The purpose of this study is to find out whether PMU undergraduate male students prefer a virtual or traditional learning style. In addition, this study aims to identify the reasons for each learning style preference. The study will utilize a simple random sampling technique, with 7 PMU students randomly selected from the cluster of 100. All participants were undergraduate students from Saudi Arabia aged 18-29. The limitations included a lack of cooperation and errors when filling out and retrieving surveys.
The Research Design
The selected type of design is a qualitative study. It was chosen due to the nature of the research question – the students explaining the reasoning for their preference towards virtual or traditional methods of learning will have to fill out open-ended surveys. Their contents will then have to be assessed using qualitative methods of analysis, such as content analysis (Dixon-Woods et al., 2015).
Population of the Study
The chosen population includes male students from PMU that have taken virtual and traditional classes in the spring semester of the academic year 2019/2020.
Data Collection Technique
The chosen data collection tools for this task included a Likert scale survey asking the population based on their previous experience with virtual classes and comparing it with the traditional classes to see which style they prefer. Each survey will also have an open-ended part to explain the reasons why they preferred one type of class over the other. The multiple-choice sections allowed generating quantitative data, whereas the open-ended part enabled the students to provide information that did not fit the constraints of the multiple-selection part of the survey.
Sampling Technique and Sample Size
The chosen sampling technique for this research is the randomized sampling technique. This type of sampling is utilized to reduce the potential for bias on the part of the researcher. The subset of this technique that will be utilized for the purposes of the study is the simple random sampling frame, where all members were assigned corresponding numbers and picked out of the initial sample group at random (Etican & Bala, 2017). The initial sample included 100 male undergraduate students from the PMU university. This number fits with the a priori sample recommendations for qualitative research developed by Sim et al. (2018). The sampling technique was selected because of the simplicity and lack of bias that could potentially affect the results of the research.
The study selected 15 PMU undergraduates to participate in the study from the initial sample of 100 individuals. The participants share the following characteristics:
- All those included in the study are male students, which corresponds with the initial scope of the study;
- All participants have an undergraduate level of education being received at PMU;
- All participants have been participating in traditional education methods between Spring 2019 – Autumn 2019;
- All participants engaged in virtual classes and learning opportunities between Winter 2020-Spring 2020;
- The age range of all participants is between 18 and 29.
- Some individuals have never been employed whereas others already have a place of work and engage in learning to improve their existing career opportunities;
- All participants are of Saudi nationality.
Additional characteristics of the participants that may be relevant to the study would
include their academic performance, both in traditional and virtual classes, socio-economic positioning, parental education, religious views, the availability of equipment for virtual learning, and other variables.
Some of the limitations of the study included the lack of responsiveness from the initial sample and some setbacks suffered by the participants when retrieving the results. In addition, the study is limited by its scope – it only concerns the students from PMU of a specific age bracket, gender, and nationality. The results cannot be extrapolated to female students, non-Saudis, and students of other universities without suffering inconsistencies.
The aim of the study was to analyze the preferred styles of teaching and learning among PMU undergraduate male students and discover the reasons why. The study will follow a qualitative research design, the study sample consisted of 15 PMU undergraduates randomly selected out of 100 individuals. The limitations include a lack of greater scope and a general lack of responsiveness from the target population.
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Dixon-Woods, M., Agarwal, S., Jones, D., Young, B., & Sutton, A. (2005). Synthesising qualitative and quantitative evidence: a review of possible methods. Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, 10(1), 45-53.
Etikan, I., & Bala, K. (2017). Sampling and sampling methods. Biometrics & Biostatistics International Journal, 5(6), 00149.
Sim, J., Saunders, B., Waterfield, J., & Kingstone, T. (2018). Can sample size in qualitative research be determined a priori?. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 21(5), 619-634.