Using learning styles to affect the training of recreational sports paraprofessionals
Chrystal-Green, Nancy Eileen
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The purposes of this study were to (a) determine if recreational sports paraprofessionals can affect the learning and development of college students by incorporating learning styles into student staff training and (b) determine if considering learning styles in the staff training process will improve job knowledge. One particular paraprofessional staff of a Department of Recreational Sports at a doctoral extensive institution in the Southeastern United States served as this study’s participants. The learning style of each participant was determined through the use of the revised Learning Style Inventory (Kolb, 1984). Also the participants were pre and post tested about knowledge of the job. Sixty of the 72 (96.8%) available paraprofessionals chose to participate. Additionally, 8 participants were interviewed following a protocol intended to illicit information about the value of staff training and what was learned. Pre and post test results indicate an improvement in learning and an improvement in job knowledge. However there was not a clearly defined link between learning style and the section of training pertaining to a particular way of learning. Four themes emerged through the interview process: reaction to learning style category; confidence instilled through training about the job; need for continual training; and impact of exposure to other ways of learning.