HOME-STUDY DRIVER EDUCATION
all the items (after recoding the external items). Higher overall CPI scores indicate a more internal locus of control, and hence would be expected to be associated with safer driving. The overall Cronbach’s internal-consistency reliability coefficient was .62 for the CPI scores for students in the study, which indicates an acceptable level of uniformity among the items.
Course Evaluation Items The five course evaluation items included on the study exit test were intended to gather feedback for use in comparing the four instructional methods on their quality and likeability to students; they were not used to evaluate student knowledge or attitudes. The respondents were asked the degree to which they felt the course material was presented in an interesting manner, how easy it was to understand and follow the course materials, how well they felt the course prepared them to begin driving, the degree to which they felt their knowledge about driving increased because of the course, and whether they would recommend the course to others. Students indicated their responses using a 6-point scale, although the definitions of the highest and lowest scale values were different for each item (e.g., for one item the end points were Not at All and Very Well, while for another they were Absolutely Not and Absolutely Yes).
DMV Written Knowledge Test
The second criterion measure used to compare the relative effectiveness of each of the courses was the students’ pass/fail performance on their first attempt taking the 46- item DMV written knowledge test (DL-5T), of which there are five equivalent forms. This test is required by the department for all driver license applicants under the age of 18, and must be passed to receive a behind-the-wheel instruction permit. Test takers are allowed to miss up to 8 items (i.e., they must answer at least 38, or 83%, of the items correctly) to receive a passing score on the test. The tests are evaluated annually by the DMV and items are reworded or revised to improve clarity, reliability, and relevancy. The latest statewide evaluation of the written knowledge test for minors indicated a .76 average internal-consistency reliability across the different versions of the test of, which indicates an acceptable level of consistency among the items on each form (Chapman & Masten, 2002). The study participants’ pass/fail test outcomes for their first test attempt were captured electronically from the department’s automated driver license record masterfile.
Applicants are allowed to apply for an instruction permit and take the DMV written knowledge test if they: (a) are age 15 years and 6 months or older and have successfully completed both driver education and behind-the-wheel driver training, (b) are age 15 years and 6 months or older and have completed driver education and are enrolled in driver training, or (c) are age 15 or older and are simultaneously enrolled in both driver education and driver training. Of these three circumstances, the third is problematic when the goal is to compare students on their performance on the DMV written test because students who are simultaneously enrolled in driver education and driver training are allowed to take the DMV written test before they complete driver education. This obviously makes students who simultaneously enrolled inappropriate candidates for evaluating the effectiveness of the different courses on the DMV written test measure. Therefore, these study participants were excluded from the comparison of DMV written test fail rates. In addition, the analyses involving the exit exam