Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Center for the Advancement of Education


Barton R. Herrscher


One of the basic philosophies of Evangel College is to provide an educational opportunity for any student who will actively pursue his or her academic goals. To provide students with the maximum opportunity to succeed, a class devoted to study skills has been offered sith the traditional teacher-centered method of instruction. However, since students come into the class at various levels of skills ability, the class did not seem to meet the immediate study skills needs of the individual student. Therefore, the purpose of this Major Applied Research Project was to design a self-paced program of study skills in which students could assess their own study skills needs, design their own program of skills improvement, and work at their own pace until they completed the entire program. Thus, the various immediate pressing skills needs of students would be met. A concomitant purpose of this project was to design an extensive course guide to assist the students through their program of study. The guide includes learning objectives, learning activities, and evaluation strategies for each of the topics addressed in the class. The major research questions addressed by this project are: 1. What are the components of self-paced instruction at other colleges? 2. What models of self-paced instruction are recorded in the literature? 3. Are academically underprepared students motivated enough to complete a self-paced program? What perceptions do past participants have of the proposed self-paced program? 4. What would be the most effective program design for Evangel College? Other colleges with similar programs were contacted which responded with information, sample syllabi and materials. Additionally, an extensive search of the literature was undertaken to determine the various models of self-paced instruction, various types and components of effective course guides and to determine the personality characteristics of academically underprepared students. Past participants were surveyed to gain their perceptions of the proposed self-paced program. As a result, an eight-week self-paced program of study skills was designed with an accompanying course guide which was then instituted during the spring, 1990, semester with forty-three students participating. The course guide consisted of ten modules of study. Student evaluations indicate a high degree of satisfaction with the modules. At the completion of the program, students were asked to submit a total course evaluation and an evaluation of the course guide. Percentages of satisfaction with the total program ranged from 70.3 percent to 94.6 percent satisfaction. Thirty-four of the thirty-seven students completing the program responded affirmatively to the question of whether the entire format of the course guide was easy to read and understand; one responded negatively and two students failed to respond to this question. Based on the evidence presented by this project, it is apparent that the self-paced program of study skills was successful and the overall program design and course guide were effective. Since this study resulted in an effective self-raced program of study skills which enabled students to gain experience and expertise in study skills within an eight-week time frame, a second group of students could be accommodated during the last eight weeks of the semester thus extending this educational opportunity to more students than in a normal sixteen-week semester. While the students were effective in this class, no research was conducted about their performance in other classes as a result of enhanced study skills. A longitudinal study could be conducted to determine whether the skills learned in this self-paced program would transfer to other classes in subsequent semesters as determined by grade point average.

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