Effect of individualized goal-setting on college biology students' locus of control

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Abstract

This study investigated the effect of Individualized Goal-Setting A-T, relative to Classic A-T, on a student's locus of control (generalized and academic). This study also examined the effect of pretesting, relative to no pretesting, on a student's locus of control. Sixty students in an introductory, Audio-Tutorial, college zoology course were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups. Control groups (Classic A-T) completed the course in the usual manner. Treatment groups (IGS A-T) completed the course in the usual manner with one exception. That is, they used a different format for Optional Minicourse mastery. This new format released greater control to students over means as well as ends of minicourse mastery. Data were collected through use of the Solomon Four-Group design, with two levels of treatment (Classic A-T, IGS A-T) and two levels of pretesting (pretest, no pretest). Instruments included the Rotter I-E and Schafer Academic I-E Locus of Control Scales. Posttest scores were analyzed by a 2 × 2 multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA).

The following conclusions were made (p < 0.10).

  • 1IGS A-T, relative to Classic A-T, has no significant effect on a student's locus of control.
  • 2Pretesting, relative to no pretesting, has no significant effect on posttest locus of control.

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