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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Rate of acquisition of three study methods Sweet, Robert Arthur


The relative rates of acquisition of three study methods taught college-level students were investigated. The term "rate of acquisition" was defined as the ease with which facility was achieved by students in the use of study methods. The study methods were: Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review (SQ3R), Non-linear Outlining (NLO) and Three-Level Outlining (3L0). The primary research questions raised were whether the relative rates of acquisition among the study methods would be the same at two different times during the study, and after the period of instruction. In addition, the question was asked if the relative rates of acquisition among the study methods would depend upon the readability levels of the instructional material which was drawn from a commercial reading and study manual (Miller, 1964). The research design involved manipulating three independent variables: (1) the Treatments of SQ3R, NLO, and 3L0; (2) the Difficulty levels of instructional material as determined by the Flesch (1951) readability formula and designated EASY, MEDIUM, DIFFICULT; (3) the Time of assessment over the period of instruction which had two levels, Time 1 and Time 2. The criterion measure for each reading exercise was a rate-of-gain score termed an Effective Reading Rate (ERR) which was the product of the student's comprehension score and his study reading time for any given article. The results of the study indicated that no one study method appeared to be advantageous in terms of its rate of acquisition over the period of the study. The NLO method did show a significantly higher ERR by the seventh week of instruction. An analysis of the data revealed that the variability of this finding was due to performance by students taught NLO on material of an EASY classification (low readability level). The implication is that NLO may be advantageous in terms of its rate of acquisition when paired with material of a low readability level.

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