Social Dependent, Independent Learners and Their Online Learning

Isabella Ilievski

Student Name: Isabella Ilievski
Majors: Psychology, Education
Advisor: Dr. Michelle Colvin
The recent increase of online learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred an interest in understanding the most beneficial way to teach students online. The lack of social interaction in an online learning setting may create an obstacle for students who depend on social interaction to learn. Previous research has found that providing students with multiple routes of delivering content promotes learning (Mayer, 2014; Nancekivell et al., 2020; Paivio, 2014). This study aims to explore social dependent and independent learning styles and different content delivery formats to assess their learning. A total of 75 college students were randomly given either a text passage or a video format, a learning assessment, and the Social Dependence Learning Scale to categorize their learning style into social dependent, social independent or neutral. The results indicate that social dependent learners scored significantly higher on the content quiz when given the video instead of the text passage. These findings suggest that using video content delivery in an online learning environment can support social dependent students and do not impact social independent students. Future studies could investigate face-to-face interactions versus video, use different learning style assessments, or replicate this study and increase the sample size. This study can be beneficial for educators when designing their online class instruction and help them support students who may be at a disadvantage learning online.

Isabella will be online to field comments on April 16: 4-6 pm EDT (PST 1pm-3pm, Africa/Europe: late evening).

Posted in I.S. Symposium 2021, Independent Study on April 6, 2021.

Related Posts

Megan Tuennerman '22

Wrong-way Icelandic puffins lead student researcher to follow the right path

Khaylen Mahdi ’22

Disciplined, creative thinker spotlights opportunity—not obstacles—in Black entrepreneurship

Bang Nguyen ’22

Siri-ously biased: Computer science major examines language models showing negativity toward LGBTQ+ terms

Related Areas of Study


Do research, work with faculty mentors, and tailor a psychology program to your interests

Major Minor


Graduate as a licensed teacher in pre-K-12 in fields ranging from science to music education

Major Minor Teaching Licensure

Connect with Wooster