Date of Conferral







Carla Lane-Johnson


The efficacy of intelligent tutoring systems (ITS) for undergraduate college level courses was not well established and specifically, the Pearson Dynamic Study Modules (PDSM) program had not been investigated locally. The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine whether the use of an ITS designed with a cognitive learning approach; the PDSM, would enhance pre-nursing student academic performance. The multiple attribute decision making and the human plausible reasoning theories grounded the study. A non-experimental quantitative research design was used to determine whether there was a difference in the assessment scores of pre-nursing students in a college level anatomy and physiology course based on their use of the PDSM while controlling for prior GPA. A multiple analysis of covariance test was used to compare the archival scores of pre-nursing students (N = 99) from twelve online sections of an anatomy and physiology course from a small Midwestern college where the PDSM program was an available study aid for the students. This study looked at the cumulated use of the ITS over the course of a full 16-week semester and confirming conclusions from similar studies, found that there was no causal relationship between the use of the PDSM and the students’ assessment scores when controlling for prior GPA. Recommendations for future studies include a focus on individual chapters and the amount of intelligent tutor use within the chapter itself to determine if there is any effect on individual chapter assessment scores. Positive social change is facilitated for undergraduate nursing students when research-derived study strategies are identified for inclusion or exclusion to enhance students’ academic performance.