FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE LEARNING OUTCOMES OF ADULT STUDENTS ENROLLED IN DISTANCE EDUCATION Table of Contents Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION3 Relevant Background Information3 Statement of the problem6 Purpose of the Study7 Research Questions7 Theoretical Framework8 Chapter 2 – LITERATURE REVIEW12 Distance Learning12 Conceptual models: Adult-learning models15 Adult Learning Styles17 Barriers to Learning in distance education19 Faculty Barriers in Distance Learning20 Adult Learners and Motivation in distance education20 Personality Type/Learning Style and Computer Anxiety21
Chapter 3 – RESEARCH METHODOLOGY23 Chapter 4 – FINDINGS and RESULTS24 Chapter 5 – CONCLUSION27 References29 Chapter 1: INTRODUCTION Distance education have given adult the opportunity to enroll in courses with the advantage to study any where when there is time, and do not have to give up important personal responsibilities. According to Knowles (1991) adult learn differently and for different reason. Hill (2001) stated that distance learning is the process of creating an educational experience of equality for the learner to best suit their out side the classroom.
This paper will explain the different theories of adult learning, the different factors that effect and motivate adult learning in a distance education. Also, how personality type and learning styles influence learning in distance education. Relevant Background Information While distance education is often presented as a relatively new education mode, it has been around for some time. It began as a correspondence learning during the nineteenth century and continued into the twentieth century, transforming into mass communications through the use of radio and television (Cohen, 1999).
As the century progresses, distance education further developed in the forms of extended education, open education, and distance learning (Towie 2008). The University of London was the first University to offer distance-learning degrees. Today there are many private and public, nonprofit institutions offering courses and degree programs through distance education (Towie 2008). Distance education has evolved from the use of primarily print based materials into a worldwide movement using various technologies (McIsaac & Blocher, 1998).
Consequently, distance education continues to further develop through the utilization of newer technologies including teleconference, web-based instruction, chat rooms, satellite television, computer networks, virtual classrooms, and the internet that have made distribution easier and faster (Towie 2008). While the number of Master degree courses being delivered via the internet or the concept of distance learning is increasing rapidly, our knowledge of what makes these courses effective learning experiences for students is still limited.
Therefore according to research a study was done to examine the effects of technological, pedagogical, and student characteristics or personality traits on student learning in internet-based or distance courses. Of these characteristics my research found that only those reflecting instructor efforts to create an interactive classroom environment were significantly associated with student learning.
Other characteristics such as the perceived ease of use of the course software package, the perceived flexibility of the online classroom environment, and the amount of time student spend logged on the course website were not significantly associated with student learning (Arbaug (2000) These findings suggest that while some level of technological sophistication may be important, teaching expertise may be the primary criterion for teaching success in the online classroom environment, therefore instructors may need to spend more time eveloping and cultivating instructional skills such as simultaneously working with several smaller groups of students, developing interesting discussion questions, and fostering intimacy(Arbaugh 2000). To support this faculty development in universities, Arbaugh (2000) stated that they will likely need to make substantial infrastructure investments to ensure that their online course offerings are pedagogically and technologically conducive to student learning.
Some example of distance education includes Internet-based courses, computer-mediated interaction, distance learning, pedagogy and technology. While distance education has traditionally been conducted by such means as correspondence or voice or radio transmission (Cohen, 1999), distance education is increasingly conducted via the Internet. Internet – based courses are classes that are delivered primarily or exclusively via the use email and / or web pages.
While Internet – based courses are presently a single pedagogical approach within the field of distance education; the movement toward delivery of distance education via the Internet is accelerating rapidly. Research shows that in (2006) the Solan consortium reported that 96 percent of the largest colleges and universities in the United States offer online courses and that almost 3. 2 million U. S. students were taking at least one on line course during the fall 2005 term (Towie 2008). Business schools have taken the lead in extending this emerging trend to master degree programs.
The acceleration of this is due to a variety of factors such as technological advances in both software and computing capacity, and how it limits and expands what the teacher and students can do (Abels 2004). In spite of this growth, there are still concerns about internet- based courses and programs. Some of these concerns are the intensive commitment of time and labor to both develop and take the courses, lack of face-to –face interaction, and questions about their quality relative to traditional classroom based courses (Abels 2005).
Combine these concerns with the limited research on internet – based courses in higher education (Arbaugh, 2000; Ellram & Easton, 1999), and the contention that we may racing to adopt educational techniques without fully understanding than may be justified (Grossman, 1999). These concerns prompt at least two questions for educators: (1) can adult students learn effectively via the Internet? And (2) what factors are most likely to influence student learning in internet-based courses? To dentify these variables research on technology adoption, computer – mediated communication and general distance education were examined. From these literatures, research identified four general factors that may influence student learning in internet- based courses: (1) the perceived usefulness and ease of use of the course website; (2) the level of educational flexibility for adult students and faculty as a result of the asynchronous nature of the courses; (3) the ease of and emphasis on interaction as teaching pedagogy; and (4) student experience with and engagement in internet-based courses.
Of these factors, research found that while; students may be able to learn effectively in an internet-based course, only variables associated with classroom interaction were significantly associated with this learning. According to Arbaugh (2000) these findings suggest that teachers and programs should give attention to cultivating their skill in facilitating and generating student interaction along with developing the technological skills necessary to teach Internet based courses.
As well, distance education, as it has continued to evolve, can be used to provide interactive or non – interactive learning opportunities for students. Interactive learning can be synchronic or asynchrony or a combination of the two (Cohen 1999). Statement of the problem Although distance education, learning outcomes and computer technology are of interest to researchers and educators, there have been few studies that indicate a linking of these topics. Similarly, while student learning styles and personality type have long been of interest to educators, and researchers (e. g. Dunn, Dunn & price 1979; Kolb b, 1981), there is currently little evidence to suggest that efforts have been directed towards determining the influence of learning style and personality type on distance learning, learning outcomes and end-user computing. When considering the growing importance as well as utilization of distance education programs by students across the US, it appears important to further develop an understanding of the degree to which learning style and personality type influence distance education learning outcomes in distance education programs and end-user computing in such programs (e. . , Orr et al, Asersman & reed, 1995-96). Without such knowledge, distance-learning educators may be prohibited from having access to the information critical to effective planning and delivery of distance learning courses. Similarly, students participating in distance learning courses may lack access to knowledge which would better enable them to participate more effectively in facilitating their own learning in distance education classes (Orr et al, Asersman & reed, 1995-96).
Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study is to explore the influence of learning style and personality type on learning outcomes of students participating in distance education courses. An effort will also be made to determine the degree to which computer/technology anxiety may influence the experiences of students within distance learning programs. Educators and the public must be assured that distance education is as effective as face-to-face instruction.
When distance learning is not coupled with an understanding of instructors, the manner in which learning styles and personality types, as well as computer anxiety, impact learning, it may not be an effective form of instruction. Research Questions The research questions underlying the study are as follows: • Do personality type influence-learning outcomes of students enrolled in distance education courses? • Are there differences in personality types among students enrolled in distance education courses? • What factors, influence-learning outcomes of adults students enrolled in distance education courses?
Theoretical Framework The theoretical framework on which the study is base is that of Knowles conceptualization of andragogy and adult learning. According to Knowles (1970) Andragogy is the art and science of helping adults learns. This was a revolutionary theory created to explain how learning in adult differed from the way in which children learn. According to andragogical theory, adult are motivated to learn, are self-directed, responsible, life- centered, task- centered, and problem in their orientation to learning (Knowles, Swanson, & Holton 2005).
They want to learn what will help them deal with every day situation and problems they come in contact with. Adragogy is based on the assumption that (a) adults tend to become more self – directed as they mature; (b) adults have rich life experiences; (c) adults want to learn and are internally motivated to do so; (d) adults want learning to be purposeful, practical, relevant, and immediately applicable; and (e) adults are more problem-centered than content –centered (Merriam, & Caffarella 2007). These assumptions have important applications for designing instructions for adult learning.
According to Plaza 2010, “Andragogy is an educational theory that utilize the adult life experiences to teach and aid in learning rather than using some one else’s experience in an attempt to teach”. Andragogy was an important step in the attempt to explain adult learning but it lacked an emphasis on the social aspect of learning and cognition. Additionally, Carl Jung’s theory on the manner in which individual use their mind as associated with personality development is also used as a theoretical foundation upon which the study is based.
Jung argued that two basic differences exist among human being in terms of how we preferred to use our minds and how our core personality develops. Myers also argues that the first difference relates to how individual perceive or take in information about experience, or what he called perceiving either by sensing through our five senses or by intuition. Myers (2000) elaborated further on the perceiving or “S-N index”, suggesting that two kinds of perception compete for a person’s attention and that most people, beginning in infancy, display a preference for one more than the other.
According to (Silke 2007) Myers argues that those who prefer sensing tend to be interested in information that fit in well with direct here-and now experiences and have little attention for ideas coming out of nowhere. She further stated that those who prefer intuition are drawn to information that is more conceptual and represent imaginative possibilities for the future. According to Myers, Jung believed that judging, the process by which individuals come to conclusions about what they perceive, occurs either by hinking (T) (i. e. , by logical process), or by feeling (F), (i. e. , using personal subjective values). In a article by McGinnis she stated that (Elsbach, Bar, & Hargadon 2005) said that human understanding and behavior are largely based upon how a person perceives and think about a situation, perception matter because how a person make sense of situation effects his or her attitude, attributions, and behavior. According to research, experts have identified various habits of the mind that are based on the power of perception.
Myers also stated that individuals who consider first whether ideas or perceptions are consistent and logical are relying on using thinking judgment. Those who consider first whether ideas are pleasing or displeasing as well as supporting or threatening ideas already prized, are using feeling judgment. As explained by Myers, Jung believed that the perceiving and judging processes operated to form the core of all human personalities and that individual preferences for S over N or T over F (or vice versa) provided the bases for differences in human behavior.
Myers (2000) remarked that “it is reasonable that basic differences in perception and judgment should result in corresponding differences in behavior” because perception “determines what people see in a situation” and judgment “what they decide to do about it”. In addition to these two core personality differences, according to Myers (2000), Jung claimed that individuals also differ in whether they focus more on the inner world of experience, introversion (I), or the outer world of experience, E).
Myers (2000) described the E-I index by further explaining that the main interests of the introvert are those that are associated with the inner world of concepts and ideas. Alternatively, as Myers explained, the extravert tends to be more involved with the outer world of people and things. Therefore, as further explained by Myers, when circumstances permit, the introvert concentrates perception and judgment upon ideas, while the extravert likes to focus them on the outside environment.
Finally, Myers (2000), who extended Jung’s theory, added that individuals differ on whether the perceiving or judging core process becomes the dominant process guiding behavior. Myers explained how the J-P index difference arises by suggesting that although individuals must use both perception and judgment, both cannot be used at the same moment. Consequently, individuals shift back and forth between the perceptive and judging attitudes, while finding one ttitude more comfortable than the other and using it as often as possible in dealing with the outer world. Myers agreed that personality types arises biologically but is influence environmentally. However, environment is also viewed as influencing type development “because environmental factors can foster development of each person’s natural preferences, or it can discourage their natural bent by reinforcing activities that are less satisfying and less motivating, making skill development more difficult” (Myers & McCauley 1999).
Overall, Myers (2000) summarized the expectations of personality type theory by suggesting that it provides us with a means to expect and understand specific personality differences in particular individuals. Knowledge of such differences offers the opportunity to then cope with and respond to individuals and the differences in constructive ways. According to Myers, the theory helps to emphasize that seemingly chance variation in human behavior is not due to chance; it is in fact the logical result of a few basic, observable differences in mental functioning.
According to Myers, individuals who consider first whether ideas or perceptions are consistent and logical are relying on using thinking judgment. Those who consider first whether ideas are pleasing or displeasing as well as supporting or threatening ideas already prized, are using feeling judgment. As explained by Myers (1983), Jung believed that the perceiving and judging processes operated to form the core of all human personalities and that individual preferences for S over N or T over F (or vice versa) provided the bases for differences in human behavior.
Myers remarked, “It is reasonable that basic differences in perception and judgment should result in corresponding differences in behavior” because perception “determines what people see in a situation” and judgment “what they decide to do about it. ” Overall, Myers (2000) summarized the expectations of personality type theory by suggesting that it provides us with a means to expect and understand specific personality differences in particular individuals.
Knowledge of such differences offers the opportunity to then cope with and respond to individuals and the differences in constructive ways. According to Myers, the theory helps to emphasize that seemingly chance variation in human behavior is not due to chance; it is in fact the logical result of a few basic, observable differences in mental functioning. Chapter 2 – LITERATURE REVIEW Within Chapter Two, a literature review is provided of relevance to further understanding the current state of knowledge in regards to distance learning.
Included within the literature review is both seminal and current information regarding conceptual models developed to explain adult learning as well as adult learning styles due to their relevance as frameworks for understanding the processes by which adults learn through distance education This is followed by a review of the literature on barriers to adult learning, motivation of adult learners, and diversity issues of relevance to adult learners and distance education. Distance Learning What is Distance Learning?
Distance learning is defined in the America heritage dictionary as Education in which students take academic courses by accessing information and communicating with the instructor asynchronously over a computer network. Also called distance education. Morris (2009) also said that the term “distance learning” is used to describe any type of instruction that takes place outside of a classroom or training facility. Its most commonly applied to Internet-based education, but it can also include teleconferencing, audio and mail correspondence courses.
According to the American Council of Education (1996), distance learning activities are designed to fit the specific context for learning, the nature of the subject matter; intended learning outcomes, needs and goals of the learner, the learner’s environment and the instructional technologies and methods. Tam(2000) also stated that while distance education has provided a means to dispel the barrier of distance in terms of learners’ access to education, it has also created opportunities by providing access as open as possible to those who are willing to avail themselves of the opportunities education affords them.
For those who have been limited by location, finance, time and resources, as Tam suggested, distance education has been helpful in derailing these obstacles to some degree. As well, as explained by Dede (2000), distance education has been welcomed because it provides opportunities to meet the needs of those students who may have “unusual learning needs” or “unusual emotional problems”, who need to take “atypical courses”, or who have “visual learning styles”(p. 3).
According to the National Center for Education Statistics NCES, 2009, 65 percent of the 4,200 degree-granting 2- and 4-year colleges in the United States offered some type of distance learning in the 2006 to 2007 academic year. Of those 4,200 colleges, 65 percent had courses for which students earned credits, and 23 percent had non-credit courses Morris (2009). Information also suggests that most distance education students are adults between the ages of 25 and 50, and distance learners are more likely than conventional students to be employed full-time.
As reviewed by Moore and Kearsley (1999), Prior research has suggested that the typical American distance learner has the following characteristics: Distance learners take online courses for many reasons, particularly to learn new subjects and skills or update old ones. They may enroll to fulfill a personal goal or for work-related reasons. Most participate in a distance-learning course voluntarily. Most are not strangers to formal education. The more experience the learner has with formal education, the better his/her chances are of completing a distance-learning course.
Distance learners tend to be more field independent and self-directed than traditional learners. Most take learning seriously, is highly motivated, committed, and task-oriented students who want to use the knowledge they have gained. Additionally, noted by Grill (1999) the typical student in distance learning courses is well educated, white, and middle-class. Also, as with traditional learning settings, according to Grill, the most successful distance students are those who most educators would term “good students. By combining all of these factors, as explained by Grill (1999), distance education has provided increased access, quite often, to the same individuals who have always had relatively good access to educational opportunities. In other words, we are increasing access, but not necessarily broadening it Grill (1999). These statistics mean that sound instructional design in distance education depends on a clear understanding of what factors affect adult learning.
When considering distance learning as an option for education, Ballard (2006) stated that it should be whether or not the student have what it takes to be successful with distance learning, to be successful in distance learning require student to be very motivated to learn and have a good support system at home. Distance learning is not right for every body. One of the biggest drawbacks to distance learning and taking classes online according to ( Emen 2008) is limited external motivation.
Because the professor and other students are not seen face to face like going to a tradition on-campus college or university program where the motivation to succeed and do your work is all around you. As prior research has demonstrated, students who participate in distance learning courses may encounter several technology –related difficulties. As reported by valentine (2002) besides the cost of the technology, there is the possibility of not utilizing all its potential. Some of these problems arise from a lack of training, some from the instructor’s attitudes about using the technology, and still others by hardware problems.
It seems to be self evident that instructors need to be trained to use distance learning technology, but too often they are not. Once again, it appears that administration may feel that the technology itself will improve the course. Advancement in technology does not lead to effective distance education. There are some misconceptions and myths related to the difficulty of distance teaching and learning, technologies available to support distance instruction, and the support and compensation needed for high-quality instructors.
As reported by (Song 2010) some misconception arises as higher education explores dozens of distance learning technologies with new ones seeming to emerge each week. Such technologies confront instructors and administrators at a time of continued budget retrenchments and rethinking. Adding to this dilemma, bored students are dropping out of online classes while pleading for richer and more engaging distance learning experiences. Opinions are mixed about the benefits of distance teaching and learning in higher education.
Given the demand for distance learning, the plethora of technologies to incorporate into teaching, the budgetary problems, and the opportunities for innovation, distance-learning environments are facing challenges, linking pedagogy, technology, and learner needs. Given its popularity and increased usage, it is imperative that administrators and instructors monitor the current state and future direction relating to distance education in order to meet the needs and challenges of tomorrow (Song 2010). According to Kirkley (2004) istance learning is limited to selecting the “right technology and transferring courses to the web. Another barrier is course content, which is a concern of instructors who teach at a distance. How can student performance are evaluated when you’re not even in the same room (Chris Zirkle, Sharon Guan 2000). Therefore the question according to research is distance learning effective? The answer is yes. How effective depends on the methods and technology used, and their appropriateness in relation to the instructional task and objectives Harriman (2004).
Conceptual models: Adult-learning models This section of the literature review provides information about conceptual models that have been constructed to explain adult learning. The historical roots of each of the models are addressed and an overview is presented that offers the major premises associated with each of the theoretical foundations. It is important to note that the models addressed were developed over the course of the 20th century and the literature included for review is that which is considered as influential in the development of the associated theories.
Andragogy was first conceptualized and used in Europe during the 1800s as a theoretical foundation for adult education. However, it was not used extensively in the US until the 1970s when Malcolm Knowles further developed it as one of the strongest models supporting the assumption that teaching adults differ from children and adolescent adults should differ from teaching children and adolescents (Beder & Darkenwald, 2003).
By contrasting “andragogical” or learner-centered methods with “pedagogical” or teacher-centered methods Knowles (2000) argued that adults differ from children and adolescent learners in a number of important ways that influence learning and, consequently how they approach learning. Barton (2007) also argues that Pedagogy is traditionally an approach for teaching children and andragogy is a relatively new approach for teaching adults. Pedagogy is generally teacher-centered, with the teacher deciding who should learn what when and how. Andragogy is learner-centered, allowing learners to direct how learning occurs.
He further said that Andragogy brings with it a few principles, popularized by Knowles, which point out that adults, unlike children, have much life experience which allows them to more immediately contribute to a discussion, and because of that experience and the busy lives they lead, adults prefer problem-based learning that is applicable to their lives. Following an andragogical approach, a teacher becomes a facilitator of learning, providing materials and resources and keeping discussions in the right direction, but stays out of the way to let learning happen.
The following assumptions underline Knowles according to Conner (1997- 2004) andragogic model asserts that five issues be considered and addressed in formal learning. They include (1) letting learners know why something is important to learn, (2) showing learners how to direct themselves through information, and (3) relating the topic to the learners’ experiences. In addition, (4) people will not learn until they are ready and motivated to learn. Often this (5) requires helping them overcome inhibitions, behaviors, and beliefs about learning.
Although the assumptions underlying the andragogical model have to do with how adults learn, the model has led to specific implications for teaching practice: if adult learning differs, then it follows that adults should be taught differently (Beder & Darkenwald, 2003) However, overtime, Knowles gradually modified his position regarding the contrast between how pre-adults (i. e. , children and adolescents) learn (pedagogy) and how adults learn (andragogy). According to Batton (2004) Knowles concedes that four of andragogy’s five key assumptions apply equally to adults and children. The sole difference is that children have fewer experiences.
In spite of the fact that Knowles’ views reportedly changed, the andragogical model has continued to strongly influence the adult education field, with the assumption continuing to remain that teaching adults should differ from teaching children and adolescents. Adult Learning Styles In this section of the literature research review, an overview of the influential and significant literature on learning styles is reviewed. As is evident in the literature, an interest in learning styles began with the growing focus on cognitive growth, the area of the brain related to intelligence and behaviour, and the influence of school environmental and ocial factors on learners. Jung, (2001) argued that humans receive information differently. As Jung (2001) described, there are four primary types representing the manner in which information is received, including feelings, thinkers, sensors and intuitions. According to Cornwall (2010) he quoted that According to Kolb, effective learning is accomplished through varying modes: Direct experience, or the affective mode; Observation and reflection, or the perceptual mode; Abstract conceptualisation, or the thinking mode; and finally, Experimentation: or the behavioral mode.
Kolb (2000) also suggests that learning is cyclical and holistic, in that all learning modes are applied, although most people tend to favor one type of learning over the others. This suggests that while adults learn via all learning styles, most seem to prefer one or two approaches, although it remains unclear if the same style is used in all learning situations. Cornwall (2010) also stated that Findings confirm that adult learners perform better overall than normal-age students.
As early as 1928, researchers found that adults 25 to 45 years of age can be expected to learn at nearly the same rate and in nearly the same way as they would have learned at 20. More importantly, studies have shown that when research focused on the ability to learn and not the speed at which learning takes place, adults up to age 70 tend to do as well as younger adults. The fact that adults can learn as effectively as younger students is important because it suggests that programmers do not need to be adapted for them. Nor do adult learners need to be treated differently based solely on age disparities.
On the basic of research regarding cognition, Gregorc (2003) developed a conceptualization of mind styles. According to Gregorc, individuals approach learning in a number of different ways reflective of their mind style including: Concrete sequential: the learner is structured, practical, predictable, and thorough, Abstract sequential: the learner is logical, analytical, conceptual, and studious, Abstract random: the learner is sensitive, sociable, imaginative, and expressive, Concrete random: the learner is intuitive, original, investigative, and able to solve problems.
Barriers to Learning in distance education In review of the Research on barriers to adult education, Russel, (2006) explained that the adult learner has many responsibilities that must be balanced against the demands of learning. Because of these responsibilities, adults may have barriers against participating in learning. Some of these barriers include (a) lack of time, (b) lack of confidence, (c) lack of information about opportunities to learn, (d) scheduling problems, (e) lack of motivation, and (f) “red tape” If the learner does not see the need for the change in behavior or knowledge, a barrier exits.
Likewise, if the learner cannot apply learning to his/her past experiential or educational situations, the teacher will have barriers to overcome. Russel (2006) stated that Emotional connection to the learner is perhaps the most elusive barrier to overcome between teacher and learner. Any teacher who can make a learner believe that he/she is capable of learning a skill/knowledge has already met an important goal of the teaching/learning experience.
Malhotra, Sizzo, & Chorvat (1999) explained that increasingly the participants in post-secondary education increasingly are nontraditional students who experience three major barriers to educational participation including situational, institutional and dispositional. According to the researchers, situational barriers are those that emerge on the basis of one’s life situation while institutional barriers represent practices that tend to exclude or discourage adult learners from participating in educational opportunities.
Institutional barriers can include class schedules that are inconvenient, class locations that are not readily accessible, inflexible school fees, and inappropriate course offerings. As explained by Malhotra et al, dispositional barriers include negative attitudes and perceptions about returning to school that limit a student= S success.
According to Research Galusha (1997) also listed some barriers to learning in distance education As 1 student barrier, Problems and barriers encountered by the student fall into several distinct categories; costs and motivators, feedback and teacher contact, student support and services, alienation and isolation, lack of experience, and training. Faculty Barriers in Distance Learning Faculty experiences problems such as lack of staff training in course development and technology.
One such berries is the lack of support for distance learning in general, and inadequate faculty selection for distance learning courses. Sometimes the coursework for traditional and distance students is the same. Often it is not. Organizational Barriers in Distance Learning Student and teacher concerns represent the human aspects of distance programs. Organizational problems, especially infrastructure and technology problems, also present challenges. Course Considerations The last area of concern lies in the distance courses themselves.
Institutions must consider course standards, curriculum development and support, course content, and course pacing in developing distance-learning programs. As concluded by the researchers, unless institutions understand obstacles that prevent and prohibit adult learners in distance education, efforts to facilitate learning as well as recruitment and retention activities will remain unsuccessful (Malhotra et al, 1999). Adult Learner and Motivation in distance education
Abdulah (2008) elaborated that many studies of motivation, which regard participation in adult distance education, view it as defined by the goals adult learners hope to reach by means of their participation such as job advancement, acquisition of new skills and knowledge, or development of new social relationship. The question of participation in adult learning programs by the adults then becomes a matter not of ascertaining what it is that the adults want to learn or what teaching and learning strategies or learning preferences that are most suitable in view of the special characteristics of adult learners.
Malhotra ET; al;(1999) also review seminal efforts to determined factors associated with motivation and adult learning in distance education. The research cited Houle (1961) who argued that participation in adult learning activities were facilitated by the following, goal-oriented, activity- oriented or learning –oriented types of motivation. Abdulah (2008) and Lieb (1991) cited six factors serve as sources of motivation for adult learning in distance. Personal advancement to achieve higher status in a job, secures professional advancement, and stay abreast of competitors.
Escape/Stimulation: to relieve boredom, provide a break in the routine of home or work, and provide a contrast to other exacting details of life. Cognitive interest: to learn for the sake of learning, seek knowledge for its own sake, and to satisfy an inquiring mind. Research also show that Burgess (2001) perform a factor analysis on adult motivation and documented seven groping factors including desire to know, desire to reach a personal goal, desire to reach a social goal, desire to reach a religious goal, desire to escape, desire to take part in activity, and desire to comply with formal requirements.
Other factors determined by prior researchers are Personality type, Learning style and Computer Anxiety, Personality Type/Learning Style and Computer Anxiety According to research distance education courses almost always involve the use of computer technology, it is important to consider prior efforts to investigate personality type, learning styles and computer anxiety. Maurer (1994) indicated that it was important to study the relationships between computer attitudes and various personality traits to determine anxiety reduction techniques that may be appropriate for different personalities.
Mawhinney and Saraswat (2001) studied the relationship between computer anxiety and personality type in undergraduate business students enrolled in computer courses and found a significant correlation between computer anxiety and personality type. They concluded that computer anxiety is more common in “feeling” type individuals than in the “thinking” types. Chapter 3 – RESEARCH METHODOLOGY This study was guided by the following research Question: 1. Does personality type influence learning outcomes of student enrolled in distance education? . Are there differences in personality types among student enrolled in distance education courses? 3. What factors influence learning outcomes of students enrolled in distance education? To answer these questions the researcher reviewed and analyzed the definition of distance education and adult education. The researcher also searched for information in books, research papers, and journal articles and data. The researcher reviewed scholarly articles, term papers, and data on distance education.
The researcher also reviewed the possible relationship of learning style and personality type on learning outcomes of students participating in distances education by reviewing scholarly articles and journal articles. The researcher reviewed historical information on distance education also information on adult education. Finally, the researcher reviewed and analyzed journal articles, magazine articles and web based articles on how personality types, learning style influence learning outcomes of student in distance education.
Chapter 4 – FINDINGS and RESULTS Does personality types influences learning outcomes of student enrolled in distance education? In response to individual needs, personalization in education not only facilitates student to learn better by using different strategies to create various learning experiences also help teachers in designing teaching or instructional packages. Each learner has a preference for a teaching style that allows him to learn better. Some likes to listen and talk, others prefer to analyze a text or simply using a visual medium.
So to learn effectively, learners have to be aware of their preferences that make it easy to manage their own way of learning (Bacharie, Abdelwashed, & Adnani 2010). Research shows that people’s personality preferences influences the way they may not want to become more actively involved in their learning as well as take responsibility for the self- direction and discipline (Jungian). Therefore a person’s individual learning style has to be identified and adapt instruction toward that person’s strengths and preferences (Jungian).
According to research (Bacharie et; al; 2010) stated that matching learners personality using the Myers- Brigs type indicator tools which is based on Carl Jung’s theory types holds that human beings are either introverts or extroverts, and their behavior follows from the inborn psychological types. He also believed that people take in and process information differently based on their personality (Jung 2001). Therefore individual learning and those individual differences become even more important in the area of education.
According to (Bacharie et; al; 2010) learning style may be defined as “the altitudes and behaviors which determine an individual’s preferred way of learning”. The research found that personality type do influence learning outcomes of student in distance education, according to Harrington & Loffredo (2009) study found that Introverts proffered online classes, indicated that their rank ordered preference was because of convenience the enjoyment of computer technology and a desire for motivation.
Research also show for example, that individuals who are more field independent and less influenced by their environment are more suited to distance learning courses than those who are less field dependent (Dean 1998). Are there Differences in personality types among students enrolled in distance education? Yes there are differences in personality types among student in distance education.
According to (Bayram, Deniz, & Eedogan, 2008) quoted that Clark, Uhler, & Fisher (2007) argued that web base distance education appeal more to introverted student who walk away from the face- to – face experience and has a more positive attitude to and greater success in distance education web based learning environment. Bayram, et al;(2008) stated that according to (Busalo et al, 2000) concluded that distance education student are conscientiousness, purposeful strong-willed and responsible and has the strongest and more stable relationship with academic performance.
They also have an openness to experience, defined as being open-minded having an active imagination and preferring variety (Blickle, 1996; Lounsbury et al, 2003). What factors influence learning out comes of student in distance education? There are many factors that influence learning outcome of student in distance education the research look at the following, according to Nagel (2003) the role of individual differences influence what the student bring to the learning situation, student with certain learning styles(e. g. , visual) or behavioral types (e. g. , independent) do learn better in the Web environment.
Being able to express one’s personality, or “presence,” is another intriguing factor that impact the creation of satisfactory learning communities, students with a high motivation to learn, greater self-regulating behavior, and the belief they can learn online do better; as do students with the necessary computer skills . According to Eom (2008) student learning style was one of the influenceing factor also. Different student learn differently and students experience higher lever of satisfaction and learning outcomes when there is a fit between learners’s learning style and a teaching style.
Instructor feed back so that student can improve learner effective responses, increase cognitive skills and knowledge Eow (2008). He also stated that the most influenceing factor is self motivation that lead student to go beyond the scope and requirement of an education course because they are seeking to learn about the subject not just to fulfill a limited set of requirement. Other factors according to ( Perry, Fox, & Fuhrman 2008) helpfulness of lecture are material, positive feeling towards instructor and provision of incentives for attendance. According to Kennedy (2000) stated that people have both motives and reason for what they do.
The motives define their goals, and the reason connects these goals with particular coursed of action for realizing them. thinking begins with goals and cannot move without them. Factors such as job stability, workload, family responsibilities, health, and social responsibilities and obligations have been shown to positively or negatively influence the success or failure in distance learning classes. The degree of encouragement provided by family, friends, and / or employees and co-workers can have a major impact on the adult student’s motivation and willpower to complete the course.
Educational experience and background are also Relevance to career and educational goals and objectives (Dean 1998). . Chapter 5 – CONCLUSION The research has defined and confirmed that distance education is an important factor in adult education. As mention several times in the paper that adult learns differently and for different reasons Knowles (1984). The research also revealed that distance education have evolved over the years, adding new technology like web-based courses, teleconferences, satellite television and internet-bases courses, therefore student in distance education should be prepare to adopt to these new changes.
Research also found that the degree of interaction among participants in distance learning is a strong indicator of the overall success of the distance learning experience. This is because interaction has been found to contribute both the achievement and student satisfaction McCann (2006). The research has also confirmed that there are many factors that effect and motivate learning in distance education, based on the different adult learning theories.
Research has also confirmed that there are differences in personality type among student in distance education, and, that personality does influences learning outcome of student in distance education. This confirmed the Carl Jung’s theory on the manner which individual used their mind is associated with personality development. Therefore it is right to think and believe according to ( Elsbach et al, 2005) that human understanding and behavior are largely based upon how a person think and perceive about a situation matter, because how a person make since of situation effects his or her behavior.
Research also reviewed that because human received information different through feeling, thinking, sense and intuition therefore each individual have a different learning style Jung (2001). According to Myers (2000) summarization of the personality type theory that it provides us with the means to understand specific personality differences in particular individual is something to think about. Based on theses findings researcher can built on the study that the role of personality is an important factor in the learning out comes of student in distance education.
So according to research one can conclude that sound instructional design in distance education depends on a clear understanding of what factors affect adult learning in distance education. According to Ballard (2006), success in distance education require student to be very motivated to learn and have a good support system at home. This will enable them to over come all of the different barriers that influence the learning outcome of distance education.
Although distance education is not right for every one and because of the technology related problems that student face in distance education, instructors need to be trained to be able to used distance learning technology (Valentine2002). In conclusion what make distance learning courses effective learning experience for student is still limited therefore teachers and programs should give attention to cultivating their skill in facilitating and generating student interaction along with developing the technological skills necessary to teach distance education courses Arbaugh (2000). References
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