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An investigation of learning style preference in United States Navy sailors pursuing higher education through online learning

, Capella University, United States

Capella University . Awarded


The primary purpose of this study was to examine learning styles between U.S. Navy sailors pursuing higher education who were completing an undergraduate online degree and those completing an undergraduate traditional degree. Limited data are available on the relationship between online learning and military students' learning styles. Previous researchers have studied the learning styles of young military men. Others have studied ways to enhance the design of education programs provided on a U.S. Navy ship using the qualitative approach. Questions about the relationship between learning styles and preferred mode of learning in U.S. Navy enlisted ranking members have not been addressed.

This study examined what types of learning styles are predominant with U.S. Navy sailors taking online courses compared to those who are taking face to face instruction. Learning styles were measured by the Kolb Learning Style Inventory 3.1 (KSLI 3.1). This study found that there is a significant difference between the learning styles of U.S. Navy sailors who were enrolled in an online university and those enrolled in a traditional university. Online U.S. Navy sailors had more converging and assimilating learning styles while the traditional U.S. Navy sailors had more diverging and accommodating learning styles. These findings support the existing literature on online vs. traditional learning. The significance of the findings extends beyond the existing literature to advance understanding of learning styles among U.S. Navy sailors. The study results may assist military educators, career counselors, education officers, recruiters, supervisors, and colleges offering courses to military personnel by providing insight into the learning styles of those individuals completing online or traditional degrees.


Byno, D.E. An investigation of learning style preference in United States Navy sailors pursuing higher education through online learning. Ph.D. thesis, Capella University. Retrieved July 31, 2021 from .

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