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Title: Group characteristics and learning styles : an interpretive case study
Author: Tongkaw, Sasalak
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 7864
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2011
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This study aims to provide strategies for blended learning situations which combine supervised on-line courses with traditional classroom lectures in order to take into account the different learning styles of particular groups of students. Most studies, to date, on learning styles have focused on the individual level. This research proposed that commonly preferred learning styles and leanings towards certain media presentations can be identified in whole groups that share some common group characteristics. An interpretive case study was chosen as the methodology to reach the research goal because it collectively combines the benefits of a case study and multiple data collections from students who studied on a required on-line course in the same learning context. The students, who participated in this study, were majoring in either Science, Social Science, or Management. Various data collection techniques included a survey of 576 students who studied IT courses, personal interviews of 34 students, participatory and on-line observations, and reference to institutional documents. Qualitative analysis of the data employed a concept synthesis coupled with a template analysis to compare and contextualise all the facets of reality depicted by the data (King, 2004). This approach was necessary due to the extensive theoretical background required to generate the initial template and the need to completely comprehend the group learning phenomenon. The research discerned that students in specific major academic fields have common preferences for on-line media and activities that assist the learning process because they process and perceive information differently. A model is proposed to identify the interactions between the learner, the media and activity content, and the context of learning. The design of on-line course materials should take into account group learning styles to propose a holistic picture for effective learning. This is a valuable resource for the teachers and designers of compulsory on-line courses and for those who determine educational policy and strategy.
Supervisor: Wood, Bob Sponsor: Royal Thai Embassy Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Learning Styles ; Higher Education ; Group Characteristics ; Interpretive Case Study ; Blended Learning