The assessment of self-directed learning among pre-service students in an Ontario faculty of education
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The study determined students' perceptions of self-directed learning in their courses. Tests to assess perceptions are not being used in many programs. Assessments such as the Self-Directed Readiness Scale (SDLRS) and the Oddi continuing Learning Inventory (OCLI) have weaknesses that may have affected the use of tests. In this study, the creation of the Self-Directed Learning Test (SDLT) monitored students' perceptions by addressing what students were told before registration, how much input students had in developing the structure of the course, how much input students have in determining the evaluation for the course, what style of learning is taking place, and the characteristics of learning found among students. Fifty-one students in the pre-service program at Brock University completed the SDLT. Results showed that 47.1% of the sample liked self-directed learning. Several students who stated that they did not like selfdirected learning did not know what self-directed learning was. Results supported Brookfield's (1986) claim for more education on what self-directed learning is. The study did not support Knowles' (1980) assumption that adult students know and want to follow self-directed approaches to learning. The SDLT is a good method for monitoring self-directed learning and how students perceive their courses.