The development and evaluation of a comprehensive self-instructional manual for a college introductory clothing construction course
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The purpose of this study was to develop and evaluate a comprehensive self-instructional manual for teaching basic construction principles and skills in a college introductory clothing construction course. The specific objectives were: (1) To develop an instructional manual which can be used to ensure that students will master the basic clothing construction skills. (2) To determine the extent to which the use of a self-instructional manual will contribute to an improvement in a student's understanding of clothing construction principles. (3) To determine the degree to which the use of a self-instructional manual will result in a student's acquisition of the skills needed for satisfactory garment construction. (4) To determine significant differences between the achievement levels of students taught by a self-instructional manual and students taught by a conventional method. (5) To develop an evaluation method for student use in evaluating both individually constructed garments and ready-to-wear. The procedure for developing the manual involved several stages. The selection of topics included in the manual and the determination of organization and format were a result of a process which involved examination of college clothing construction textbooks, discussions with clothing construction teachers, examination of college clothing curricula, and the administration of a questionnaire designed to solicit information from persons knowledgeable in clothing. The individual lessons were designed to encompass informative material, clothing construction activities, evaluative procedures, and self-tests. The testing process consisted of (1) a pilot test composed of four students enrolled in a college independent study introductory clothing construction course; (2) a classroom test in college introductory clothing construction course which involved two laboratory sections, one section which used the manual was compared to the other section which did not use the manual; (3) an evaluation in a graduate level course by persons from a variety of backgrounds with professional experience in clothing construction; and (4) a classroom test in a university introductory clothing construction course which was compared to two classes of the same couse which had been taught the previous session without the manual. In the classroom testing situations, pretest scores, posttest score, garment grades, and grade point averages were utilized to evaluate the manual's effectiveness as a teaching device. Within both classroom testing situations, the means of the pretest scores, the means of the posttest scores, and the means of the difference between the pretest and posttest scores were compared to provide descriptive information about the groups. T-test were utilized to determine significant differences between the mean scores of the two teaching methods. Correlation analyses were utilized to determine relationships among the variables investigated. Results of the statistical analyses revealed no significant differences between the students who used the manual and the students who did not use the manual. However, the t-values indicated the probability that seventy-five percent of the time, the students who used the manual would perform better than students who did not use the manual. Also, results of the correlation analyses indicated that students with a 2.7 or better grade point average accomplished more with the manual than students with a 2.7 or better grade point average who did not use the manual. The consistently higher scores of the experimental groups on the posttest, posttest minus pretest, and garment grades indicated that the manual was effective as an improved teaching tool.