The effectiveness of a computer program and other factors in predicting students' success on the written simulation section of the N.A.T.A.B.O.C., Inc. Certification Examination

Ralph Ray Castle


Currently there are no methods available for students to use to determine their potential success on the Written Simulation section of the NATABOC, Inc. Certification Examination (WS-NATABOC). The primary purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a computer program (the Computerized Traditional Athletic Training Simulation Instrument, or CTATSI) and selected student variables (students' grade point average [GPA] in only those courses that addressed the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective competencies for CAAHEP-accreditation; total clinical clock hours [CLINHRS] obtained prior to sitting for the NATABOC Certification Examination; semesters [SEMS] enrolled in the athletic training education program; and previous computer simulation usage [PREVUSE]) in predicting success on the WS-NATABOC. A second purpose of this study was to determine if students' attitudes (using the Allen Attitude Towards Computer-Assisted Instruction Semantic Differential Survey) was a predictor of success on the CTATSI and on the WS-NATABOC. This study consisted of two phases: (1) development and validation of the CTATSI, and (2) data collection and analysis of selected variables and student attitudes. Program directors at 113 CAAHEP-accredited undergraduate athletic training programs were contacted to participate. Thirty-one programs responded to the invitation (27.4%), while 18 agreed (15.9%) to participate in the study. Twelve schools yielded 41 usable data sets (subjects) on all variables (18 male, 23 female; mean age = 22.98; mean semesters in program = 6.23; mean clinical clock hours = 1806.65) for the study. Each participating program director administered the CTATSI program to their students one week prior to taking the NATABOC Certification Examination. The attitude survey was given to subjects immediately after completion of the CTATSI, and again after returning from the NATABOC Examination test site. A regression analysis was used to determine the predictability of performance on the WS-NATABOC using the selected variables (CTATSI, GPA, SEMS, CLINHRS, PREVUSE). Of the 41 subjects, 29 had complete data sets, and therefore the regression analysis consisted of data on the 29 complete data sets. Of the variables identified, GPA was found to be the only significant predictor (r = .527). The post-hoc analysis revealed an F5,23 = 2.72, p = .045. Additionally, a combined correlation of students' GPA and the other selected variables were also significant (R = .610, R2 = .372, Adjusted R2 = .235, Standard Error of the Estimate = 84.31) (Predictors: PREVUSE, CTATSI, GPA, SEMS, CLINHRS). While the CTATSI was not a significant predictor, it is interesting to note that the raw data analysis of the CTATSI and WS-NATABOC results revealed that students had an average score of 72.18% on the CTATSI and 67.26% on the WS-NATABOC. Pearson Product moment pair-wise correlations were conducted and analyzed in order to determine any significant relationships among the three subset scores and total scores on the Allen Attitude Towards Computer-Assisted Instruction Semantic Differential Survey on the surveys administered. An analysis of data collected on the attitude surveys (total subset scores and total score) conducted after completion of the CTATSI and NATABOC found that student attitudes (subset and total scores) had a significant relationship towards students' success on the CTATSI, but student attitudes (subset and total scores) toward the NATABOC had no significant relationship. The researcher made the following conclusions from this study: students' GPA was a significant predictor of success on the WS-NATABOC, and more predictive when used with other selected variables; and students can use the computerized simulation to prepare for the type of questions that they may see on the actual WS-NATABOC.