June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.1031.1 - 13.1031.12
Relationship between Learning Style Preferences and Instructional Technology Usage
Mia K. Markey, The University of Texas Department of Biomedical Engineering Kathy J. Schmidt, Faculty Innovation Center, Cockrell School of Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin
Abstract We have been studying engineering students’ learning in both undergraduate and graduate courses on probability and statistics as part of the biomedical engineering curriculum. These courses employ a scaffold of multiple instructional technologies including the course management system, BlackBoard®, hyperlinked PowerPoint® notes, Classroom Performance System (CPS) technology, and “real-world” MATLAB®-intensive problems. The goal of this study is to determine if students with different learning styles (e.g., active vs. reflective learners) have different usage patterns of and derive different benefits from the instructional technologies. We also compare the learning styles of this sample of biomedical engineering students to the existing literature and explore if there are relationships between factors such as learning style, grades and graduate vs. undergraduate status. We present an analysis of Learning Styles Inventory data, survey data on instructional technology perceptions, usage statistics collected from the course management system, and outcome data. In addition, we provide suggestions on how to align instructional strategies (such as interactions between students and interaction with professor) with learning preferences.
Background The expanding range of learning technologies has created many choices for instructional delivery. Furthermore for the last decade or so, pedagogy and not technology has captured our attention. “What’s different this time, however, is that the focus of change efforts is less on building new institutional structures, redefining the curriculum, or expanding access, and more on the heart of higher education – the teaching/learning process1. ” Our usage of instructional technologies include Blackboard®, a Web-based course management system used at The University of Texas at Austin that is available for any course, Classroom Performance System (CPS) technology that consists of student-operated remote controls and a receiver that records responses to multiple-choice questions posed by the instructor, PowerPoint®, a presentation software package that comes with Microsoft Office and MATLAB®, a high-level technical computing language and interactive environment for algorithm development, data visualization, data analysis, and numerical computation.
In this paper, we build upon our previous studies on how instructional technologies influence students in developing basic content understanding, but also in the development of critical thinking and reasoning skills (as categorized by an educational taxonomy) 2,3. We found that instructional technologies can provide scaffolds to support different levels of learning. This finding prompted us to question more. Do students learning styles influence their usage of technology and the benefits they derive from it? We know that a one-size-fits-all curriculum has
Proceedings of the 2008 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2008 American Society for Engineering Education
Markey, M., & Schmidt, K. (2008, June), Relationship Between Learning Style Preferences And Instructional Technology Usage Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3173
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