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Variables affecting performance in sixth-grade modular technology education programs

, The Pennsylvania State University, United States

The Pennsylvania State University . Awarded


Modular technology education (MTE) programs are rapidly replacing the project-based method of instruction. The predominant learning approach in these programs is computer-assisted instruction (CAI). Questions remain about MTE's instructional efficacy. The purpose of this study was to: (a) determine what relationships exist between cognitive style, sex, verbal ability, quantitative ability, prior knowledge, motivation, and MTE achievement; and (b) discern whether MTE discriminates against students based upon their individual differences.

Data for this study were provided by 78 male and 64 female sixth grade students (N = 142) enrolled in a suburban middle school. Results from the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT); Children's Academic Intrinsic Motivation Inventory; subjects' fifth grade Comprehensive Testing Program III Verbal and Quantitative Ability Subtest scores; and a researcher-developed achievement test, were used for the data analysis. Subjects received instruction through three CAI multimedia activities. This study utilized regression analysis and a t-test to determine relationships between variables.

Statistically significant relationships between the response variable (i.e., MTE posttest scores) and the predictor variables include: (a) cognitive style and posttest scores (t = 7.68, df = 140, p < 0.05, R2 = .30); (b) verbal ability and posttest scores (t = 12.68, df = 140, p < 0.05, R 2 = .54); (c) quantitative ability and posttest scores ( t = 9.65, df = 140, p < 0.05, R2 = .40); (d) prior knowledge and posttest scores (t = 13.16, df = 140, p < 0.05, R2 = .55); and (e) motivation and posttest scores (t = 3.14, df = 140, p < 0.05, R2 = .07). These data failed to reveal significant relationships between sex and MTE posttest scores.

The parsimonious additive effect multiple regression model developed for this study was statistically significant (F = 61.42, df = 137, p < 0.05, R 2 = .64). With regard to MTE posttest scores, the following relationships were revealed in this model: (a) sex (t = 2.43, p < 0.05), (b) verbal ability (t = 4.43, p < 0.05), (c) prior knowledge (t = 4.65, p < 0.05), and (d) GEFT (t = 2.04, p < 0.05).

Students' quantitative ability and motivation were significant predictors when regressed independently with MTE posttest scores. These variables failed to be significant predictors of posttest scores when regressed with sex, GEFT, verbal ability, and prior knowledge.


Weymer, R.A. Variables affecting performance in sixth-grade modular technology education programs. Ph.D. thesis, The Pennsylvania State University. Retrieved February 21, 2020 from .

This record was imported from ProQuest on October 23, 2013. [Original Record]

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