Cilt 15, Sayı 4, Sayfalar 112 - 129 2015-02-27

Learning Styles And Satisfaction In Distance Education

Darren C. WU [1]

258 157

Although complex, controversial, and contradicting, learning styles is highly influential. Distance education (DE) has experienced tremendous growth in the last few decades. The popularity of learning styles and DE necessitates research. This correlational research study was conducted to determine if there is any evidence to incorporate learning styles in DE. The following is the research question for this study. Are students’ learning styles based on the visual, auditory, tactile model correlated to satisfaction of course format in an online undergraduate course? The participants of this study were students enrolled in three sections of the Contemporary Worldviews course at a private higher education institution (HEI). Learning styles were determined by a variant of the visual, auditory, read/write, and kinesthetic (VARK) framework. Satisfaction of course format was determined from one composite question with responses based on a Likert scale. The response rate was 53.5%. Statistical analysis determined that learning styles was not correlated to satisfaction of course format in this current study. There are implications from this study that curriculum can be designed for a single course that leaves students highly satisfied. Educators should saturate DE courses with as much variance as feasible given technology and cost limitations to account for possible learning style differences.
Distance Education, Learning Styles, Satisfaction, VARK.
  • Battalio, J. (2009). Success in distance education: Do learning styles and multiple formats matter? American Journal of Distance Education, 23(2), 71-87.
  • Beaumaster, S., & Long, J. A. (2002). Pedagogy, technology and learning styles— their effect on the online learner. Proceedings from National Conference on
  • Alternative and External Degree Programs for Adults ’02, Pittsburg, PA, 80-97. Retrieved from
  • Beyth-Marom, R., Saporta, K., & Caspi, A. (2005). Synchronous vs. asynchronous tutorials: Factors affecting students’ preferences and choices. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 37(3), 245-262.
  • Bowen, T. (2006). Designing curricula to ensure student completions (DECA-25).
  • Retrieved from %20Designing%20Curricula%20-%20Bowen.pdf Bozkaya, M. (2001). Effects of instruction administered through written and visual symbol systems on the achievement of formal and distance education students.
  • Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED470071)
  • Buboltz, W., Wilkinson, L., Thomas, A., & Jenkins, S. (2001). Learner styles and potential relations to distance education. In J. Price, et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for
  • Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2001,
  • Chesapeake, VA (pp. 144-148). Norfolk, VA: AACE.
  • Coffield, F., Moseley, D., Hall, E., & Ecclestone, K. (2004). Learning styles and pedagogy in post-16 learning: A systematic and critical review. London: Learning and Skills Research Centre.
  • Combs, L. (2001). Planning for e-course success. Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2001
  • World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications, Tampere, Finland, June 25-30, 2001, 317-321.
  • Cook, D. A., Gelula, M. H., Dupras, D. M., & Schwartz, A. (2007). Instructional methods and cognitive and learning styles in web-based learning: Report of two randomized trials. Medical Education, 41(9), 897-905. doi:10.1111/j.1365- 292007.02822.x
  • Deka, T. S., & McMurry, P. (2006). Student success in face-to-face and distance teleclass environments: A matter of contact? International Review of Research in
  • Open and Distance Learning, 7(1), 1-16. Drago, W. A., & Wagner, R. J. (2004). Vark preferred learning styles and online education. Management Research News, 27(7), 1-13. doi:1108/01409170410784211
  • Eaton, J. S. (2001). Distance learning: Academic and political challenges for higher education Accreditation (CHEA Monograph Series 2001, Number 1). Retrieved from
  • Edvardsson, R., & Oskarsson, G. (2008). Distance education and academic achievement in business administration: The case of the University of Akureyri.
  • International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 9(3), 1-12. Eom, S. B., Wen, H. J., & Ashill, N. (2006). The determinants of students’ perceived learning outcomes and satisfaction in university online education: An empirical investigation. Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, 4(2), 215-235. doi:1111/j.1540-4609.2006.00114.x
  • Gee, D. (1990). The impact of students’ preferred learning style variables in a distance education course: A case study. Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED358836)
  • Glenn, A. S. (2001). A comparison of distance learning and traditional learning environments (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3007263)
  • Graf, S., & Kinshuk (2007). Technologies linking learning, cognition, and instruction. In J. M. Spector, M. D. Merrill, J. V. Merrienboer, & M. P. Driscoll (Eds.),
  • Handbook of research for educational communications and technology (pp. 305- 315). New York, NY: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group. Graham, C., & Essex, C. (2001). Defining and ensuring academic rigor in online and on- campus courses: Instructor perspectives.Proceedings of Selected Research and Development
  • [and] Practice Papers Presented at the National Convention of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology, Atlanta, GA, November 8-12, 2001. Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED470163)
  • Head, R. (2001). Distance learning at Piedmont Virginia Community College.
  • Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED459876)
  • Hillstock, L. G. (2005). A few common misconceptions about distance learning.
  • Proceedings from Association of Small Computer Users in Education (ASWPIE), Myrtle Beach, SC, June 12-16, 2005, 39-145. Retrieved from
  • Hoban, G., Neu, B., & Castle, S. R. (2002). Assessment of student learning in an educational administration online program. Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED464146)
  • Honey, P., & Mumford, A. (1982). Manual of learning styles. London: P. Honey.
  • Howell, D. C. (2011). Fundamental statistics for the behavioral sciences (7th ed.).
  • Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing. Jones, E. R. (1999). A comparison of an all web-based class to a traditional class.
  • Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference, San Antonio, TX, February 28-March 4, 1999, 1372-1377.
  • Retrieved from
  • Kolb, D. A. (1984). Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  • MacFarland, T. W. (2006). An assessment of Nova Southeastern University fall term 2004 course section grades: Selected off campus sites v. campus-based report 06- 0 Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED494834)
  • Magagula, C. M., & Ngwenya, A. P. (2004). Comparative analysis of the academic performance of distance and on-campus learners. Turkish Online Journal of
  • Distance Education, 5(4). Manochehri, N. (2008). Individual learning style effects on student satisfaction in a web-based environment. International Journal of Instructional Media, 35(2), 221-228.
  • Maushak, N., Chen, H., Martin, L., Shaw, B., & Unfred, D. (2001). Distance education: Looking beyond the no significant difference. The Quarterly Review of
  • Distance Education, 2(2), 119-140. Miller, G. (1997). Are distance education programs more acceptable to field- independent learners? Proceedings of Selected Research and Development
  • Presentations at the 1997 National Convention of the Association for Educational
  • Communications and Technology, Albuquerque, NM, February 14-18, 1997.
  • Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED409854)
  • Neely, P. W., & Tucker, J. P. (2010). Unbundling faculty roles in online distance education programs. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 11(2), 20-32.
  • Nilson, L. B. (2010). Teaching at its best: A research-based resource for college instructors (3rd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  • Nutton, V. (2005). The fatal embrace: Galen and the history of ancient medicine.
  • Science in Context, 18(1), 111-121. doi:10.1017/S0269889705000384
  • Offir, B., Bezalel, R., & Barth, I. (2007). Introverts, extroverts, and achievement in a distance learning environment. American Journal of Distance Education, 21(1), 3- doi:10.1080/08923640701298613
  • Parsad, B., & Lewis, L. (2008). Distance education at degree-granting postsecondary institutions: 2006–07 (NCES 2009–044). Washington DC: National Center for
  • Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Pashler, H., McDaniel, M., Rohrer, D., & Bjork, R. (2008). Learning styles: Concepts and evidence. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 9(3), 105-119. doi:1111/j.1539-6053.2009.01038.x
  • Penn State University. (n.d.). Learning style inventory. Retrieved April 12, 2012, from
  • Rolfe, C. J. (2007). Getting the bugs out of the distance learning experience.
  • College Quarterly, 10(3), 1-35. Rothenberger, M., & Long, J. (2001). The effect of learning styles on success in online education. Paper presented at Adult Higher Education Alliance/ACE Conference,
  • Austin, TX. Retrieved from
  • Roy, K. (2006). The impact of learning styles on interactivity in asynchronous e
  • Learning. Performance Improvement, 45(10), 21-26. doi:10.1002/pfi.4930451026
  • Sahin, S. (2008). The relationship between student characteristics, including learning styles, and their perceptions and satisfaction in web-based courses in higher education. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 9(1), 123-138.
  • Santo, S. A. (2006). Relationships between learning styles and online learning: Myth or reality? Performance Improvement Quarterly, 19(3), 73-88.
  • Schoenfeld-Tacher, R., & McConnell, S. (2001). An examination of the outcomes of a distance-delivered science course. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American
  • Educational Research Association, Seattle, WA, April 10-14, 2001. Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED452069)
  • Shachar, M., & Neumann, Y. (2003). Differences between traditional and distance education academic performances: A meta-analytic approach. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 4(2), 1-20.
  • Shaw, R. (2012). A study of the relationships among learning styles, participation types, and performance in programming language learning supported by online forums. Computers & Education, 58(1), 111-120. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2011.08.013
  • Shih, C., Ingebritsen, T., Pleasants, J., Flickinger, K., & Brown, G. (1998). Learning strategies and other factors influencing achievement via web courses.Proceedings of the Annual
  • Conference on Distance Teaching & Learning, Madison, WI, August 5-7, 1998, 359 – 366.
  • Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED422876)
  • Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
  • Spears, K. E., Fried, J. L., Olia, N., Manski, M., Craig, J., & Covington, B. (2008). The effect of dental hygiene student learning styles on achievement in the online learning setting. Journal of Dental Hygiene, 82(5), 56.
  • United States Distance Learning Association. (2009). United States Distance
  • Learning Association and Elluminate, Inc. partner to launch new website. Retrieved from Walls, C. M. (2005). Some strategies for balancing economies of scale and interaction in online/distance education courses. E-Journal of instructional science and technology, 8(1), 1-15. doi:
  • Winnie, P. H., & Nesbit, J. C. (2010). The psychology of academic achievement.
  • Annual Review of Psychology, 61(1), 653-678. Yunfei, D., & Simpson, C. (2002). Effects of learning styles and class participation on students’ enjoyment level in distributed learning environments. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Association for Library and Information Science Education, New
  • Orleans, LA. Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED463755)
  • Zacharis, N. (2010). The impact of learning styles on student achievement in a web-based versus an equivalent face-to-face course. College Student Journal,44(3), 591-597.
Birincil Dil en
Dergi Bölümü Articles

Yazar: Darren C. WU

Bibtex @ { tojde175989, journal = {Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education}, issn = {1302-6488}, address = {Anadolu Üniversitesi}, year = {2015}, volume = {15}, pages = {112 - 129}, doi = {10.17718/tojde.31724}, title = {Learning Styles And Satisfaction In Distance Education}, language = {en}, key = {cite}, author = {WU, Darren C.} }
APA WU, D . (2015). Learning Styles And Satisfaction In Distance Education. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 15 (4), 112-129. DOI: 10.17718/tojde.31724
MLA WU, D . "Learning Styles And Satisfaction In Distance Education". Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education 15 (2015): 112-129 <>
Chicago WU, D . "Learning Styles And Satisfaction In Distance Education". Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education 15 (2015): 112-129
RIS TY - JOUR T1 - Learning Styles And Satisfaction In Distance Education AU - Darren C. WU Y1 - 2015 PY - 2015 N1 - doi: 10.17718/tojde.31724 DO - 10.17718/tojde.31724 T2 - Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education JF - Journal JO - JOR SP - 112 EP - 129 VL - 15 IS - 4 SN - 1302-6488- M3 - doi: 10.17718/tojde.31724 UR - Y2 - 2018 ER -
EndNote %0 Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education Learning Styles And Satisfaction In Distance Education %A Darren C. WU %T Learning Styles And Satisfaction In Distance Education %D 2015 %J Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education %P 1302-6488- %V 15 %N 4 %R doi: 10.17718/tojde.31724 %U 10.17718/tojde.31724