Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Psychology

Advisor

Peggy Gallaher

Abstract

An instructor's personality may influence his or her teaching strategies and instructional style. Correspondingly, a student with a particular learning style may respond more readily to one teacher personality type as opposed to another. This quantitative research, guided by theories of personality and learning, examined the relationship between instructor level of extraversion and student visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learning modalities in a community college setting. A cross-sectional correlation design was implemented. Three hundred and two students from a community college in the southwestern United States were asked to select an instructor (past or present) they thought taught effectively and complete an observer-rated extraversion scale from the Big Five Inventory on the selected instructor. The students also self-reported their learning style using the Barsch Learning Style Inventory along with a demographic questionnaire. Upon establishing the dominant learning style of each student, a one-way ANOVA was conducted to analyze instructor's extraversion level with student's dominant style of learning. Pearson correlations were examined to determine relationships between instructor extraversion and auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learning style scores. While findings did not indicate a positive correlation between instructors' degree of extraversion and students' visual learning style scores, it did show that visual learners rated effective instructors higher on the trait of extraversion than did auditory or kinesthetic learners. In addition, further analyses indicated that auditory and kinesthetic learning style scores negatively correlated to an instructor's level of extraversion. This study's results emphasize the importance of considering both instructors' personality traits and students' learning styles in fostering an advantageous learning environment.

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