The Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI)

The Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) was developed by researchers in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas, Austin, USA. Several applications and modifications led to the creation of a 90-item instrument containing ten scales. Responses are on a five- point disagree-agree continuum, and mean scores are derived for each scale. Consistent with some uncertainty about labels in this area, the measure was originally described as a learning 'skills' inventory, but the title was later changed (Weinstein, Zimmerman & Palmer, 1988).

The final version of the questionnaire contains the following scales. The focus is a very broad one, extending beyond the limited activities during learning itself which are considered here to be 'strategies'. Examples of questionnaire items are again included only for those scales which appear to cover strategies as defined here.

• Concentration: deals with a student's tendency to maintain concentration despite distractions. For instance: 'I concentrate fully when studying.'

• Information-processing: despite its broad tide (covering most of cognitive psychology), this scale addresses the mental elaboration of information and the making of connections with other material. For example: 'I try to find relationships between what I am learning and what I already know.' Scores are correlated 0.60 with the elaborative processing scale of the Inventory of learning Processes (see above) (Weinstein, Zimmerman & Palmer, 1988, p. 35).

• Selecting the main idea: concerned with locating the key points and critical ideas in material to be learned. For instance: 'I have difficulty identifying the important points in my reading' (reverse-scored).

• Self-testing: covers checks made about the progress of learning. For instance: 'I stop periodically while reading and mentally go over or review what was said.'

• Anxiety: covers a tendency to worry about learning and being tested.

• Attitude: records feelings about and interest in the course being undertaken.

• Motivation: covers a student's willingness to work hard.

• Scheduling: measures use of time and the effectiveness of planning.

• Study aids: extends across a wide range of techniques and exercises.

• Test strategies: concerns the approach taken to taking tests and exams.

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