Web-based Instruction for High School Students: Exploration of Individual and Cultural Learning Styles

Y.S. Ryu, C.S. Nam, and T.L. Smith-Jackson (USA)


Cultural ergonomics, distance learning, web-based instruction, learning style, individual difference,


This study explored learning styles from both individual and cultural perspectives using web-based instruction for high school students as the context. Two web-based instructional systems teaching the same concept and theory of the Global Positioning System (GPS) were developed, each of the instructional systems accommodating different media attributes such as text, audio, and animation. To explore the role of learning styles as individual and cultural attributes, two ethnic groups, European-American (EA) and African-American (AA), were selected as the participants of the study. The Felder-Solomon Learning Style Questionnaire (FSLSQ) was used to measure the individual learning style. Questionnaires administered within a focus group setting were used to measure understandability, motivation, excitement, and ease-of-use for the two different interface designs. As results, AA students preferred a web-based tutorial designed with interface design guidelines that were compatible with their cultural learning preferences. It was observed that no learning style dimensions differed significantly between the two ethnic groups. Also, active and visual learners reported benefit from the AA-based instructional system, which employed multimedia elements such as animation and sound effects involving a greater amount of human-computer interaction.

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