Effects of Constructivist Learning Environments and Learning Styles on International Students in U.S. Higher Education| A Path Analysis of Academic and Social Outcomes

by Hanaa Wahba

Institution: Long Island University, C. W. Post Center
Year: 2017
Keywords: English as a second language; Multicultural Education; Higher education
Posted: 02/01/2018
Record ID: 2159095
Full text PDF: http://pqdtopen.proquest.com/#viewpdf?dispub=10256324


The development and the implementation of teaching practices remain among the most important challenges for higher education programs; the growing population of international students in U.S. colleges and universities has made this challenge more pressing. Considerable research has addressed the challenges that international students in U.S. colleges and universities encounter but has not addressed the effects of constructivist learning environments on their learning and social outcomes. This dissertation aimed to address the effects of constructivist learning environments on the academic achievement and sense of belonging of international students in U.S. colleges and universities. Path analysis was conducted to test specific hypotheses and sub-hypotheses related to the effects of learning styles preferences, constructivist learning environments, English language skills, students academic level (undergraduate vs. graduate), major geographic region of origin (as a surrogate for ethnicity), age, and gender on actual and perceived learning achievement and also on sense of belonging. The study examined data from 80 international undergraduate and graduate students in a large private university in down state New York. Three scales were developed: (a) Wahba Constructivist Learning Environment Spectrum Scale, (b) Wahba International Students Sense of Belonging Scale, and (c) Wahba International Students Learning Style Inventory. Findings indicated that constructivist learning environments have positive effects on international students perceived learning achievement and sense of belonging. Future research recommended to extend the studys findings to consider the perspective of teaching faculty and higher education administrators.