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Exploring the role of learner characteristics in learners' learning environment preferences

Lee Yen Chaw (Graduate Business School, UCSI University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Chun Meng Tang (JCU Singapore Business School, Singapore Campus of James Cook University, Singapore, Singapore)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 22 November 2022

Issue publication date: 24 January 2023

27

Abstract

Purpose

This study intends to examine whether the reasons learners like or dislike a learning environment can help explain the differences in the characteristics of the learner and whether learner characteristics can influence a learner's preference for a learning environment.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopted an exploratory sequential mixed methods research design. The study first conducted focus groups with university students to uncover their learner characteristics by examining the reasons they liked or disliked a learning environment. This was followed by a questionnaire survey to explore how these learner characteristics influenced learner inclination for a learning environment. The survey data were analysed using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis (partial least squares structural equation modelling).

Findings

The findings showed that two types of learner characteristics, i.e. online learner characteristics and classroom learner characteristics, significantly affected learner inclination for a learning environment. Analyses also indicated that learner demographics had no major moderating effect between learner characteristics and learner inclination for a learning environment.

Practical implications

The findings can be useful for education institutions, learning designers and academics to design engaging learning activities to better support different learning needs.

Originality/value

This study makes a novel attempt to distinguish learner characteristics based on the reasons learners like or dislike a learning environment and establishes that individual learners' characteristics play a role in influencing their preference for a specific learning environment.

Keywords

Citation

Chaw, L.Y. and Tang, C.M. (2023), "Exploring the role of learner characteristics in learners' learning environment preferences", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 37 No. 1, pp. 37-54. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEM-05-2022-0205

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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