Pre-Study Instrument

The pre-test instrument included:

  • The Big Five Inventory[1];
  • The Index of Learning Styles (ILS)[2];
  • 11 questions asking the student to rate their time management ability and practices;
  • 11 questions asking the student to estimate the amount of time spent per week engaged in a number of recreational activities;
  • 12 questions asking the student to solve logical problems that will involve disjunctive logic and analytical reasoning.

The BFI was used because it is a shorter instrument comprising only 44 questions, and is freely available for non-commercial use. Its use by Allen and Robbins has been shown to correlate with measures of student motivation as measured by the SRI.

The ILS was selected because it is developed from a composite of learning models, namely the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Kolb’s Learning Style Model and the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (Thomas, Ratcliffe, Woodburry, & Jarman, 2002). It is free of charge and is administered as a web application with immediate scoring.

A review of available literature found no suitable questionnaire or other instrument to measure the time management practices or recreational activities of post-secondary students. For this reason, a series of 22 questions were developed to determine if time management and the allocation of recreational time by students can provide any prediction of their academic success. These questions and the range of responses is listed in Appendix A.

Problem solving ability was measured using a series of questions proposed by Toplak and Stanovich (2002) and augmented by some less demanding questions proposed by Frederick (2005). One analytical reasoning question (Newstead, Bradon, Handley, Dennis, & Evans, 2006) was also included in an attempt to give this factor a wide spectrum for assessment. The text of these questions is found in Appendix B.

[1] The BFI is copyright 1991 by Oliver Johns. It is used with permission.

[2] The ILS is copyright 1991 and 1994 by North Carolina State University and authored by Richard M. Felder and Barbara A. Soloman. It is and used with permission.