A Learning Style Group Comparison of Southern California Public School Employees: Investigating the Level of Understanding Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) When Using a Preferred Learning Style Training

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Purpose. The purpose of this study was to examine whether a Family Educational Rights Privacy Act (FERPA) sponsored training that matches the employee’s learning style preferences increases the level of understanding FERPA protocols. It is hypothesized that if the training style does not match the employees’ preferred learning style, there is the possibility that FERPA policies and procedures are not adequately learned and used, especially when it is appropriate for an employee to reveal or disclose confidential information and when there are exceptions. Theoretical Framework. This study was based on Neil Fleming’s VARK (visual, aural/auditory, read/write, kinesthetic) model. The VARK model states that everyone learns differently, and delivering information about how people learn best will increase content retention. Methodology. A booklet that contained both a VARK questionnaire and a FERPA quiz was used in this study. The VARK questionnaire was used to identify participants’ learning styles. In addition, an audio FERPA training was used as an instrument to test how auditory and nonauditory learners scored on their FERPA quiz. Findings. The data indicate that the auditory learners’ group overall scored much higher than nonauditory learners. Although some individual nonauditory learners score high, this can be the result of different factors. Conclusions and Recommendations. Results indicate that overall auditory participants retained more content and as a result scored high in their FERPA quiz. Future scholars should consider investigating how participants would score if visual, read/write, or kinesthetic training were used instead of auditory materials and examining mixed learners and how one type of training impacts their content retention.
A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Doctor of Public Administration
Public Administration, Public Policy