education, Higher Computer-assisted instruction.
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Recognizing the infancy of this research, the investigator used a three-phase methodological naturalistic inquiry protocol utilizing three focus groups to gain knowledge about the phenomena of Internet learning. The substance of the research was in the phenomenological interviewing. This theoretical orientation has two implications such that the phenomenology can be referred to either as the subject matter of inquiry or as the methodology of study. The researcher utilized the methodological approach to gain in-depth information about Internet learning.This study assessed the relationships between students' learning styles, Internet success, and Internet satisfaction of students taking online courses at a selected community college. Kolb's Learning Style Inventory was used to identify the various learning styles of each participant in the study.Information was gathered from the three focus groups, which was beneficial to the investigator because it offered a theoretical concept about Internet success, satisfaction, and experience. The focus group members had experience teaching and taking online courses at the selected community college. Content analysis of the information derived from the focus group interviews was used to categorize the data and develop questionnaires that addressed the research question. Learning styles, Internet success, and Internet satisfaction were combined with other factors such as anticipated Internet grade point average (GPA) scores, actual Internet GPA scores, age, gender, academic degrees, and Internet experience.The researcher's investigation of learning styles began with identifying the various styles and examining the generalized differences in learning orientations as they applied to Internet success, Internet satisfaction, and Internet experience. From this exploratory investigation, the researcher characterized and made assumptions about the four elementary forms of learning via Internet delivery. Other factors were combined with the various learning styles of the participant to see if there was a significant difference among the learning styles as they applied to Internet learning.A total of 374 students enrolled in the selected Internet courses in winter and spring quarters 2000, and these students were involved in the study. However, only 237 completed the course over the two quarters. It was difficult to assess if learning styles, student satisfaction, or Internet experience were factors for the withdrawal rate.Due to the confidentiality of the participants involved in the study, the researcher could not match the actual grade received by each participant to his or her identified learning style. However, based on the data, the participants experienced Internet success. Participants expressed the most satisfaction with instructor knowledge of the course, the way instructor's assignments were distributed, and the convenience of taking the course via this mode of delivery.The internet experience level of the participants varied, and when other factors were combined and analyzed (Internet satisfaction, Internet success, learning styles, and GPA), the figures displayed some intriguing results. Satisfaction levels changed when Internet experience was taken into consideration.The data presented some interesting results, and it is the researcher's judgment that further investigation is needed concerning relationships among learning styles, Internet success, and Internet satisfaction of students taking courses.