National Study Results

EnterTRAINment: Schoolhouse Rock meets APA

Session presented at the 29th Annual Convention of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology Honolulu, Hawaii (Rouse, Miller, Peed, & Kircher, 2014)

To request more information about the study, fill out our contact form!



  • Average undergraduate APA style knowledge = 42% (Tartaro & Levy, 2010)
  • Manuscripts submitted for publication with 9 or more different APA errors are 3 to 8 times more likely to be rejected (Onwuegbuzie, Combs, Slate, & Frels, 2009)
  • 67% of papers submitted for publication have manuscript preparation errors (Onwuegbuzie et al., 2009)
  • 61% of papers submitted for publication have citation errors (Onwuegbuzie et al., 2009)
  • Instructors report writing feedback is “too time-consuming to be worth the effort” (Nielsen & Rocco, 2002, p. 79).
  • College instructors have difficulty designing engaging activities to teach APA style (Smith & Eggleston, 2001)


Gaps in the literature – Few, if any, studies . . .

  • Base interventions on the 6th edition APA manual
  • Sample both graduate and undergraduate students
  • Use a comparison group
  • Test a digital intervention


  • Inspired by the Emmy award-winning series Schoolhouse Rock
  • 30 short videos with 2 hours of content


  • Measure the change, if any, in APA style knowledge and self-efficacy of graduate and undergraduate students who participated in online video training


  • Quantitative study with a pre-test/post-test design
  • Entry-level graduate and undergraduate students (N = 130)
  • 2-hours of APA videos inspired by Schoolhouse Rock (animation, music, & humor)
  • Video group (n = 70)
  • Comparison group (n = 60)


APA Knowledge

  • Undergraduates in the video group had about 5 times more change than undergraduates in the comparison group
  • Graduate students in the video group had more than 3 times more change than the graduate students in the comparison group

APA Self-Efficacy

  • Significantly higher change in the video group than the comparison group



APA Study Results SELF EFFICACY v2





















  • Students respond to engaging APA information
  • Students crave consistency when learning APA
  • Colleges and universities should track the return on investment of their APA training

To request more information about the study, fill out our contact form!


Nielsen, S. M., & Rocco, T. S. (2002, May 24-26­). Joining the conversation: Graduate students’ perceptions of writing for publication. Paper presented at the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Adult Education Research Conference, Raleigh, NC.

Onwuegbuzie, A. J., Combs, J. P., Slate, J. R., & Frels, R. K. (2009). Editorial: Evidence-based guidelines for avoiding the most common APA errors in journal article submissions. Research in the Schools16(2), 1. Retrieved from

Rouse, R. A., & Miller, L. A. (2014). An innovative “Schoolhouse Rock” intervention to increase APA knowledge & self-efficacy. Manuscript submitted for publication.

Rouse, R. A., Miller, L. A., Peed, J., & Kircher, B. (2014, May 15). EnterTRAINment: Schoolhouse Rock meets APA. Session presented at the 29th Annual Convention of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Smith, G. E., & Eggleston, T. J. (2001). Comprehending APA style through manuscript analysis. Teaching of Psychology28(2), 108-110. Retrieved from

Tartaro, C., & Levy, M. (2010, May). Lessons learned: One criminal justice program’s steps (and missteps) for developing an assessment program. Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences Assessment Forum. Retrieved from

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