Development of an instrument to measure tendencies toward self-directedness in learning within a workplace setting
Type of DegreeDissertation
Leadership and Technology
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The self-directed acquisition of knowledge and skills needed to develop or enhance an individual's ability to adapt and advance within society is a factor in the development of programs to promote independent study within business, industry, and formal education. Research to date in the development of instruments for the purpose of assessing information relative to an individual's self-directedness in learning have focused primarily on learning in terms of formal education. There has been little recent research into the individual's involvement in learning work related skills outside of a formal setting, especially at the level of a typical hourly employee. This study seeks to add to current knowledge of self-directed learning within employment settings and to provide a tool for the purpose of furthering understanding in this domain. A theoretical framework was developed, which describes self-directedness in learning within the workplace setting as a psychological construct. The major aspects of this framework addressed self-regulation, motivation, cognitive factors, and the social and environmental setting. The instrument developed during the course of this study exhibited reliability and validity within the participant population of employees of a manufacturing environment suggesting it would be an appropriate instrument for conducting research in this area. Subsequent statistical analysis of the data obtained as part of this study yielded statistically significant trends in the participant population.