Graduation Year

1507346220

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Waynne B. James, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Edward C. Fletcher, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jeffrey D. Kromrey, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William H. Young, Ed.D.

Keywords

Higher Education, Saudi Arabia, Adult Education, Special Education, Index of Learning Styles

Abstract

Few studies of learning styles among adults with special needs exist worldwide. Even though there are large numbers of adults with special needs, this population in university education has been largely ignored in educational research. Therefore, this study aimed to gather and analyze learning styles of adult special needs students and to provide data for researchers interested in the fields of learning styles, adult education, and special education. This study examined the learning style patterns among special needs adult students at King Saud University as measured by the dimensions of the Index of Learning Styles, which include active/reflective, sensing/intuitive, visual/verbal, and sequential/global dimensions. The study also included variables of gender, age, special need conditions, and years studying in the university. The research questions were (a) What are the learning style patterns among special needs students at King Saud University? (b) Are there differences in the learning style patterns among special needs students at King Saud University by gender? (c) Are there differences in the learning style patterns among special needs students at King Saud University by age? (d) Are there differences in the learning style patterns among special needs students at King Saud University by special need condition (visual, hearing, physical, or other)? and (e) Are there differences in the learning style patterns among special needs students at King Saud University by their years attending the university?

The participants of this study were 168 special needs students at King Saud University from different majors and colleges during spring semester 2017. The questionnaire was distributed electronically to the students through the Offices of Special Needs. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, t tests, one-way ANOVAs, and chi-square tests of independence. The study discussed the learning styles of the participants and found the majority of participants were balanced learners. There were no statistically significant differences in the variable of gender. On the other hand, the study found there were significant differences on the variables of age and special need conditions on the visual/verbal dimension; and years studying in university on the sensing/intuitive and visual/verbal dimension.

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