Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Open Access Dissertation


This research was based upon a hypothesized AptitudeTreatment Interaction (ATI). More specifically, the research investigated the relationships between student learning style (aptitude) and student outcomes with computer-assisted instruction (treatment). These outcomes included student achievement with computer-assisted instruction (CAI) and student attitude toward CAI.

To examine these relationships, a researcher-developed CAI program on light and color theory was validated and administered to 144 students in an educational media course at the University of Northern Iowa. Participants in the study were first asked to complete the Grasha-Riechmann Student Learning Style Scales (GRSLSS) inventory along with a demographic survey. Next, each participant completed a pretest, engaged in the CAI, and completed a posttest. Student achievement with CAI was defined as gain scores, a measure of the difference between pretest and posttest scores. Finally, attitude toward CAI was measured through the use of Allen's Attitude Toward CAI Instrument, a semantic differential tool.

A stepwise multiple regression analysis suggested that learning style as measured by the GRSLSS is an inadequate predictor of either student achievement with CAI or student attitude toward CAI. Furthermore, relationships examined between specific learning style scales and either achievement with CAI or attitude toward CAI showed only one significant correlation: a positive relationship between the "Participant" learning style and attitude toward CAI. These relationships were examined using the partial correlation technique, which allowed the researcher to control for the demographic variables: (a) CAI experience, (b) computer experience, (c) gender, (d) year in school, and (e) GPA.

While student attitude toward CAI was positive overall, no significant relationship was found between attitude toward CAI and gain scores. This finding suggests that significant learning occurs regardless of student attitude toward CAI.

It was concluded that learning style, as measured by the GRSLSS, is an inadequate measure of factors related to aptitude for CAI. Other possible reasons for finding no effect include: (a) the sample of students participated as volunteers, and (b) the sample consisted of of teacher education majors, schooled in instructional design and media.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Technology


Department of Industrial Technology

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (VII, 143 pages)



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