College developmental reading students' perceptions of reading study strategies: Implications for transfer to other contexts

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

Jeanne Shay Schumm - Committee Chair


The purpose of this study was threefold: (a) to gain an in-depth understanding of the perceptions of students enrolled in developmental reading classes toward the reading/study strategies they are taught, (b) to determine the extent to which students spontaneously transfer these strategies to their other college coursework, and (c) to understand how students' perceptions influence their strategy transfer decisions.To explore these issues, 4 students participated in in-depth case studies. Data collection included individual and focus group interviews, reflective journal assignments, teacher and student ratings of student competence at using individual strategies, and a scale designed to examine students' perceptions of familiarity, effectiveness and use of a variety of reading/study strategies. Qualitative data analysis techniques were applied to the data, and individual case studies and a cross-case analysis were used to summarize findings.Themes that emerged among the participants were interpreted within a conceptual framework based on a model of strategy use developed by Palmer and Goetz (1988) that considers the role of students' perceptions of learner, task, and strategy attributes in strategy transfer.Findings from this investigation support the premise that student perceptions of learner, task, and strategy attributes influence their decision making about strategy transfer. Themes emerged among the participants related to the importance of their perceptions of the concept of learning, their own learning strengths and weaknesses, task analysis, task value, and the relationship of perceived learner attributes to strategy selection. The discussion focuses on the implications of these findings for assessment and instruction of students in developmental reading classes and for future research.


Education, Reading; Education, Curriculum and Instruction; Education, Higher

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