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MBTI personality type and other factors that relate to preference for online versus face-to-face instruction


Internet and Higher Education Volume 13, Number 1, ISSN 1096-7516 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Online college classes are being offered at a rate that far exceeds the growth of overall higher education classes. However, much can still be learned about how to create a better online classroom environment by determining why a large percentage of students continue to prefer face-to-face classes. One factor among many that may have an influence on preference is personality since it relates to learning style and comfort level. A poor fit in learning style or a low comfort level can lead to student dissatisfaction and attrition. The current study gave 166 mostly female college students, two-thirds of whom were taking or had taken four or more online classes, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and a Likert-type questionnaire asking why they preferred one teaching modality delivery over the other. Results revealed that a statistically significant majority of Introverts preferred online classes and Extraverts face-to-face classes. A trend with a small effect size toward Perceiving types preferring face-to-face classes was also found. Overall, students who preferred online classes indicated their rank ordered preference was because of convenience, the enjoyment of computer technology, and a desire for innovation whereas those who preferred face-to-face classes reported they were influenced by the class structure appealing to their need to learn through listening and by their desire to better gauge the emotional reactions of others in the class. Implications for design of online classes to appeal to students who prefer face-to-face learning environments and for academic counseling and advising are discussed.


Harrington, R. & Loffredo, D.A. (2010). MBTI personality type and other factors that relate to preference for online versus face-to-face instruction. Internet and Higher Education, 13(1), 89-95. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved September 16, 2019 from .

This record was imported from Internet and Higher Education on January 29, 2019. Internet and Higher Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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