Factors that affect student performance in a craftsman course taught in residence and by video teletraining

John Frederick Vogelmeier


The purpose of this study was to examine the question of the "no significant difference phenomena" as it applied to personnel courses taught by the Air Force in-residence and by video teletraining. The study compared the students' end of course average in each course. Further statistical comparisons were made to find factors that might account for variability within the courses. The only difference between the courses chosen were the means of delivery. The lesson plans, student texts, exercises, evaluations, and instructors were the same for both courses. The study also looked at some demographic factors to determine predictors of success in the courses. The subjects of this study were 140 enlisted airmen in the in-residence course and 140 members of the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve taught by video teletraining that belonged to the personnel career field. The historical data for the study were from student course data collected since 1999. The data used in the study were the students' scores on the Armed Forces Qualification Test, administrative, general, electronic, and mechanical aptitude tests. The other demographics of the study were the students' rank, gender, and education level. T-test and multiple correlations were used to test for the significant relationships among the test data, the demographic data, and the students end of course average. The t-test analysis found that there was a statistically significant relationship favoring the VTT course over the in-residence course when based on the end of course average. The remaining three hypotheses were evaluated using simultaneous multiple regression analysis. The next analysis consisted of a comparison of all five aptitude tests to the final course average of the students. This analysis found 21% of the variance in the average scores. A comparison of the three demographic factors found that these factors did not identify a significant percentage of variance, only .4%. The final hypothesis analyzed all eight factors and identified 23.2% of the variance in student grades. All hypotheses were rejected. The only significant predictors of success in the course were gender and electronic aptitude test. A negative gender relationship indicates that females did better in the course than males did. The electronic aptitude score seems to have no relationship to the course and yet it is a predictor of success in the course.