Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of an interaction between pacing and cognitive style upon student achievement and attitude in a basic mathematics college course. It was hypothesized that student characteristics and alternative teaching methods interact to produce differential effects on academic achievement, withdrawal rate, pacing rate, and attitude. A Posttest Only 2 x 2 factorial design was used in this study with teaching method (instructor-paced and self-paced) as one variable and cognitive style (field-dependent and field-independent) as the other.;The original sample consisted of 318 prospective students who were administered the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT). The 34 most field-independent and the 34 most field-dependent students were identified and assigned at random to two classes on the basis of 17 field-independent and 17 field-dependent students per class.;All procedures except the pacing procedures were identical for the two groups. Students in both groups used self-instructional modules that focused on five to ten well-defined behavioral objectives. Self-paced students proceeded at their own rate; whereas, instructor-paced students took module quizzes according to a course calendar covering the 12-week experimental period.;At the end of the experimental period, each student was posttested in achievement, as measured by the California Achievement Test (Mathematics, Level 19, Form C), and attitude, as measured by the Aiken Revised Math Attitude Scale. Differences in achievement and attitude were tested by means of the chi square statistic. All results were reported at the .05 level.;The findings support Witkin's theory of cognitive style. A major implication of this study is that instruction should be individualized in such a way that field-dependent students are matched with instructor-pacing and field-independent students are matched with self-pacing instructional modes.



© The Author