E-Learning Styles: An Exploratory Study in a Multi-Cultural Education Environment


Padmavathi.D, Associate Professor & Head
Department of Commerce, Sri Ramakrishna College of Arts & Science for Women, Coimbatore,Tamil Nadu, India.
Agila. G, Associate Professor & Head
Department of Commerce (A&F), Sri Ramakrishna College of Arts & Science, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India.
Lim Ann Wei, Senior Lecturer
Department of Accounting, City University Malaysia, Selangor DarulEhsan, Malaysia.
Dhamayanthi Arumugam, Lecturer
Dept.of Accounting, Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Education is not confined to a physical classroom anymore and the geographic limitations have been removed thanks to the disruptive innovations in the information and communication network. Computer aided classrooms, live chat rooms, online learning portals etc have helped the students take up anytime anywhere learning possible. Having in mind that every student is a unique learner in his own way, there are facilities available to suit their individual requirements. This exploratory study was aimed at observing and analysing the learning preferences of students in a multi-cultural environment in terms of synchronous and asynchronous learning styles. In order to observe the the factors influencing their learning pattern and also analyse the differences in these determinants, data was collected from 179 e-learners in two private universities of Malaysia. A structured questionnaire was designed to collect data online from these students. The results revealed that asynchronous learning environment was considered to be most preferred choice of the students in which around 60% preferred this type and only the rest of the sample respondents synchronous learning and nationality was found to influence their preferred learning style. Among synchronous learners, there were differences in the cognitive and affective among different nationals. But in case of asynchronous learners, there was found to be no significant difference in the factors influencing learning styles a belonging to China and other nationalities both in the cognitive and affective domain. But in case of Malaysian nationals, there was a significant difference in the asynchronous learners belonging to Malaysia both in cognitive and affective domain. Individual preferences may be considered based on their nationality while designing and offering e content.