The purpose of this study is to uncover the learning styles of interior design graduate students along with their use of research based online peer discussions. Personality profiles have been used in interior design and related fields to identify the learning styles of student populations, and have also been used to identify types of successful online learners engaged in distance education. Online discussions continue peer dialogue once face-to-face class times are over and also provide an active learning environment for engagement. This study builds on previous research in online discussions and learning styles by applying online discussions to the special population of interior design graduate students engaged in the traditional thesis research process.
The sample for this study consisted of 26 students enrolled in an interior design graduate program. This study took place over a six-week period in a face-to-face class dealing with issues and research in interior design. Students completed a learning style survey and maintained personal web logs to discuss pertinent articles that dealt with their research interests. Frequency of posts and responses were tracked and compared with the learning style results.
This study shows that this sample of graduate students differed from the national population in their learning styles. The data also showed that certain styles responded more often in the online discussions than others. Overall the class responded to their peers 70% more than the course requirements, making this a viable tool for facilitating discourse among students outside of traditional classes.
|Keywords:||Online Discussions, Learning Styles, Graduate Research and Education|
Assistant, Interior Design, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, USA
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