The self-directed learning readiness survey as a predictor of success in a problem-based learning environment

Kevin Sevilla, Andrea Goncher, J. R. Morgan

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paper

Abstract

Context: Charles Sturt University (CSU) launched a new engineering degree in 2016, with a strong focus on self-directed and self-motivated learning. Admission to the programme was based on ATAR, a secondary application form, and a candidate interview. Staff reflections at the conclusion of the first year showed that these three metrics alone did not sufficiently identify candidates able to complete topics, i.e. engineering content learning and assessment modules, at a sufficient pace to progress on to the latter stages of the course. In an effort to improve the recruitment and candidate evaluation process the staff decided to trial a survey measuring student perceptions of their readiness to partake in a self-directed learning environment.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to see whether students' scores on the Self- Directed Learning Readiness Scale (Guglielmino, 1977), or the Learning Preference Assessment (Guglielmino and Guglielmino, 1991), are predictive of eventual academic success specific to topic completion.

Approach: The Self-Directed Learning Readiness Survey was administered on a volunteer basis amongst the student cohort in the first week of the first semester; the outcomes of the survey were compared to topic completion data and a student reflective prompt on the experience.

Results: Neither the quantitative or qualitative data showed any conclusive evidence connecting student perceptions of self-directed learning and topic completion. When controlling for sex, cohort, or school-leaver versus mature-aged, no strong correlations emerged between SDLRS scores and the number of topics of completed. This is potentially a result of a small sample size, self-selection bias of participants, or lack of longitudinal analysis beyond the first 6 months.

Conclusions: With neither student SLDRS scores, or written perceptions of self-directed learning, showing anything conclusive explaining topic completion in the CSU programme, other methods of administration or tools will need to implemented in the future to better target the desired outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education
EditorsNazmul Huda, David Inglis, Nicholas Tse, Graham Town
Place of PublicationSydney
PublisherAustralasian Association for Engineering Education
Pages867-872
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780646980263
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2017
Event28th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education: AAEE 2017 - Novotel Manly Pacific, Manly Beach, Australia
Duration: 10 Dec 201713 Mar 2018
http://www.aaee.net.au/index.php/aaee-conference/aaee2017/234-aaee-2017 (Conference website)
https://search.informit.com.au/browsePublication;res=IELENG;isbn=9780646980263 (Conference proceedings)

Conference

Conference28th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education
Abbreviated titleIntegrated Engineering
CountryAustralia
CityManly Beach
Period10/12/1713/03/18
OtherThe theme of the 28th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (AAEE 2017) was "Integrated Engineering". It refers to the combination of theory and practice that is characteristic of engineering training, and encompasses more than the well-balanced set of technical skills and professional attributes expected in modern engineering graduates. The theme also refers to the need to train engineers who are willing and able to share responsibility for guiding the world in which they live through the major challenges facing society in the 21st century.
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    Sevilla, K., Goncher, A., & Morgan, J. R. (2017). The self-directed learning readiness survey as a predictor of success in a problem-based learning environment. In N. Huda, D. Inglis, N. Tse, & G. Town (Eds.), Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education (pp. 867-872). Australasian Association for Engineering Education. https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=392403132733154;res=IELENG