Date of Award

Spring 2003

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Factors & Systems


Human Factors and Systems

Committee Chair

Christina Frederick-Recascino, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mavis Green, PhD.

Committee Member

Steven Hall, PhD.


This study investigated whether differences existed between sex, male and female, for the preference of three different syllabi describing three different learning environments. Learning environments consisted of collaborative, and individual, with the individual sub-divided into competitive, and individual while co-varying participants for credit hours. 264 surveys were administered to students in freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior classes in order to collect preference, and demographic data. The surveys were presented as three fictional syllabi differing only in class grading format, and a paragraph on the instructional philosophy of the professor. Instructional philosophies described the proposed environment of the class by enforcing the individual, competitive, or collaborative instructional methods. According to recent literature, women were predicted to prefer collaborative classroom environments to individual/competitive classroom environments and males were predicted to prefer competitive/individual over collaborative classroom environments. Limitations for the present study were discussed as well as suggestions for future research.