Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. Neal Grandgenett
Dr. Neal Topp
The purpose of this thesis study was to explore the possibility of a relationship between perceptual learning modality preference and efficacy in the use of an on-line learning environment to achieve non-technology related course objectives. Subjects were 30 adult students enrolled in the CaseNET course administered by the University of Virgina. Two research questions were explored: 1.) Is there a difference in feelings of student efficacy, in a course which uses Internet technology to achieve non-technology related course objectives, for auditory, visual, and tactile learners? 2.) Is there a difference in the use of student adaptation techniques for tactile, visual, and auditory learners in their use of Internet course materials to achieve course objectives? The students' learning modality preferences were determined using a 25 item sensory modality preference inventory completed by the student on-line, which simultaneously returned their preference on the screen and recorded it in a data base. Levels of efficacy and adaptation were measured according to the students' answers on an exit survey, also taken on-line, which were submitted by the student to the data base. Findings imply that no perceptual modality preference group had a particularly low sense of efficacy in the use of an on-line environment to achieve non-technology related course objectives. For those questions on the exit survey indicating high efficacy, with a range of 13-56 and a mean of 42.66, auditory learners averaged a score averaged a score of 49.60, visual learners scored an average of 41.00, and tactile learners scored an average of 41.58. A high score indicates high efficacy. Adaptation scores were calculated based on the students' response to exit survey questions inquiring as to their attempts to manipulate the on-line environment. Auditory learners had an average adaptation score of 1.48, visual learners had an average adaptation score 1.66, and tactile learners had an average adaptation score of 1.63, with a range of 1-2 and a mean of 1.62. A high score indicates low adaptation. Tables reporting significant findings are included. It is contended that perceptual modality preference is a necessary criteria for the evaluation of on-line environments as an instructional tool. The author provides recommendations for further study.
Nickel, Patricia M., "The Relationship of Perceptual Learning Modality Preference and the Use of an On-Line Learning Environment to Achieve Non-Technology Related Course Objectives" (1998). Student Work. 2313.