Publication Date

Spring 2017

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Jenni Redifer (Director), Sally Kuhlenschmidt, Qin Zhao

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


Psychologists have examined the effects of numerous variables on classroom performance, but little research exists to demonstrate how specific teaching techniques, specifically the provision of printed presentation notes (such as presentation slides), affects student perception of responsibility. This study sought to discover the impact that providing presentation slides for use during lecture would have on students’ performance, as well as their perceptions of personal responsibility. In order to determine the effects of provided presentation notes on performance and perceived responsibility, this study examined the self-efficacy and locus of control of students assigned to either take their own notes or to use provided presentation materials in addition to their own notes, should they choose to take notes of their own. It was expected that the participants in the notesprovided condition would score better on the exam, and feel more responsible for their learning and performance, than those in the no-notes-provided condition. Additionally, the provision of notes was expected to have a greater positive effect on performance in those students with an external locus of control and/or low academic self-efficacy. It was also expected that students provided with printed notes would take better notes than those who were not provided with the printed notes. The results showed that neither performance nor responsibility were affected by condition. However, higher academic self-efficacy had a positive impact on exam score. Additionally, higher academic self-efficacy and a more internal locus of control were positively correlated with personal responsibility for learning and performance. The provision of printed presentation material did not have a direct effect on note quality, but did correlate negatively with the number of questions left blank on the exam. In addition, the number of questions left blank on the exam was negatively correlated with exam score. These results suggest that providing students with printed presentation materials may lead to fewer skipped exam questions and, potentially, better academic performance.


Applied Behavior Analysis | Educational Psychology