Date of Award

6-2009

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Richard Malott

Second Advisor

Dr. Dale Brethower

Third Advisor

Dr. Kristal Ehrhardt

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Eric Fox

Abstract

Mastery learning has an extensive and long-standing research base as an efficacious instructional methodology. The use of mastery learning with current technological advances, however, is a new endeavor. The current study evaluated the effects of adding a mastery learning component to an introductory college course by using an online course management system to facilitate frequent, self-given, chapter review quizzes. Thirty-two first- and second-year college students of similar demographic makeup at a midsize community college were the participants for this study. An alternating treatment design was used to assign students to mastery and nonmastery conditions in two sections of an introductory psychology course. The effectiveness of this strategy was measured by assessing the differences between the treatment conditions using unit and final exam scores compared to the counterbalanced control conditions. No apparent differences between treatment conditions were found. Social validity data were collected and are discussed in terms of student attitudes and instructor usability for this approach. Possible explanations for the outcomes as well as suggestions for future research directions in this area are discussed.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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