Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Learning Sciences and Human Development

Committee Chair

Elizabeth A. Jones.


Each student has a unique learning style or individual way of perceiving, interacting, and responding to a learning environment. The purpose of this study was to identify and compare the prevalence of learning styles among undergraduate Sport Management Studies (SMS) students at California University of Pennsylvania (Cal U). Learning style prevalence was determined for traditional face-to-face students and online web-based students and differences in learning style prevalence between these two groups were explored. Finally, differences in student satisfaction between program delivery methods were examined by using an online questionnaire designed by the researcher.;The population for this study included 247 Cal U undergraduate SMS students enrolled in the fall 2009 semester. Through an online survey 101 face-to-face students and 146 on-line students were identified into one of four learning style groups (Accommodators, Divergers, Assimilators, and Convergers) utilizing Kolb's Learning Style Inventory 3.1 (2005).;The data from the study were analyzed and yielded a trend toward significance for learning style preference by delivery method. The comparison of the four learning styles for the face-to-face participants indicated a statistically significant difference. The comparison of the four learning styles for the on-line participants indicated a statistically significant difference. The follow-up analysis consisted of comparison of each of the four learning styles separately by delivery method (face-to-face and on-line) yielded no statistical significant difference.;Four satisfaction questions were found to have statistical significance in ratings between face-to-face and on-line students. On-line respondents were significantly more satisfied with the challenge and demand of Sport Management Studies courses, significantly more satisfied with the Sport Management Studies major setting high expectations for student performance, significantly more satisfied with the program finding connections between what students are learning in the classroom, relating it to their past experiences, and applying it to their daily lives, and significantly more satisfied with the quality of their academic experience within the program when compared to the face-to-face respondents.;The results of this study can help educators and academic administrators better understand the needs of their students and better develop or structure teaching methods in both on-campus and web-based instruction. Colleges and universities will need to implement changes to meet the advancement of the technological revolution at hand. As educators (virtual and live) are faced with an increasingly diverse population of learners with a wide range of expectations, there is a need to continually seek to understand what factors constitute excellent delivery to promote effective learning. By recognizing different learning styles, educators may better engage students, work in conjunction with their universities to meet demands of the growing distance education and on-line learning populations, increase levels of student satisfaction, ensure a greater program "fit" with students, individualize and capitalize learning opportunities in the classroom, and seek to employ different pedagogical approaches to better facilitate learning.