Effective Instruction in APA Style in Blended and Face-to-Face Classrooms

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Abstract

Students at all levels struggle with using correct American Psychological Association (APA) style to format their papers and cite their sources. With increased access to online sources and electronic plagiarism checkers, it is more important than ever that even freshmen students understand and master the basics of APA style. To this end, we examined the most effective modality (blended vs. face-to-face instruction) for teaching APA style by analyzing pre- and postinstruction scores on an APA quiz and an APA essay rubric for students in a blended and a traditional first-year composition class. Using paired-samples t tests, we found that both groups significantly increased their knowledge of APA style from pretest to posttest. However, a 1-way analysis of covariance showed that students in the face-to-face class scored significantly higher in the final APA quiz than those in the blended group, controlling for pretest scores. APA rubric scores were significantly higher for the female students in the face-to-face class than in the blended class. Implications for teaching APA style are discussed.

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