Learning Styles and the Affective Domain



Glynis Cousin and Anne Davidson, Coventry University, Coventry, UK



This paper focuses on the affective dimensions of learning and its relationship with the cognitive. In particular, we will report on research undertaken with a group of students who self-defined themselves as 'computer anxious'. We have three key themes to present from this research: the first concerns the methodological difficulties of yielding reliable evidence with respect to the affective domain in learning. Our evidence suggests that there are no easy predictors of compute anxiety and that the complexity of feelings and resistance about learning here cannot be captured neatly. The second theme assesses the applicability of the 'affective filter hypothesis' to the research data we have gathered. In this respect, we look at the fit between students' reported feelings and their actual learning outcomes. The third theme concerns learners in the context of the information revolution generally. We ask whether the differentiated feelings about computers in turn produce differentiated access to learning in this important contemporary field of knowledge and skill. We conclude our discussion by drawing out the pedagogic implications from our research.


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