Title page for ETD etd-10142004-144705

Type of Document Dissertation
Author McCarthy, William James
Author's Email Address wmccart@lsu.edu
URN etd-10142004-144705
Title Assessment of Instructional Methodologies and Student Information Processing Styles in a Terrorism Preparedness Course
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Human Resource Education Workforce Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Betty C. Harrison Committee Co-Chair
Joe W. Kotrlik Committee Co-Chair
Donna Redmann Committee Member
Michael Burnett Committee Member
Spencer Maxcy Dean's Representative
  • terrorism
  • terrorism preparedness
  • learning styles
Date of Defense 2004-05-18
Availability unrestricted
The focus of the research was the evaluation of two instructional methodologies for teaching terrorism preparedness at several universities in Louisiana. Participants were taught a curriculum for an audience who may work at a potential terrorist target.

The purpose of the research was to determine if processing styles based instruction improved learning. The objectives of the study were to: 1) Describe participant demographics: a) age, b) gender, c) credit hours, d) field of study; and e) preferred Strategic Information Processing Style (SIPS); 2) Determine if changes occur in knowledge of terrorism preparedness as measured by the Terrorism Awareness test; 3) Determine if there are differences in the test scores based on instructional methodology; 4) Determine if test scores differ by preferred Information Processing Style (IPS); and 5) Determine if selected variables explain a significant portion of the variability in the Terrorism Awareness Test scores.

The majority of students were female. The average age was 21 years, and the range was 17 - 52. The mean number of credit hours completed was 55.69. Students, for the most part (n = 141 or 45.8%), reported majoring in social sciences. Assessment of studentsí Information Processing Style (IPS) revealed that two thirds (n = 210 or 68.2%) preferred the Analytical Processing Style. A Paired Samples t-test revealed that the studentís post-test score (M = 14.02) were higher than the pre-test score (M = 13.61). The Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) revealed that the students taught using traditional lecture style scored higher on the Terrorism Awareness Test then those taught using the learning style based method.

Regression analysis revealed that demographic variables did not explain a significant proportion of the variance. The model explains a moderate amount of the variance (25.5%). The instruction methodology variable by itself explains a low amount of variance. This study suggests that this particular curriculum which was intended to focus on one dimension of learning styles based instruction appears to result in a small amount of decreased learning as measured by the Terrorism Awareness Test.

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