Background/Purpose: The most widely mentioned Personalized System of Instruction (PSI) model key feature seen as being problematic and recommended for change is self-pacing. The purpose of this study was to investigate flexible-pacing vs. self-pacing in a PSI-taught college-level golf course by incorporating classroom-based pacing contingencies on students' pacing rate, course completion rate, withdrawal rate, student achievement measures (golf-skills & golf-knowledge), and attitudes.
Method: Using a quasi-experimental mixed-method design, three pacing condition groups were used: self-pacing only (n = 24); instructor-recommended deadlines (n = 22); and student-set deadlines (n = 24). Within each of these pacing condition groups, a sub-group based on golf-skill ability level was created from golf-skill pretest results. Preliminary measures (PSI model fidelity, initial golf-skill and golf-knowledge, outside-of-class golf participation, and instructor's teaching behaviors ) were taken for each pacing condition group which were shown to have no extraneous effects on the results.
Analysis/Results: The quantitative results from this study indicated flexible-pacing is advantageous for increasing lower- and moderate-skilled pacing rates as well as increasing students' overall perception of the PSI-taught golf course. The qualitative results indicated several key differences between students who were able to complete all course workbook tasks versus students who were unable to complete all course workbook tasks.
Conclusions: These results support the use of flexible-pacing over self-pacing in PSI-taught courses in college-level physical education settings due to significant improvements on several key measurements especially for lower- and moderate-skilled students. Further investigation should be done in secondary settings with the same and different content.