Date of Award

Spring 2001

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Counseling and Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Taft, Thomas

Second Advisor

Schweizer, Heidi

Third Advisor

Griffin, Bob

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether there was a difference in work performance related to learning style and teaching method for 106 practicing home health care clinicians, who were randomly assigned to either a face-to-face learning environment or a web-based learning environment for the purpose o f learning four standardized disease management protocols. Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory and the Wagner Preference Inventory were used to measure learning style. Covariates in the study included achievement motivation as measured by the Work and Family Orientation Questionnaire (Helmreich & Spence), computer experience as measured by Potosky’s Computer Understanding and Experience Scale, and work experience as measured by tenure with the company and highest post secondary school degree achieved. Work performance was measured by changes in practice, measured by eleven clinical practice criteria related to the materials learned in the four disease management classes. Most criteria were self-reported electronically during a home visit.

Chi Square and partial correlation were the primary statistical tools used to analyze findings, which indicated that there was no statistically significant difference in work performance when comparing face-to-face learners to web-based learners. These findings generally agree with the literature, where findings from over 350 studies have indicated no statistically significant difference in performance outcomes when comparing face-to-face learners with distance learners.

Partial correlations indicated no statistically significant relationships between Kolb’s Learning Dimensions and work performance. Regardless of teaching method, for one criterion, left hemispheric dominant individuals outperformed right hemispheric dominant individuals; for another criterion, left hemispheric dominant web-based learners outperformed right dominant hemispheric web-based learners.

In four of the face-to-face and three of the web-based clinical practice criteria, achievement motivation was positively correlated with work performance. On three occasions work performance was negatively correlated with perceived computer experience, indicating that less experienced computer users actually performed better than those who reported having more experience. Finally, partial correlations indicated no relationship between tenure and work performance.

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