Institute of Learning Styles Research

Dissertation Abstracts

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Abstract Title

Paul, E. E. (2001). The Multi-Modal Paired-Associates Learning Test-III for community college developmental reading/writing students and developmental math students as a predictor of enrollment status (Doctoral dissertation, University of South Florida, 2001). Dissertation Abstracts International, 62(03A), 888.


This investigation examined six Multi-Modal Paired-Associates Learning Test-III (MMPALT-III) subtest scores for community college developmental reading/writing and developmental mathematics students to determine whether scores could predict enrollment status after one semester. The MMPALT-III measures perceptual modality encoding efficiency through paired-associates performance-based testing procedures. Fifty developmental reading/writing and 50 mathematics students at a central Florida community college were evaluated on the perceptual learning modalities of Print, Aural, Interactive, Visual, Haptic, and Kinesthetic elements. Educational level (0-2 years of college) and age (18-35 years) were controlled. Two-factor ANOVAs and a discriminant function analysis were utilized with developmental reading/writing and mathematics as the independent variable and six MMPALT-III raw scores as dependent variables. No statistically significant relationships occurred among MMPALT-III subscale scores and enrollment status of developmental reading/writing and math students at semester's end. However, significant differences in the group main effect occurred across all subscales, consistent with mathematics students scoring higher on each subtest. Statistically significant differences within groups were found, with Visual and Aural emerging highest. The MMPALT-III is a valid instrument for measuring perceptual learning modalities, although Cronbach alphas were low on two subtests–the Kinesthetic and Interactive, and the time for administering the test can be prohibitive, especially for groups. A major implication includes incorporating more visual stimuli and more haptic modes during class instruction time rather than lecture. A second implication is to provide learning styles orientation for community college instructors teaching remedial education. Recommendations for future research include examining whether higher verbal ability relates to performance on learning styles instruments like the MMPALT-III. Another recommendation would be conducting a study of traditional students versus remedial students to determine if significant differences occur by perceptual learning modalities. If differences were found, results could prove advantageous for community colleges seeking to retain remedial students.

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