Academic performance: A retrospective investigation of study skills and LASSI performance
Jordan, John D.
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Students are entering college and the workforce lacking skills critical to their success. This gap places a burden on higher education institutions to mitigate this problem. As such, programs designed specifically to enhance students’ academic strategies are important. The purpose of this journal-ready dissertation was to provide needed insight into the relationship between study skills programs and academic performance indicators (APIs) distinguished by common at-risk factors. In the first study, a retrospective predictive research design was followed using archival data (2003-2008) from one regional university. Study skills program participation was examined in relation to APIs, controlling for gender and ethnicity. Criterion sampling was used to identify the study skills group (n = 714) and a comparison group (n = 714). Descriptive statistics revealed statistically significant differences in APIs, with women outperforming men and Hispanic women outperforming all other gender and ethnic combinations. A series of regressions indicated statistically significant predictive relationships between the number of sessions completed and APIs, but not program participation and APIs. In the second study, Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) scale performance (e.g., Anxiety, Motivation, Self Testing) was examined in relationship to short-term and long-term APIs of students who completed a study skills workshop series, controlling for gender and ethnicity. Criterion sampling was used to select a subset of students (n = 450). A series of regressions resulted in only one statistically significant API (i.e., first-semester GPA; p < .001). In particular, the Anxiety and Motivation scales were statistically significantly related to GPA (p < .001), and resulted in an average increase of .03 and .05, respectively, per unit increase on each scale. For the third study, by means of a Latent Profile Analysis, three subgroups were identified using study skills workshop series participants’ (n = 450) LASSI scale performance, with each group possessing correspondingly higher scores in all 10 scales. To determine what relationship, if any, existed between these subgroups and APIs, a series of regressions were conducted. Only one API was identified as statistically significant (first-semester GPA, p < .001), thereby calling into question the long-term relationship between LASSI scores and academic performance.