The evaluation of a tertiary-level distance-mode aural training programme

PhD Thesis

Gearing, Phillip John. 2008. The evaluation of a tertiary-level distance-mode aural training programme. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Queensland.

The evaluation of a tertiary-level distance-mode aural training programme

TypePhD Thesis
AuthorGearing, Phillip John
SupervisorSwann, Richard
Stowasser, Helen
Institution of OriginUniversity of Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages225

The purpose of the study was to determine whether a prototype aural training programme could successfully develop tertiary level aural training skills if face-to-face teaching components were replaced entirely by interactive CD-ROM delivery.

Audiation is the ability by which one hears with the eyes (and, by extension, sees with the ears), and the reciprocal nature of listening and reading has long been recognised (Karpinski, 2000). According to Allvin (1970), sound-to-sight and sight-to-sound skills can be developed
through CAI with an effectiveness equal to face-to-face instruction. It appears that some aural skills assist naturally in the development of other aural skills; Carlsen (1969), for example, suggested that the effect of aural training by instruction generalised to sightsinging ability, while Baggaley (1974) writes in contrast that the ability to discriminate does not necessarily guarantee
the ability to recognise and identify. Porter (1977) asserts what is now a generally known fact that one must teach for transfer, rather than to expect transfer to be automatic.

A six-semester distance-mode prototype aural training programme was developed at the University of Southern Queensland and delivered to tertiary music students in all states of Australia as well as other countries including New Zealand, Singapore, south-east Asia and the
United Kingdom.

A pre-test/post-test model assessing three groups (internal, external and control) was applied at the beginning and end of the first semester of the six semester programme. The internal group received face-to-face teaching during the first semester; the external group
received tuition via CD-ROM; the control group received no tuition in ear training.

The study sought to compare results within and between the three groups in the areas of rhythmic perception, melodic perception, scale/mode recognition and interval recognition during this first semester of the study, and to find correlations between demographic data and test
performance. External students achieved higher levels of improvement for all aural acuities than internal students and control group students. The findings indicate that students learning multiple instruments and students learning piano perform aural tasks better than students learning only a melody line instrument (including voice) or no instrument. In addition, internal students’ results
showed a greater ceiling effect than the externals’, suggesting that the aural perception curriculum itself may need to take into account different individual levels of achievement. Tertiary music schools experiencing funding constraints may be able to re-organise aural tuition
practice either to replace or to augment face-to-face classes with external aural training materials,
without sacrificing the quality of their instruction.

Keywordsaural training programme; tertiary level; distance education; interactive CD-ROM; University of Southern Queensland
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020520406. Sensory processes, perception and performance
390303. Higher education
369999. Other creative arts and writing not elsewhere classified
390101. Creative arts, media and communication curriculum and pedagogy
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Creative Arts
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