Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Educational research has shown that student learning styles, and educators' consideration of learning styles, significantly influence the academic success of adult learners. This project study was designed to identify the perceptions and attitudes of nursing faculty concerning student learning styles and consideration of student learning styles in their praxis. The study was guided by Malcolm Knowles' theory of andragogy, and investigated nursing educators' knowledge about learning styles and course delivery with regards to students with different learning styles. It used a descriptive multiple case study approach and collected data among nursing educators using the Principles of Adult Learning Survey (PALS) (n = 9), teacher interviews (n = 9), and classroom observations (n = 6). The qualitative interview data were analyzed using the constant comparative method, and the PALS and observational data were analyzed using descriptive quantitative methods. The results indicated deficiencies in nursing instructors' knowledge of student learning styles and in nursing instructors' learning style-driven course delivery. Respondents notably cited time limitations, class size, and student resistance as barriers in implementing teaching strategies to address learning style differences. A notable study outcome was developing a 3-day seminar for nursing educators focusing on the deficiencies and barriers identified in the study. Implementing this program may promote positive social change for both nursing educators and nursing students by addressing barriers to learning style-driven teaching methods and facilitating student learning style consideration in planning and delivering nursing education, promoting improved academic performance by nursing students.