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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Design For Evaluating Multicultural Behavior Change

by Ihor Cap, Ph.D.
The Instructional Situation
Many groups or populations of society remain outdated and out of touch with the new reality of multiculturalism ...being Canadian, as rationalized within the framework of the Canadian Multiculturalism Act of 1988.  Existing opportunities to multicultural behavior change (learning) tend to emphasize cross cultural awareness and race relations, each providing a sliver of insightful characteristic but each leaving the learner with an inadequate picture of the whole.  This feeling stems from a concerned awareness that neither approach highlights "vision" in their programmatic efforts necessary to form a more comprehensive view.  Vision, or the ability to identify past analogies, synthesize these to the demands of the new situation and, subsequently articulate a meaningful vision of the future is important to the development of such a view (Bennis & Nanus, 1985).  The product thrust associated with this behavior might be a shared vision of the present "realities" and desired "priorities" of multiculturalism, directed toward establishing "equal appeal" (i.e., statistically) among participants of all origins. 
The macro objective of the instructional situation in the learning media transaction is directed toward such an endeavor; i.e., to assess the usefulness and effectiveness of a  self instructional print module on multicultural behavior change in learners in trade apprenticeships.  Multicultural behavior change can be classified broadly under three domains of human experience and learning: (1) cognitive learning based on one's knowledge or range of information about multiculturalism (Bloom, et al., 1956), (2) affective learning  involving attitudinal responses toward multiculturalism and motivational attitudes toward the particular contents to be learned (Krathwohl, Bloom, & Bertram, 1964), and (3) psychomotor learning based on mastering a complex overt response (Simpson, 1966), as in adjusting interpersonal communication skills to various family, ethnocultural and social class groups having a historical and socio cultural perspective of the client's lifestyle and well being.  The implication is that any approach to multicultural behavior change may produce combined effects.  A unit of instruction effecting increases in the participants' knowledge for a given subject may have an analogous effect upon their acceptance of an ideology at the abstract affective level and may affect their motivational attitudes toward the usefulness of contents presented at the operational level.  Thus, the foci relevant to this study are on learning moved by changes in multicultural behavior in the cognitive and affective domains following exposure to a self instructional print module on the origins and purpose of multiculturalism.
Evaluation Design for Researching Multicultural Beavior Change
Figure 1 presents a conceptual framework with the macro objective depicted as assessing the usefulness and effectiveness of a self-instructional print module on multicultural behavior change (Cap, 1995).  This framework is similar to that employed by Boone and White (1976) in their research project. Consistent with the second definition of instructional technology offered earlier (See article entitled The Learning-Media Transaction), the framework illustrates that the learning-media transaction emerges from the interaction of (1) the learner's characteristics and (2) the instructional situation. 

Figure 1: The Learning-Media Transaction: A Human Process
Effectiveness or a receptive framework for multicultural behavior change is mediated in part  by the learners individual, household, cultural and other entry/behavioral characteristics (e.g., initial cognitions, perceptions, preferences, opinions, beliefs, attitudes and motivations) that shape the  parameters of their vision.  Effectiveness may be reduced in the change process if learners do not perceive the contents and activities of the instructional situation (i.e., learning opportunity) as motivationally appealing or useful.  Consequently, the learning-media transaction is evaluated within the framework of the macro objective for evidence of usefulness and effectiveness.
To accomplish this objective, two before and after measures of learning effectiveness are  employed to evaluate the behavior change capabilities of the module.  Change, therefore, is equated with the learning that occurred in apprentices or difference scores obtained by subtraction (Posttest score - adjPretest score), as Figure 1 shows.  This hypothetical relationship is usually established by capitalizing on a concomitant or control variable to permit an evaluation that adjusts for initial baseline design factors and improve experimental precision (Feldt, 1958).  Figure 1 also shows that participating apprentices are randomly assigned to either an experimental or a control group.  The control group, according to Tuckman (1988, p.114), " a group of subjects, whose selection and experiences are identical in every way possible to the treatment or experimental group except that they do not receive the treatment" (that is, the print module is withheld).  Since this study capitalizes on a control group, it could be assumed that environmental references to behavioral change indices (i.e., knowledge and ideology) and maturation would be experienced equally by both the experimental and control groups, and "...not unduly influence the final differences between the groups" (Weldon, 1962, p.35).
A posttest analysis is used to secure evaluative data on the overall "usefulness" or  motivational appeal of contents and activities presented in the module with apprentices in the experimental group, as Figure 1 indicates.  The posttests serve as added measures for the purposes of comparing the motivational appeal of contents between majority and minority apprentice groups, and apprentice groups stemming from either white or non-white racial backgrounds.  The assumption underlying these comparisons is that individual motivation "...tends somewhat to reflect group motivation" (Wardhaugh, 1983, pp.170-1).  Accordingly, the intensity (degree of involvement) and direction (positive or negative) of learner-apprentice motives may tend to magnify distinctions not only characteristic to race (i.e., whites and non-whites) but also with learners' existing social reality in Canada so far as their respective status is concerned (i.e., majority, minority).  The implication is that factors other than the overall motivational appeal of contents presented in the module influence or interact with the learning-change process; their knowledge about multiculturalism and their acceptance of a multicultural ideology or "... general beliefs associated with the existence of cultural diversity in Canada" notwithstanding (Berry, Kalin & Taylor, 1976, p.240).
Definition of Terms
For the purposes of this study, the following definitions apply to the terms used herein:
Apprentice: "... means a person of at least 16 years of age, who enters into a written agreement with an employer to learn a designated trade requiring a minimum of two years of reasonably continuous employment, which provide practical experience and related technical instruction for that person" (Chapter A110: The Apprenticeship and Trades Qualifications Act, 1987, p.1).
Knowledge: refers to  "... those behaviors and test situations which emphasize the remembering, either by recognition or recall, of ideas, material, or phenomena," (Bloom, et al., 1956, p.62) and for the purposes of measurement, "the recall situation involves little more than bringing to mind the appropriate material" (Bloom, et al., 1956, p.201).
Module: a self-instructional print package designed especially for apprentices and evaluated for contributing to a receptive framework for multiculturalism ... being Canadian.
Majority: Subjects who identify their ancestral origin or ethnocultural background as British (English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh) and French and record it as such on the Background Information Questionnaire.
Minority: Subjects who identify their ancestral origin or ethnocultural background as non British and non French and record it as such on the Background Information Questionnaire.
Multiculturalism: "... is part of what it means to be Canadian.  It is inseparable from Canadians' fundamental citizenship values, which are based on the enduring principles of equality, diversity and community - equality of opportunity; diversity of cultures, experience and skills; and a strong, supportive sense of community" (Department of the Secretary of State of Canada, Multiculturalism, 1987, p.3).
Multicultural Ideology:  "... refers to the general beliefs associated with the existence of cultural diversity in Canada" (Berry, Kalin & Taylor, 1976, p.240).
White: Subjects who identify their race as white and record it as such on the Background Information Questionnaire.
Non white: Subjects who identify their race as non white and record it as such on the Background Information Questionnaire.
Operational Definitions
The following terms are operationalized for a better understanding of the dependent measures employed in this study.
Change: is equated with the learning that occurred in apprentices' or difference scores obtained by  subtraction after adjusting for initial baseline differences (Posttest score - adjPretest score).
Multicultural behavior change (learning): For the purposes of this study, multicultural behavior change is equated with cognitive (recall or recognition of knowledge) and affective (degree of acceptance) learning behavior as measured by 1) the range of scores received on the researcher-constructed CMKI - Canadian Multiculturalism Knowledge Inventory (See Cap, 1995, Appendix C) and 2) scores received on the MI - Multicultural Ideology scale (Berry et al., 1976, p.141).
Motivational Appeal (Usefulness):  The extent to which learners perceive the contents and activities presented in the print module as motivationally appealing or useful, as rated by the study subjects themselves on the IMMS - Instructional Materials Motivation Survey (Keller, 1990).
Author: Ihor Cap, Ph.D. This article first appeared February 9, 2009 in
About the Author: Ihor Cap is Training Standards Coordinator with Apprenticeship Manitoba. He holds an Education Specialist degree and Ph.D. in Comprehensive Vocational Education from the Florida State University  and a Masters of Education in Instructional Technology from the University of Manitoba. Ihor is also a member of the Ukrainian Academy of Arts and Sciences in Canada.   
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Cap, Ihor. (1995). A study of the usefulness and effectiveness of a self-instructional print module on multicultural behaviour change in apprentices in Manitoba. A dissertation submitted to the Department of Educational  Leadership in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. The Florida State  University, College of Education, Tallahassee, Florida.
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