This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

An Examination of Self-Directed Learning and Learning Styles among Army Noncommissioned Officers




Harris-Truitt, Nicqolle

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology

Restriction Status


Restriction Type

Auburn University Users

Date Available



Organizations need well trained and educated staff who regularly take the initiative to assess their learning needs, plan and follow through with enhancing their skills. The purpose of this study was to explore learning style categories and learner self-directedness of Army Aviation personnel. This study utilized a sample of Noncommissioned Officers attending the Noncommissioned Officer Academy (NCOA) at a military installation in the southeast region of the U.S. A total of 201 personnel participated in this study with 172 males and 29 females. Participants provided descriptive data and answered two surveys, the Felder and Solomon Index of Learning Styles and the De Bruin and De Bruin Learner Self-directedness in the Workplace Scale. Descriptive statistics, one-way ANOVA, multiple regression analysis and chi-square tests were used to analyze data for this sample. Although there were no statistically significant relationships between learning styles and self-directedness of this population, this sample showed a strong preference for a visual-verbal mode of learning. This sample, based on the Likert scaled LSWS, showed that they agreed and believed themselves to be self-directed learners. Additionally, descriptive statistics reported that of the 201 participants, 20.9 percent only had high school diploma and 55.7 percent reported having some college. Lower percentages reported having college degrees and certifications. With no statistically significant findings based on the demographics of age, gender, rank, military occupational specialties (MOS), years of service and highest level of education for this study, additional research could uncover what factors cause personnel to not engage in learning activities while working in an environment where continuous careerlong and lifelong learning are required. Addressing learning styles and self-directed learning with military personnel can create a catalyst for self-discovery among personnel, which could lead to ongoing intentional learning within the Army environment.