The effects of distance learning instruction and cognitive style to academic achievement and attitudes among graduate students enrolled in a two-way interactive video course
Lorraine Dianna Powers, North Carolina State University, United States
North Carolina State University . Awarded
Distance education is a rapidly growing form of instructional delivery on many college and university campuses. Research into distance learning is needed to assess student achievement and attitude in courses delivered at a distance and to ascertain effective design strategies, delivery methods, or solutions for support services.
This study is a multivariate analysis of variance designed to examine the differential effects on achievement and attitude toward a course, given different instruction locations, cognitive styles, and the interaction between course location and cognitive style. This study contributes to a growing field of literature examining individual factors of distance learners.
The participants of this study are graduate-nursing students enrolled in a real time two-way interactive video course originating at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) and delivered to participants at Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) via high speed network managed by MCNC. There were 22 participants UNCC and 19 participants WSSU. Participants' achievement was measured by averaging three course assignments; student attitude toward the course was measured by the Student Instructional Report II; and cognitive style was measured using the Group Embedded Figures Test.
There was a wide variance in the achievement means for the distance learners, indicating possible individual differences. A similar pattern emerged for the global learners. The results imply that distance learners' cognitive style or another individual variable such as prior knowledge, education level, experience, age, race, or some combination might have an effect on their achievement. This finding needs further exploration.
The multivariate analysis of variance indicated no statistically significant difference for course location or cognitive styles. Univariate analysis for achievement and attitude found no statistically significant differences. In this study, all of the participants at WSSU were global learners, so it was not possible to examine the interaction between course location and cognitive style. The results of the multivariate analysis of variance indicate that the participants of this study achieved and had the same attitude regardless of course location. These findings contribute to research in distance learning, indicating its effectiveness as a medium for instruction.
Powers, L.D. The effects of distance learning instruction and cognitive style to academic achievement and attitudes among graduate students enrolled in a two-way interactive video course. Ph.D. thesis, North Carolina State University.
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