Darren WuFollow




School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Deanna Keith


achievement, distance education, Index of Learning Styles, learning styles, satisfaction, subject matter


Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Higher Education | Instructional Media Design


Are potential relationships among students' learning styles and effectiveness in online education moderated by subject matter for undergraduate students at a private higher education institution? This causal relationship correlational study evaluated the effects of subject matter as a moderating variable between students learning styles and effectiveness of distance education (DE). Students in online English courses and online math courses at a private university located in the southeastern United States completed the Index of Learning Styles (ILS) instrument and an end of course satisfaction survey. Tests for homogeneity determined that the two comparison groups (English and math) were comparable since only one out of 11 variables analyzed had a statistically significant difference. Eight null hypotheses were evaluated for each of the four dimensions of the ILS and achievement or satisfaction. The null hypotheses were retained for seven of the eight null hypotheses. Subject matter did not appear to be a moderating variable for these seven relationships. However, the eighth null hypothesis was rejected. The correlation between the ILS measure of sequential/global learning style and student satisfaction for students completing an English course differed significantly from that of students completing a math course. There was a high correlation in the English group between the sequential/global dimension of the ILS and course satisfaction. DE course designers of English courses should take extra precautions to present material in logical or sequential steps.