Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Byron R. Burnham


Byron R. Burnham


Matthew J. Taylor


J. Nicholls Eastmond


Brian R. Belland


Scot M. Allgood


The purpose of this study was to test the effectiveness of the readiness assurance process of team-based learning (TBL) in virtually isolated settings. Many Internet sites offer courses for adults to use on their own without access to mentors or other learners. However, educational theory suggests that people learn better with others than by themselves. The focus of this investigation was whether the inclusion of the readiness assurance process would increase participants’ levels of learning based on Bloom’s revised taxonomy within the limits of virtual isolation.

In this study an experimental pretest-posttest design was employed. Using a 2- day mini-course about listening in marriage, 117 participants were randomly assigned to three groups. In the TBL group, married couples worked together following the principles of the readiness assurance process. In the independent group, one spouse from a marriage worked alone, also following the principles of the readiness assurance process. In the baseline group, one spouse from a marriage took the pretest and posttest only.

The first posttest, called posttest-L, measured lower levels of learning (remembering and understanding). The second posttest, called posttest-D, measured deeper learning (applying and evaluating). Using ANCOVA with the pretests as the covariates, results showed a statistically significant difference in learning gains between the TBL group and the independent group for lower levels of learning (ES = .39). However, statistical significance was not achieved for deeper learning. Moreover, TBL scores and independent scores were no different from the baseline scores for measures of deeper learning. Along with explanations for these results, limitations of the study are described and suggestions for future research are offered.




This work made publicly available electronically on September 2, 2011.