Date of Award

2002

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Educational Leadership PhD

First Advisor

James A. Tucker

Second Advisor

Hinsdale Bernard

Third Advisor

Naomi L. Ludman

Abstract

This study examines whether student interviews, students' responses on the Learning and Study Styles Inventory (LASSI), or both, could be useful for sorting students who are likely to succeed from those students who are less likely to succeed in an open-entry/open-exit college reading skills course at a small, rural Michigan community college.

The study combined qualitative data in the form of student interviews and quantitative data that consisted of LASSI scores from 41 students. The qualitative part of the study employed a constant comparative method to analyze data from five semi-structured interviews.The quantitative part of the study computed Pearson r correlations for each of LASSI's 10 subscales and the LASSI total score with success in the reading course. ANOVA was used on all scores that correlated at a significance level equal to or below .05 level to determine if results were affected by gender or age.

The qualitative part of the study revealed several factors that appear to distinguish course completers from non-completers. Successful completers reported that they were self-disciplined and sought help when needed. Non-completers described themselves as procrastinators who lacked self-discipline and had not sought help. Past experience in a self-paced course and having had a choice of course format also related to success.

The quantitative part of the study found that the LASSI total score and seven of the subscale scores correlated at a significance level equal to or below the .05 level. The LASSI total score exhibited the strongest correlation; the subscale scores Motivation, Concentration, Selecting Main Ideas, Time Management, Self-Testing, Test Strategies, and Information Processing also had significant correlations.

Recommendations include providing courses in both traditional and open-entry/open-exit formats, allowing for student choice , and screening with the LASSI and/or using careful advising to assure optimal student placement.

Subject Area

Developmental reading, Reading (Higher education), Reading--Remedial teaching.

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