Relationship of Myers-Briggs personality types and learner participation in face-to-face and asynchronous classroom discussions
Darci J. Harland, Walden University, United States
Walden University . Awarded
This comparative study used the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI) and Bloom's taxonomy to see whether students of specific personality types perceive and actually participate differently in face-to-face (f2f) and online discussions. The study also compared how participants at a private Midwest university viewed sense of classroom community in the two learning environments. The quantitative portion of the study included data from the researcher-designed Face-to-Face and Online Discussion Survey, comprised of Likert-type questions. A participation observation instrument was used in conjunction with taped event recordings of student participation in classroom discussions. Students answered open-ended survey questions regarding their participation in associate degree courses.
The results demonstrated that among study participants, feeling types preferred to answer difficult questions f2f, while thinking types preferred to answer these questions online. Differences were also noted between the perceiving/judging, sensing/intuitive, and extraversion/introversion dichotomies. No certain MBTI type was more likely to answer questions at the analysis, synthesis, and evaluation levels, respond to peers more frequently, or initiate new topics of discussion more frequently in f2f or online discussions, nor did certain MBTI types perceive classroom community drastically different in f2f versus online. However, statistically significant differences were found between the extraversion/introversion dichotomy in their actual participation and in how they perceived sense of community. A comparison of data from students who were both a part of the survey and of groups who were observed and recorded showed that the perception that most MBTI personality types had of their classroom participation matched their actual participation. The exception to this was the extraversion/introversion dichotomy with regard to peer-peer interaction and initiating new topics.
The results of this study may help distance education program designers and classroom and online instructors at this university make informed decisions about how best to foster discussions within f2f and online classes. Standardizing instructor training could equip online instructors with tools that may help decrease the confusion of how virtual environments, specifically asynchronous discussions, should function. Instructors can then work at helping all personality types to be involved in more meaningful discussions.
Harland, D.J. Relationship of Myers-Briggs personality types and learner participation in face-to-face and asynchronous classroom discussions. Ph.D. thesis, Walden University.
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