ERIC Number: ED147243
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Cognitive and Attitudinal Change in the Introductory American Politics Course.
Caputo, David A.
This study evaluates the results of innovation in teaching methodology in an American government college course. The assumption of the study was that organizing a course into modules which required students to be tested for proficiency after each module was presented would maximize student factual knowledge gain and would result in improved attitudes toward the course. Two sections, both introductory American government courses, consisted of an experimental group and control group. The course in the experimental group was organized into eight modules. As the subject matter covered in each module was taught, each student was given a pre- and posttest which measured factual knowledge gained from the course and attitudes toward the course. At the end of the semester, each of the students was asked to complete a posttest involving all the items on all eight modules. In contrast to the experimental group, students in the control group were given the pre- and posttests, but not tested after the subject matter was covered in each module. Analysis of student characteristics data for each group indicated that students were similar with regard to class standing, grade point average, parental income, political affiliation, activities, and attitudes. Findings in the cognitive domain indicated that the modular students had a higher average test score gain than the control students. In the attitudinal domain, findings indicated that attitudinal change was characteristic of both groups and not highly correlated with teaching method. The conclusion was that the modular students performed better than the control students on the cognitive items and that, assuming equal coverage of the topics, the modular approach was more effective. The appendix presents the eight modular tests. (Author/DB)
Descriptors: Cognitive Development, Cognitive Objectives, Comparative Analysis, Course Evaluation, Curriculum Development, Data Analysis, Educational Improvement, Educational Innovation, Educational Objectives, Educational Research, Evaluation Criteria, Higher Education, Instructional Improvement, Knowledge Level, Political Attitudes, Political Science, Student Attitudes, Student Characteristics, Tables (Data), Teacher Effectiveness, Test Items, Test Results, Testing, Undergraduate Students
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (Washington, D.C., September 1-4, 1977)