(The) impact of learning styles on group work
Go, Min Jeong
Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. Tesol Graduate School
Lee, Kil Ryoung
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The Impact of Learning Styles on Group Work The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of student learning styles on group work. By looking at this issue, this study presents grouping methods for effective group work and suggests the direction to orientate for successful cooperation between students. The research questions are as follows: First, how do the groups perform group work depending on FI/FD? Next, how do the groups perceive the group work? This study was conducted in a listening class for 12 weeks. 12 university students were given the questionnaire presented by Lawrence (1993) to determine Field Independent (FI) and Field Dependent (FD) learning styles. They were divided into groups in terms of those learning styles; one group of FI preferred students, another group of FD preferred students, and the last group of two FI preferred students and two FD preferred students. The students' journals, instructor's observation notes, audio recordings and interviews were used. The results of this study were analyzed qualitatively and can be summarized as follows: First, when solving the task, the students in each groupdid not specifically rely on their cognitive preferences. All of the subjects struggled to complete the task, regardless of which group they were placed in. Furthermore, all members of both the FI and FD groups participated in the group work, but for different reasons. Even though every member of the FI group participated in the group work, the group work did not take place actively. In contrast to the FI group behavior, every member of the FD group participated actively. In the Mixed group, the FD students primarily took part in the group work, leaving the FI students in the Mixed group quiet. Next, all of the students in every group said that working together helped them complete the task more so than working alone. Nevertheless, preference for the group work was different among students. The FI and FD groups and the FD student in the Mixed group preferred group work more than working alone. However, the FI student in the Mixed group preferred working individually or in pairs rather than groups. According to the results in this study, instructors should identify individualities in terms of students' learning styles, and should form based on those traits.