The development of a shorthand aptitude test, using recognized shorthand strokes in its construction
Allyn, Charles Vance
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Statement of the Problem. This study was conducted in an effort to construct tests that will presumably measure a student's ability to master shorthand. Research Procedures and Techniques. The probable factors involved in learning a shorthand system were formulated, and subtests were constructed that might measure a student's ability to learn shorthand. The subtests involved (1) Phonetic Spelling, (2) Reading Shorthand, (3) Writing Phonetics, (4) Writing Shorthand, (5) Writing Speed, and (6) Spelling. In 1957-58 two student populations participated in the experiment-a junior college group of approximately 200 students and a high school group of approximately 480 students. The tests were administered during the first two days of classes, before the students had had instruction in shorthand. At the end of the first semester and at the end of the second semester of study, shorthand achievement tests were administered. These tests included exercises in dictation from studied and unstudied material at varying rates, transcription of this material into longhand, and word lists that test the knowledge of shorthand principles and size of vocabulary, Means, medians, standard deviations, and percentiles were computed for the student populations. An item analysis on the basis of right-wrong answers was completed. Single and multiple correlations were computed on the test data from four groups: (l) 110 high school students after one semester of study, (2) 94 junior college students after one semester of study, (3) 108 high school students after two semesters of study, and (4) 129 junior college students after two semesters of study. Summary of Findings. Using the scores of 110 high school students, the coefficients of correlation between the six subtests--Phonetic Spelling, Reading Shorthand, Writing Phonetics, Writing Shorthand, Writing Speed, Spelling--and the first-semester dictation-transcription test (l957-58) were: .341, .305, .010, .283, .248, .329, and with the total score, .407; for 94 junior college student scores, .317, -.039, .051, -.071, .116, .362, and with the total score, .177. The Multiple R between these high school aptitude test scores and the first-semester criterion was .5028, with a standard error of .0736; with the junior college scores, .453, with a standard error of .O852. Using the scores of 108 high school students, the coefficients of correlation between the six subtests and the second-semester dictation-transcription test (1957-58) were .388, .246, -.OOO8, .182, .222, .367, and with the total score, .339; for 129 junior college student scores, .213, .010, .169, -.019, .130, .350, and with the total score, .227. The Multiple R between these high school aptitude scores and the second semester criterion was .528, with a standard error of .0717; with the junior college scores, .404, with a standard error of .0757. Conclusions. Most of the individual subtests show slight to negligible relationship with the achievement criteria. The Multiple R's for the high school groups indicate a relationship of some value. The test battery seems to predict success more effectively, even though slight, among high school students than among junior college students. Further, among high school students the battery seems to predict success more effectively at the end of the first semester than at the end of the second semester of study. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ed.D.)--Boston University.