The examination of predictors of success in two programmes requiring self-direction /
Dal Bello-Haas, Vanina Pia Maria.
MetadataShow full item record
The new Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy programmes, based in the Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University (Hamilton, Ontario) are unique. The teaching and learning philosophies utilized are based on learner-centred and selfdirected learning theories. The 1991 admissions process of these programmes attempted to select individuals who would make highly qualified professionals and who would have the necessary skills to complete such unique programmes. In order to: 1 . learn more about the concept of self-directed learning and its related characteristics in health care professionals; 2. examine the relationship between various student characteristics - personal, learner and those assessed during the admissions process - and final course grades, and 3. determine which, if any, smdent characteristics could be considered predictors for success in learner-centred programmes requiring self-directed learning skills, a correlational research design was developed and carried out. Thirty Occupational Therapy and thirty Physiotherapy smdents were asked to complete 2 instruments - a questionnaire developed by the author and the Oddi Continuing Learning Inventory (Oddi, 1986). Course grades and ratings of students during the admissions process were also obtained. Both questionnaires were examined for reliability, and factor analyses were conducted to determine construct validity. Data obtained from the questionnaires, course grades and student ratings (from the admissions process) were analyzed and compared using the Contingency Co-efficient, the Pearson's product-moment correlation co-efficient, and the multiple regression analysis model. The research findings demonstrated a positive relationship (as identified by Contingency Coefficient or Pearson r values) between various course grades and the following personal and learner characteristics: field of smdy of highest level of education achieved, level of education achieved, sex, marital stams, motivation for completing the programmes, reasons for eru-oling in the programmes, decision to enrol in the programmes, employment history, preferred learning style, strong selfconcept and the identification of various components of the concept of self-directed learning. In most cases, the relationships were significant to the 0.01 or 0.(X)1 levels. Results of the multiple regression analyses demonstrated that several learner and admissions characteristic variables had R^ values that accounted for the largest proportion of the variance in several dependent variables. Thus, these variables could be considered predictors for success. The learner characteristics included: level of education and strong self-concept. The admissions characteristics included: ability to evaluate strengths, ability to give feedback, curiosity and creativity, and communication skills. It is recommended that research continue to be conducted to substantiate the relationships found between course grades and characteristic variables in more diverse populations. "Success in self-directed programmes" from the learner's perspective should also be investigated. The Oddi Continuing Learning Inventory should continue to be researched. Further research may lead to refinement or further development of the instrument, and may provide further insight into self-directed learner attributes. The concept of self-directed learning continues to be incorporated into educational programmes, and thus should continue to be explored.