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HOME-STUDY DRIVER EDUCATION

knowledge and attitude outcomes were completed both with and without these simultaneously enrolled students to control for the influence of this problem. The DMV written test is considered to be an inferior outcome measure compared to the study exit examination results because the DMV written test only covers a small portion of the content in the standardized driver education curriculum, the amount of time after course completion that the students actually took to take their first DMV written test could have varied from 1 day to more than a year, and the additional loss of students resulting from students not taking the DMV written test by the end of the study.

DMV Drive Test

The legislation that mandated this study also required the department to compare the students completing the various courses on their DMV drive test outcomes. To meet this requirement, the students’ pass/fail outcomes for their first attempt drive tests were electronically collected from the driver license record masterfile. However, drive test outcome is a poor measure of the relative effectiveness of the courses for the following reasons. First, students are required to also complete a driver training course before being allowed to take their drive test, and therefore any observed differences in drive test results could be due in whole or in part to the effect of driver training. Second, applicants are required to complete 50 hours of supervised driving before being allowed to take the drive test. This could similarly result in additional learning that could bias comparisons of driving skill levels resulting from the courses. Third, students are required to hold their instruction permits for at least 6 months before being allowed to take the DMV drive test. The influences of extraneous factors occurring during the long time period between driver education course completion and taking the drive test would likely obscure any differences in knowledge and skill levels resulting from completing the different courses. In addition, the students are likely to have forgotten much of the course material during the 6-month instruction permit period. For these and other reasons, the comparison of drive test outcomes has dubious validity for drawing conclusions about the differences among students who complete the four driver education courses, and little credence could be put in the results of these analyses.

RESULTS

Study Subjects

A total of 1,493 driver education students volunteered and were enrolled in the study. The total number and percentage of students assigned to each instruction method, and the numbers and percentages dropping out, failing to complete the course by the end of the study, and successfully completing each course are shown in Table 2. Only 28 (1.9%) of the participants refused to accept and complete the course they were assigned to receive. The percentage dropping out of each type of course ranged from 1.3% for the workbook to 2.5% for classroom and PEN. Results of a chi square test of independence (used to determine if the course types had different dropout rates) indicated that the dropout rate was not significantly different among the various

instruction methods, χ2(3, N = 1,493) that these students dropped out of

= 2.05, p = .56. There was no evidence to suggest the study to avoid a particular type of course or

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