Construction of tests predictive of success in first-year shorthand
Byers, Edward E.
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The problem--This study was an attempt to construct aptitude tests for predicting success in first-year shorthand. No effort was mad to construct measures for factors concerned with transcription or vocational success. Procedure--Functional factors believed to influence the learning of shorthand were identified. Test items were constructed for tests of (1) Phonetic Perception, (2) Retention Ability, (3) Observation Aptitude, (4) Pattern from Parts, and (5) Hand Dexterity. Before the fundamentals of shorthand were introduced, the proposed shorthand aptitude tests were administered to three sample populations--college, junior-college and business-school, and high-school. The Semester Shorthand Accomplishment Test, by Tilly S. Dickinson, was used as the criterion measure of first-year shorthand achievement. After the fundamentals of shorthand had been presented, seven letters, each consisting of two-and-one-half minutes of material, dictated at progressive speeds, were administered to the sample populations. Intercorrelations, means, and standard deviations were computed for each sample population. In addition, partial coefficients, partial regression coefficients, Beta coefficients, and regression equations were computed. Findings--The multiple R between the scores of aptitude tests and the shorthand accomplishment scores for 128 students in the College Group was .76, with a standard error of ±.04. Correlations between the tests of Phonetic Perception, Retention Ability, Observation Aptitude, Pattern from Parts, and Hand Dexterity and the criterion measure were .36, .44, .18, .28, and .68 respectively. The standard error of estimate for any criterion schore, when predicted from aptitude scores, was found to be ±49.42 score points. The multiple R between scores of the aptitude tests and the shorthand accomplishment scores for 142 students in Junior-College and Business-school Group was .59, with a standard error of ±.06. Correlations between the five aptitude tests as listed above and the criterion measure were .52, .27, .37, .31, and .27 respectively. The standard error of estimate for any criterion score, when predicted from aptitude scores, was found to be ±68.70 score points. The multiple R between the scores of the aptitude tests and the shorthand accomplishment scores for 137 students in the High-School Group was .62, with a standard error of ±.05. Correlations between the five aptitude tests as listed above ad the criterion measure were .49, .24, .32, .46, .47 respectively. The standard error of estimate for any criterion score, when predicted from aptitude scores, was found to be ±54.68 score points. Conclusions--The obtained multiple R for the College Group indicated the presence of a significant relationship between the scores of the aptitude tests and the criterion measure. The multiple R's for the Junior-College and Business-School Group for the High-School Group indicated a relationship of considerable value. The scores from the proposed aptitude tests, together with measures of other factors such as motivation and intelligence, could be used in forecasting group performance for each sample population. For the College Group, the obtained multiple R indicated that the scores from the aptitude tests, together with measures of other factors, could be used to estimate an individual's potentialities to succeed in the first-year shorthand. This study indicated that the proposed aptitude tests could assist teachers and guidance personnel in their efforts to (1) improve the procedure of grouping shorthand students, (2) establish achievement standards for shorthand courses, and (3) identify individual differences and needs of shorthand students within groups.
Thesis (Ed.D.)--Boston University
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