How Do High School Students Prefer To Learn?

  • Leila A. Mills
  • Laura Baker
  • Jenny S. Wakefield
  • Putthachat Angnakoon


Learning preference among a group of high school students was examined in order to determine how students feel about options for learning within the integrated communications technology-mediated spaces of our time. Learning preference is presented as student-chosen learning and a way to examine student attitudes, within the affective and cognitive domains of learning outcomes. Learning preferences, specifically student attitudes and feelings, are neglected yet important aspect of learning. One specific student learning preference examined in this study was choice of learning mode by degree of technology applied, ranging from learning in Internet spaces via online interactions to learning in the more traditional classroom setting. Students’ information behavior was also examined in relation to the information search theory, to gain insight on how students focus their activities in Internet virtual learning spaces. The Information Communications Technology Learning (ICTL) survey was used to examine differences in high school students’ information behavior for seeking and sharing information. A total of 88 students, from a predominantly African American high school in the southern United States, participated in the study. The major questions asked were: Can we identify trends in student-chosen learning preference for learning with technology by gender and is there a relationship between information behavior and students’ choice of STEM academic major? Findings revealed that high school girls and students with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) interest preferred learning in a traditional classroom setting.


Learning preference Information behavior Information seeking Information sharing Technology-mediated learning Virtual learning space STEM career interest 



This research was made possible by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) Science Education Center (SEC) in Livingston, LA. Funding was provided by NSF grants, awards PHY0917587 and PH-0757058, to the Baton Rouge (Louisiana, USA) Area Foundation and the LIGO Cooperative Research Agreement with Caltech and MIT.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leila A. Mills
    • 1
  • Laura Baker
    • 1
  • Jenny S. Wakefield
    • 2
  • Putthachat Angnakoon
    • 3
  1. 1.St. Edward’s UniversityAustinUSA
  2. 2.Dallas County Community CollegeDallasUSA
  3. 3.Faculty of Learning Sciences and Education, Thammasat University – Rangsit CampusPathumthaniThailand

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