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Pilot study of the study behavior inventory: Preliminary analysis of a new tool for health science education students

Penni Smith Foster, Natalie White Gaughf.

Abstract
Objective: While educational researchers have considered many factors related to academic performance
in undergraduate education, the impact of specific study behaviors and skills directly related to improving
performance in health science education have been largely overlooked. The purpose of the current study was
to examine the preliminary reliability and validity of the study behavior inventory (SBI), a tool used for measuring
study behaviors associated with higher academic performance among students in health science education
programs. Materials and Methods: Participants were 34 (n = 34) students enrolled in various health
science education programs (graduate studies in the health sciences = 11, health related professions = 6,
medicine = 11, nursing = 3, and pharmacy = 3) receiving academic support services at an academic health
science center in the southeastern United States. Students completed the SBI, the learning and study strategies
inventory (LASSI), and the approaches and study skills inventory for students (ASSIST) prior to receiving services.
Results: The internal consistency and the convergent validity of the SBI were assessed. The results indicated
adequate Cronbach’s alpha for SBI’s time allocation (TA) scale (0.76) and strategy (ST) scale (0.71). Statistically
significant positive correlations were found for the TA scale and LASSI’s time management scale and ASSIST’s
strategic approach. Statistically significant positive correlations were found for the ST scale, and several LASSI
scales measure learning strategies and ASSIST’s strategic and deep approaches. Conclusions: This pilot
study provided preliminary evidence that the SBI is a reliable tool with convergent validity that can be used to
assess study time management and study strategies utilized by health science students. More research on the
psychometric properties of the SBI is warranted to establish the SBI as a valuable tool in the identification of
study behaviors and skills related to academic performance in health science students.

Key words: Health education, student assessment, study skills, study strategies



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