Learning preferences, computer attitudes, and test performance with computer-aided instruction

Thomas G. Lynch, David J. Steele, Jodi E. Johnson Palensky, Naomi L. Lacy, Sean W. Duffy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Background: Learning preference refers to how individuals choose to approach learning situations. Computer-aided instruction (CAI) permits the adaptation of educational content to individual student learning strategies. Methods: To determine if learning preference and computer attitude influence the acquisition of knowledge using CAI materials, a prototype CAI program was developed that incorporated differing learning exercises. Students (n = 180) completed Rezler's Learning Preference Inventory (LPI) and a computer attitude survey (CAS). The LPI uses three sets of paired scales to characterize learning preference and choice of learning situation. The CAS assesses student attitudes toward computers in general (CAS-G), as well as the educational use of computers (CAS-E). After finishing the program students completed a program attitude survey (CAS-P). Immediate comprehension was assessed by pretests and posttests incorporated into the program. Retention was assessed by a repeat of the posttest 4 to 6 weeks after initial program review. Results: Scores (mean ± SEM) on the pretest, posttest, and late posttest were 38.1% ± 1.35%, 70.9% ± 1.24%, and 62.5% ± 1.44%, respectively. There was no correlation between students' learning preferences or computer attitude and test performance. Conclusions: The data indicate that CAI provides a means of delivering educational content that results in an increase in knowledge that is not correlated with computer attitudes or learning preferences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-371
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001


  • Computer attitudes
  • Computer-aided instruction
  • Learning preference
  • Learning style
  • Medical student
  • Surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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