Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

December 1987


The purpose of this research study was to determine characteristics of entering vocational students in Kentucky Area/State vocational schools and to develop a computerized diagnostic instrument and tutorial package for assisting students in the mastery of necessary basic skills in mathematics. After specific math skills were identified in which proficiency is required of vocational education students, item pools were constructed for each skill. The skill item pools were validated using approximately 500 public school students throughout the grades of four through eight in public schools of Harlan County, Kentucky, Lee County, Virginia, and Washington County, Tennessee. The items within each item pool were found to be statistically equivalent. Computer programs were coded in the BASIC language using the item pools to randomly select and generate a diagnostic instrument and tutorial program relevant to the basic math skills. Three randomly generated forms of the diagnostic instrument were sent to 100 students in twenty area state vocational schools of Kentucky for normalization and form validation. The diagnostic instrument showed a strong positive coefficient of reliability with an average of.95 over the three forms used in the normalization process. There was no significant difference between the mean raw scores of the three forms. A 67 percentile score was found to be the norm which was to be statistically equivalent to the Tests of Adult Basic Education (TABE) at the 8.75 grade equivalent. An experiment was conducted using vocational students at Hazard State Vocational School as subjects to determine the affects of the tutorial package on basic math skill mastery using equivalent forms of the diagnostic instrument for pretesting and posttesting. Results of the experiment indicated that the computer managed instruction tutorial package had a significant affect in increasing posttest scores of the experimental group over the control group. It was concluded that the problem of constructing a computerized diagnostic math instrument and tutorial package capable of enhancing mastery of basic math skills to assist vocational students in gaining entrance into vocational school was achieved. A recommendation was made for further research and development to use the random item pool model for other development of computer assisted instruction (CAI) software.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access