Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:00 PM


DONOGHUE, Kellie and DUNNING, Jeremy, Geological Sciences, Indiana University, 1005 E 10th Street, Bloomington, IN 47405,

Increasing dependence on asynchronous, technology-mediated instruction in the geosciences makes it critical that we understand how our students learn. In this double blind study 60 students from an introductory non-majors physical geology course and 19 faculty from the department of geosciences participated in an evaluation of preferred learning styles and performance in each learning style using the VAK and Bloom’s Taxonomy models. In addition, comparisons were made between male and female performance in analytical and spatial geological learning. The bimodal VAK profiles of the students which emphasized audio and visual learning is in contrast to the roughly equivalent audio, visual and kinetic scores of the faculty. Each of the students evaluated multimedia learning objects in VAK, Bloom’s, analytical and spatial learning model categories, and then took a short test immediately after finishing each. Student preferences favored virtual flied trip and visual scenario activities, and did not vary as a function of gender. Student preferences did not always match their performance in the individual model categories. An unexpected result was the equivalent success levels in simple learning activities versus complex multinodal activities. Comparison of male and female performance in spatial and analytical multimedia activities indicated no gender difference in either category, in contrast to the previous work of Kastens and Ishikawa (2010). Student comprehension levels in interactive multimedia activities were significantly higher than comprehension levels in non-interactive, text-based learning of the same topics. The materials provided to the students and a summary of results may be found at: