An Assessment of Community College Students' Learning Styles, Choice of Instructional Delivery Method, Withdrawal Rates, and Performance in Writing Intensive Courses


Community college students


The purpose of this research was to investigate to what extent did the Edison Community College students enrolled in telecourse English Composition classes differ with respect to learning styles, completion rates, performance, motivation for selecting a particular mode of instruction, and selected demographics as compared to ECC students enrolled in traditional English Composition classes. A second dimension of this investigation was to identify the achievement/differences among the community college students that could be attributed to the independent variables (learning styles, reason for choice of mode of delivery, experience with college and distance learning, course load, and student demographics) in the study. A total of 179 students enrolled at Edison Community College between January 5, 2001 and May 1, 2001 responded to the Grasha-Riechman Student Learning Style Survey and an accompanying demographic survey that was administered to five distance learning and five face-to-face sections of English Composition I and II. The learning style survey elicited responses that reduced a student score in each of the six learning styles (dependent, independent, participant, avoidant, competitive, and collaborative). The demographic survey identified students' experience in distance learning, reasons for selection of modality of instruction, current coarse load, and personal demographics. Additional academic data were harvested from the Edison Community College institutional database including the final grade earned in the course. Analyses of these data produced a demographic profile of the academically successful telecourse student and the academically successful traditional student. Conclusions of the study follow: 1. Students with high collaborative learning style scores most often enrolled in traditional classes. 2. Students with high participant learning style scores were likely to have higher grades in English Composition and students with high avoidant learning style scores were likely to earn lower grades. 3. High collaborative learning style scores were significantly correlated to continuance in English Composition courses. 4. The factor of choice in selection of the mode of instruction did not affect withdrawal in English Composition. 5. Age range and motivation for selecting the course modality were the only characteristics that distinguished academically. successful distance learners from academically successful traditional students.


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Graduation Date



Bozeman, William C.


Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


College of Education


Educational Studies

Degree Program

Educational Foundations





Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)




Dissertations, Academic -- Education; Education -- Dissertations, Academic

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