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ERIC Number: ED517278
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 218
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-5637-1
The Effects of Cognitive Process and Decision Making Training in Reading Experience on Meaningful Learning with Underachieving College Students
Dean, Rebecca J.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Lowell
The ability of underprepared college students to read and learn from their reading is essential to their academic success and to their ability to persist towards completing their degree. The purposes of this study were to (a) assess the relationship between the cognitive processes of reading-based decision making and meaningful learning and (b) assess the degree to which a five week instructional intervention in the cognitive processes of reading-based decision making training affected student learning. A cognitive view of reading-based decision making (Sternberg, 1985), discourse processing (van Dijk & Kintsch, 1983; Pressley & Afflerbach, 1995 ), and meaningful learning (Ausubel, 1978; Hartley, 1987; Schumacher, 1987; Sternberg, 1985; Mayer, 1987) will provide the theoretical base and support for the instructional intervention used in this study. Methodology included an experimental quasi-random pre-test/post-test control group design (Shavelson, 1996). This design was employed to assess the degree to which training in the cognitive strategies of reading-based decision making behavior, such as the cognitive processes of meaningful learning strategies and the cognitive processes of reading- based decision making, improves the level of cognition and meaningful learning of underprepared college students. Data collection occurred during the first and final sessions of class with the meaningful learning test administered before the reading-based decision making questionnaire in both sessions. A Two Way Classification Table was be used in order to group students as either low readers or high readers and to organize the pre and post test data. A cause-effect relationship was hypothesized because the study stipulated that instruction in the cognitive processes of decision making would produce, bring about, or cause improved meaningful learning scores. A one-way ANOVA was used to compare the means of the groups in order to decide whether the observed differences between them represent a chance occurrence or a systematic effect. A general linear model analysis was used in order to compare the means of reading ability between the experimental and control groups. The results of the research indicated that, statistically, there is not a significant difference when subjects were instructed in reading-based decision making strategies. Given some of the structural limitations of this study, further research in this important area is still warranted. On the basis of what was learned in this study, more research should be done to examine the relationship between reading-based decision making behavior and meaningful learning. When additional research is conducted, the intervention should be tied to a specific content area course and impact should be examined, both short term and long term. Some specific issues that should be examined are: (a) what is the role of homework logs; (b) would this approach work equally well for English Language Learners as for native English speakers who are weak readers; and (c) what kinds of training are needed by faculty to embed this approach in their teaching. Another area in need of further research is to examine the reading-based issues facing college students today, especially the least prepared college students, and how higher education institutions can best address these critical literacy issues. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A