Simonds & Brock

Relationship Between Age, Experience, and Student Preference for Types of Learning Activities in Online Courses

Thomas A. Simonds, S.J., Ed.D., Creighton University
Barbara L. Brock, Ed.D., Creighton University

Abstract

In this study, two researchers explored student learning preferences in online courses. They used the scholarship of teaching and learning process as a research model, and embedded a web-based survey and online focus groups in the online courses they were teaching. After collecting data, the researchers conducted multiple logistic regression analyses to test their hypothesis that a relationship existed between some student factors and student preferences for types of online learning activities. The results of the data analysis revealed a statistically significant relationship between student age and student preference for certain types of online learning activities. Older students in the study indicated a much stronger preference for videos of the professor lecturing, while younger students tended to prefer more interactive learning strategies. Focus group comments from the older students provide insights into some of the reasons why they found watching video lectures to be helpful for their learning, and comments from younger students illustrate how they learn best in online courses. The researchers offer suggestions for online instructors based on the findings of this study, and they explain why online instructors may find the scholarship of teaching and learning research process especially helpful for both teaching and research efforts.

Keywords:

Effective Online Teaching and Learning Strategies, Relationship between Age and Preference for Online Learning Activities, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning


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