Date of Award

5-8-2008

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Kimberely J. Husenits, Psy.D.

Second Advisor

Donald U. Robertson, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

CoraLou Sherburne, Ph.D.

Abstract

The current study examined the effect of an active learning-based teaching method on nonintellectual learning dispositions in students enrolled in general psychology. Expected outcomes included improvement in student nonintellectual learning factors, as well as improvement in student academic performance. Two graduate student instructors and four courses of general psychology were recruited for participation. SAT scores, course grades, student ratings of teachers, and measures of nonintellectual learning factors were collected for analysis. The analysis of student academic performance, teacher ratings, and change in nonintellectual learning dispositions as measured on the TRAC-R did not support study hypotheses. Rather, main effects were found for instructor. Across conditions, students rated Instructor B as preferred according to teacher ratings. Additionally, students in Instructor B’s courses earned significantly higher grades than those enrolled in Instructor A’s courses Based on these findings, it can be concluded that instructor influences significantly affected the results of the current study despite attempts to match instructors based on age and experience. Therefore, future research may consider recruiting tenured faculty who may be more knowledgeable regarding their potential influence on student academic performance and nonintellectual learning factors.

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