A comparison of preferred learning styles, approaches and methods between information science and computer science undergraduates.

Abstract : In recent years the two disciplines of Information and Library Studies and Computing Science have drawn closer together to the extent that now there are several Universities where they are combined in a single school of Information and Computing Science or Informatics. Currently, a single Higher Education Academy Subject Centre serves the two disciplines. However, there are marked differences between the disciplines observable immediately in the gender balance of their respective undergraduate cohorts with Computer Science tending to attract males and Information Science, females. This project set out to investigate other less obvious differences by means of an online survey of first year undergraduates' preferred learning styles, approaches to study and learning environments. 134 first year undergraduates from 6 UK Universities took part in the online survey and results showed that, whilst there was a clear gender imbalance between Computing Science with its almost entirely male population and Information Science with its mostly female population, differences in learning styles and approaches were less clear. There was a wide variety of individual learning styles and approaches in the sample population and it would not be safe to conclude that any one approach would meet the needs of an entire cohort of Information or Computer Scientists as, whenever an overall tendency appeared, there was always a small but significant group who had an opposite preference. Differences in preferred learning methods were clearer. More than twice as many Information Scientists than Computer Scientists preferred talking and discussing as a method of learning whereas Computer Scientists were significantly more likely than Information Scientists (p<.05) to prefer solving problems. Neither group enjoyed reading from journals or lectures. Two key teaching points for lecturers to note arose in the study; the use of advance organisers in teaching both on and offline and the need to prepare students for and support them in the use of journals.
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https://telearn.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00190173
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Jocelyn Wishart. A comparison of preferred learning styles, approaches and methods between information science and computer science undergraduates.. ITALICS, 2005, 4(2). ⟨hal-00190173⟩

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