The effect of study skills instruction on the study strategies and attitudes of college students with learning disabilities

Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Higher Education

First Advisor's Name

Stephen S. Strichart

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Judith J. Walker

Third Advisor's Name

Paulette M. Johnson

Fourth Advisor's Name

Joseph B. Cook


Learning disabled, Education (Higher), Study skills

Date of Defense



The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of participating in an existing study skills course, developed for use with a general college population, on the study strategies and attitudes of college students with learning disabilities. This study further investigated whether there would be differential effectiveness for segregated and mainstreamed sections of the course.

The sample consisted of 42 students with learning disabilities attending a southeastern university. Students were randomly assigned to either a segregated or mainstreamed section of the study skills course. In addition, a control group consisted of students with learning disabilities who received no study skills instruction.

All subjects completed the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) before and after the study skills course. The subjects in the segregated group showed significant improvement on six of the 10 scales of the LASSI: Time Management, Concentration, Information Processing, Selecting Main Ideas, Study Aids, and Self Testing. Subjects in the mainstreamed section showed significant improvement on five scales: Anxiety, Selecting Main Ideas, Study Aids, Self Testing, and Test Strategies. The subjects in the control group did not significantly improve on any of the scales.

This study showed that college students with learning disabilities improved their study strategies and attitudes by participating in a study skills course designed for a general student population. Further, these students benefitted whether by taking the course only with other students with learning disabilities, or by taking the course in a mixed group of students with or without learning disabilities. These results have important practical implications in that it appears that colleges can use existing study skills courses without having to develop special courses and schedules of course offerings targeted specifically for students with learning disabilities.



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