School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Fred Milacci


Introvert, Personality, Active Learning, Student-centered


Education | Higher Education


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe the experiences of introverted undergraduate students in the active learning English classroom in a community college setting in Florida. Eysenck’s Personality Theory, which provides knowledge about introverts’ preferred method of learning; and Experiential Learning Theory, which presents pertinent information concerning how individuals learn by experience, guided this study. The research questions were as follows: How do introverted undergraduate students describe their experience in an English course structured as an active learning classroom environment (ALC)? How do participants describe the academic atmosphere of the ALC? How do participants describe the effect they perceive the ALC has on their academic performance? How do participants describe the social atmosphere of the ALC? What benefits do participants describe from taking part in the ALC? The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) identified introverted students, and the Active-Learning Inventory Tool (ALIT) identified which classes showed consistent use of active learning techniques. Data collection methods included semi-structured interviewing, cognitive representations, and online non-synchronous focus groups. Utilizing Moustakas’ (1994) modified Van Kemp method, data analysis consisted of a series of operations: horizonalization, reduction, elimination, clustering, theme development, validation, and description to report the essence of participants’ experiences. Two major themes emerged through data analysis: (a) the ALC does not match introverts’ personality traits, but (b) introverts employ coping mechanisms to perform at their typical academic level. Data analysis identified four subthemes of the first major theme – the desire to observe prior to participation, pressure to perform, desire for time to think, and expenditure of energy.