Date of Award

2007

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Degree Program

Global Leadership - with a specialization in Education

Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Cynthia Andreas

Second Advisor

Christopher J. Voparil

Third Advisor

Mary L. Tebes

Abstract

Dramatic changes in technology in the 1980s have had an impact on human lives, not only in the field of business, but also in the field of education. In recent years, more academic institutions have chosen to deliver curricula online, and instructors have used different educational technology tools to support students' learning abilities. In fact, web-based educational approaches have been examined by numerous researchers, and as a practical issue in the educational field, web-based instruction can be cost-effective, flexible, and convenient.

The purpose of this exploratory (comparative) and explanatory (correlational), prospective survey research design was to investigate the relationship among course delivery methods (multimedia hybrid versus traditional face-to-face), learning styles, course satisfaction, and learning outcomes (course grade and learning gains) in higher education art appreciation courses. This study was conducted in a private university in south Florida, with a sample of 71 participants. There were three classes that constituted the sample of students that were taught via multimedia hybrid (n=44) and two classes that formed a sample of students taught by traditional methods (n=29).

Independent t-tests and Chi-Square tests showed no difference in student background characteristics and learning styles between the two groups; however, course satisfaction, course grade, and learning gains were significantly higher in the multimedia hybrid classes. Eta, Pearson r correlation, and hierarchical linear regression analyses were used to test the hypotheses, which were partially supported: (a) learning style and student characteristics explained 25.2% of the variation in course satisfaction for the traditional group versus 18.6% for the multimedia group; (b) learning style and student characteristics explained 16.7% of the variation in course grade for the multimedia group versus 15.3% for the traditional group; and (c) learning style and student characteristics explained 35.2% of the variation in learning gains for the traditional group versus 10.0% for the multimedia group. Reliability and construct validity were also examined.

Findings suggest that use of instructional technology in teaching art related classes can enhance learning and course satisfaction. Recommendations for future research included construct validation of the Learning Style Inventory, and replication of this study in larger universities, with larger samples, and in different countries.

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