Evaluation Cookbook

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Example of Pre and Post Test with System Log Data


Where and when was the study carried out?
The model described was used with an undergraduate group of Librarianship and Information Studies students at the Robert Gordon University. The students were in their second year of a four year degree programme and initial testing involved creation of the student profiles as described in the pre and post test recipe and in addition, input on general academic performance and attitudes from the previous year of their studies. The Gregorc learning style delineator was used to determine learning style.

How many staff and students were involved?
Only 20 students were involved in the test. The students were given an introductory session on using the CAL package and no student encountered particular problems with this Although an examination of the tracking mechanism built into the programme (the system log) showed some interesting variations on how students used the package.

What were the findings?
Analysis of the results from pre and post testing in both directions (CAL package then lecture and lecture then CAL package) showed that there was certainly a variation in performance level between students as expected, both showing some improvement. However, the level of improvement varied considerably between individual students. There appeared to be some evidence that this was linked to learning style and this was partly confirmed by an analysis of the tracking logs from CAL sessions that showed marked differences in approach to using the CAL materials. Variations in performance related to personal factors, motivational factors and previous academic performance (including facility with computers) were not seen as particularly significant. Numbers involved were too small to show statistically significant variations. The larger tests currently being conducted using a postgraduate cohort of 65 students are expected to yield more useful data.

Robert Newton
The Robert Gordon University

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Last modified: 26 March 1999.