Institute of Learning Styles Research

Dissertation Abstracts

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Abstract Title

McCurry, P. (1995). A developmental study of effective instructional activities for perceptual modality dominance in Tennessee marketing education (Doctoral dissertation, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, 1995). Dissertation Abstracts International, 56(08A), 3098.


The purpose of this study was to provide information useful for teacher education in perceptual modality instructional techniques. The study also determined the most effective instructional activities for Marketing Education instruction and classified those activities into a framework according to perceptual modality. The study was designed to gather data in two phases and compile the results into an instructional framework to be used as a resource in education.

During Phase I of the study the population of Tennessee Marketing Education Instructors was surveyed to determine effective instructional activities. Of the 138 instructors, 177 (85%) responded by evaluating 62 instructional activities as "effective", "not effective", or "not applicable". The instructional activities were drawn fro the current Tennessee Curriculum Guide for Marketing Education.

During Phase II of the study, a national panel of experts used the Delphi Technique to classify the instructional activities used in Phase I according to perceptual modality dominance. Using the seven elements exclusive to the Multi-Modal Paired Associates Test-Revised (MMPALT II), panel members classified each activity by dominant element and optional secondary element. The perceptual modality elements used were print, aural, interactive, visual, haptic, kinesthetic, and olfactory. The result of the three probes was consensus for classification of all activities and 100% participation from the 10 member Delphi panel of experts.

The resulting hierarchy of effective instructional activities from Phase I of the study was combined with the perceptual modality element classification for each activity. The result was an instructional framework resource that combined the hierarchy of effective instructional activities with the hierarchy of perceptual learning modalities based on MMPALT II research conducted by James and Blank (1991). The framework lists both dominant and secondary element classifications in a two-level resource for educators.

The findings of the study led to the following conclusions:

  1. The instructional activities provided in the curriculum guide were considered to be effective by the majority of Marketing Education instructors.
  2. The activity selection in the curriculum guide could be improved by including more haptic, kinesthetic, and olfactory perceptual element activities.
  3. When comparing the perceptual modality styles most predominant in learners and perceptual modality elements represented in the curriculum guide, the representation of activities is not congruent with learner needs.
  4. The Delphi process was effective as a convergence technique to analyze panelist input, to identify issues, and to classify the instructional activities.

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