Do learning styles determine who gains from integrating

learning technology into psychology teaching?



Chris D. Smith and Helen E. Whiteley

Department of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK



Over the course of 5 years we have integrated various types of learning technology – email, a CD-ROM and the Internet – into the teaching of second and third year psychology courses. Throughout we have evaluated students' attitudes towards and use of learning technology both before and after it was used. We have also been able to assess how students examination performance is affected by the introduction of the different types of learning technology. A picture is emerging of poorer students being more likely to show gains in examination performance, which can be attributed to the use of IT-based learning technology. Such students may also have different attitudes towards integrating this technology into their course and show different patterns of use of it. The gains made by the poorer students seem to be attributable to the learning technology more closely matching their learning styles than does traditional lecture-based teaching. In particular, preferences for the pace and sequencing of learning episodes and the amount of time spent on individual topics seem to be better catered for by the opportunity for poorer students to learn via IT-based learning technology.


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