Tim Hudson, president of the University of Houston-Victoria, and management professor Nagarajan Ramamoorthy co-authored a chapter in the recently released textbook “Real Learning Opportunities at Business School and Beyond.”
The chapter, titled “Self-Directed Learning Readiness, Individualism-Collectivism and Adult Student Learning in Online Environment: Development and Test of a Causal Model,” examines how two personality traits, individualistic tendencies and self-directed learning readiness, affect student success in online classes.
In particular, those who show a preference for self-directed learning had better performance in the online environment than those who did not exhibit this tendency. The study also found that people who are more individualistic tend to show less preference for group learning and consequently performed poorly in group projects.
The collaboration began as a research project the two conducted in 2007 using a small group of online management students at UHV. The duo presented its findings at an international business education conference in Spain in June of 2008. After several revisions based on peer review, the paper then was published as a chapter in the book.
“Whatever your status at a university, you never stop being a learner, teacher and a researcher,” Hudson said. “We had a great time working on the project.”
Ramamoorthy also spoke favorably of the experience.
“This was a rewarding collaboration for both of us,” he said. “We may do it again in the future as we build upon the research highlighted in the book.”
Future research may look at a larger sample and examine how other variables like gender and ethnicity affect learning in an online environment.
The book was published by Springer, an international information company based in Germany.