Date of Award


Degree Type



Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Monaghan, Catherine

Subject Headings

Educational technology, Computer-assisted instruction, Leadership -- Study and teaching, Adult education, leadership development, virtual simulation, learning styles, conflict management, adult learners, simulation, leadership, leadership training, leadership competencies, leadership skills, technology, Kolb Learning Styles Instrument, experiential learning


Adult learners can develop leadership skills and competencies such as conflict management and negotiation skills. Virtual simulations are among the emerging new technologies available to adult educators and trainers to help adults develop various leadership competencies. This study explored the impact of conflict management tactics as well as learning styles on the efficacy of virtual leadership development training.In this quantitative study, participants (n=349) completed electronic versions of both the Power and Influence Tactics Scale (POINTS) and the Kolb Learning Styles Instrument (KLSI). Results of participant scores for both instruments were compared with scores from a virtual leadership simulation. Performance within a virtual leadership simulation was not found to be significantly impacted by diverse learning styles, indicating that virtual simulations can be effective for adult learners with any learning style. Statistically significant correlations were found between all seven conflict management tactics and key virtual leadership simulation scores, indicating that virtual leadership simulations can be effective tools for practicing multiple conflict management tactics. Experiential learning techniques are becoming commonplace and the use of technology is growing within the field of adult and leadership education. This study elucidates the effectiveness of new technologies such as virtual simulations as tools for leadership development. This study contributes to leadership education best practices by exploring the effectiveness of virtual simulations as a method for training leaders that will allow educators to incorporate emerging best practices into their repertoire of methodologies

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