Evaluating the effectiveness of an individualized learning program for student athletes
AuthorMewes, Jennifer Robyn
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis investigation analyzed the use of an individualized learning program to improve academic performance. College freshmen student athletes were matched on standardized test scores and randomly assigned to two groups. One group participated in the Individualized Learning Program, and a second group served as a comparison group who participated in a traditional study hall program. All students were pre-tested using the Nelson Denny Reading Test, the Mather-Woodcock Group Writing Test, and the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI). Students in the Individualized Learning Program received an academic plan that was based on the student's strengths and weaknesses. Based on their individualized assessment from the pre-test, each student received metacognitive strategy instruction in reading, writing, time management, note taking, study strategies, and/or test taking strategies. The students who participated in the traditional study hall program completed six hours of supervised study and had access to content tutoring. A post-test was conducted and gain scores were analyzed using a multivariate analysis of covariance. Controlling for differences of a covariate (motivation) between the two groups, no significant differences were found. Some qualitative differences were found in that the students in the Individualized Learning Program improved in targeted areas of strategy instruction, but not at a statistically significant level. A secondary analysis examined the effects of a decline in motivation and determined that motivation was significantly related to some of the different sub-tests of the LASSI. Several factors may have impacted the results in this investigation, specifically, limited statistical power due to substantial student attrition, the use of a matched pairs design, and the use of self-report tests. Additional confounding factors included student participation in (a) freshmen study skills seminar, (b) English composition courses, (c) required study halls, and (d) available tutoring services. Finally, this investigation excluded students who scored below the 25th percentile on the SAT, even though this group may have benefited the most from an individualized program. Future research needs to address these factors.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Specia Education, Rehabilitation, and School Psychology