An investigation of the third-year english majors’ perception on self-directed learning

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AN INVESTIGATION OF THE THIRD-YEAR ENGLISH MAJORS’ PERCEPTION ON SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING B.A. Thesis Supervisor: Bui Lan Chi, M.A Researcher: Tran Thi Ai Nhon Student‟ s code: 7062913 Class: NN0652A1 Course: 32 Can Tho, April 2010 1 CONTENTS Contents ..........................................................................................................................2 Acknowledgements .........................................................................................................4 Abstract (Vietnamese) .....................................................................................................5 Abstract (English) ...........................................................................................................6 List of Tables ...................................................................................................................7 Chapter 1: Introduction ...............................................................................................8 1.1. Rationale ...........................................................................................................8 1.2. Aims and significance of the research ..............................................................8 1.3. Organization of the thesis .................................................................................9 Chapter 2: Literature Review ....................................................................................10 2.1. What is self-directed learning? .......................................................................10 2.2. The significance of self-directed learning ....................................................... 11 2.2.1. Self-directed learning in modern education .......................................... 11 2.2.2. Self-directed learning and learning organization ..................................12 2.2.3. Self-directed learning and lifelong learning..........................................12 2.3. The characteristics of self-directed learners....................................................13 Chapter 3: Research Design and Methodologies .....................................................14 3.1. Research question and hypothesis ..................................................................14 3.2. Research design...............................................................................................14 3.3. Participants ......................................................................................................14 3.4. Data collection instruments and analysis ........................................................14 3.4.1. Questionnaire ........................................................................................14 3.4.2. Semi-structured interview .....................................................................15 Chapter 4: Research Results ......................................................................................16 4.1. Data analysis of the questionnaire ..................................................................16 4.1.1. Students‟ perception on eight factors of self-directed learning.............16 4.1.2. Setting learning goals ............................................................................17 4.1.3. Designing learning plans .......................................................................17 4.1.4. Desiring to learn ....................................................................................18 4.1.5. Monitoring the learning plans ...............................................................18 4.1.6. Evaluating the learning plans ................................................................19 4.1.7. Curiousity in learning new things .........................................................19 4.1.8. Making changes ....................................................................................20 4.1.9. Others ....................................................................................................20 4.2. Data analysis of the interview .........................................................................21 4.2.1. Question 1 .............................................................................................21 4.2.2. Question 2 .............................................................................................21 4.2.3. Question 3 .............................................................................................21 2 4.2.4. Question 4 .............................................................................................22 Chapter 5: Discussions, Implications, Limitations, Suggestions and Conclusion....................................................................................................................23 5.1. Discussions of the findings .............................................................................23 5.2. Pedagogical implications of the study ............................................................24 5.3. Limitations of the study ..................................................................................24 5.4. Suggestions for further research .....................................................................24 5.5. Conclusion ......................................................................................................24 Appendix A ...................................................................................................................26 Appendix B ...................................................................................................................28 References .....................................................................................................................29 3 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS First and foremost, my deepest gratitude goes to Ms. Bui Lan Chi, my supervisor, who supported and encouraged me generously throughout this research study. Without her great academic guidance and support, my thesis would not have been possible. I would like to sincerely thank Mr. Do Xuan Hai and Ms. Pham Thi Mai Duyen, who spent their valuable time proofreading my paper. Also, I would like to express my thanks to Mr. Nguyen Hong Chi, who introduced me to sources of materials related to this subject. Finally, my appreciation is also extended to all the participants who provided me with valuable information. Without their outstanding cooperation, this thesis would not have been completed. 4 TÓM TẮT Nghiên cứu này được thực hiện nhằm khảo sát mức độ lĩnh hội của sinh viên năm thứ ba chuyên ngành Anh Văn trường Đại học Cần Thơ đối với sự tự định hướng trong học tập, một trong những nhân tố quan trọng trong quá trình học tập suốt đời. 83 sinh viên năm thứ ba chuyên ngành Anh văn được mời tham gia nghiên cứu. Số liệu được thu thập từ hai công cụ chính là bảng câu hỏi và phỏng vấn. Những nhân tố được khảo sát bao gồm việc đặt mục tiêu học tập, thiết kế kế hoạch học tập, lòng yêu thích học, giám sát kế hoạch học tập, đánh giá kế hoạch học tập, tạo sự thay đổi, mức độ hiếu kỳ và một số nhân tố khác như sự tự tin, khả năng diễn tả ý kiến hay giải quyết vấn đề học. Kết quả cho thấy hầu hết sinh viên có sự định hướng về mục tiêu học tập, sự mong ước học tập, tạo sự thay đổi, sự hiếu kỳ nhưng họ cần được hướng dẫn và rèn luyện nhiều hơn về việc lập kế hoạch học tập, giám sát, và đánh giá kế hoạch học tập này. Đồng thời, kỹ năng giải quyết vấn đề cũng cần được chú ý phát triển. Cuối cùng, kết luận chung, và những hạn chế của nghiên cứu, cũng như các đề nghị cho những hướng nghiên cứu sau này được trình bày trong luận văn. 5 ABSTRACT This study aims to investigate the extent to which the third-year English majors in Can Tho University (CTU) were able to perceive self-directed learning, one of the significant factors for lifelong learning. 83 third-year English majors were selected. The data were collected through questionnaires and interviews. The factors investigated were: setting learning goals, designing learning plans, desiring to learn, monitoring the learning plans, evaluating the learning plans, making changes, being curious and other factors like self-confidence and the ability to express ideas and solving learning problems. The results showed that most of the students had high orientation toward setting learning goals, desiring to learn, making changes and being curious about new things but they needed more training about designing learning plans, monitoring the learning plans and evaluating the learning plans. Finally, the conclusions, limitations, implications, and recommendation for further research withdrawn from the researching process were also presented. 6 LIST OF TABLES Table 4.1 Students‟ perception on eight factors of self-directed learning Table 4.2 Percentage of frequency of the students‟ setting learning goals Table 4.3 Percentages of frequency of the students‟ designing learning plans Table 4.4 Percentages of frequency of desiring to learn Table 4.5 Percentages of frequency of monitoring the learning plans Table 4.6 Percentages of frequency of evaluating the learning plans Table 4.7 Percentages of frequency of curiosity Table 4.8 Percentages of frequency of making changes Table 4.9 Percentages of frequency of others 7 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION This chapter presents (1) the rationale for the research, (2) the aims and significance of the research and (3) the organization of the thesis. 1.1. Rationale Studying is considered as a series of choices. When studying, students choose the knowledge they need, sources of materials, appropriate methods, time and places for studying. These things are thought to be the necessary processes for studying well or for higher education. However, not every student can themselves identify what to learn, why to learn, when to learn and how to learn. In order words, they lack the capacity to be self-directed in learning. Teaching students to be self-directed in learning as well as in working is becoming more and more significant and popular in many countries. Many studies have pointed out the importance of self-directed learning in different fields. With the ability to be self-directed in learning, student can flexibly prepare for the challenges of social work, learn how to be more and more creative in solving problems or learn to develop their ability to meet the demand of changing (Regehr, Leeson and Fusco, 2002, cited in Amey, 2008). These studies also mention some factors that can affect students‟ levels of self-directed learning such as the resources, structures and nature of the tasks in the learning contexts. At Can Tho University (CTU), students are by time required to self-study. The teachers now concentrate on training students to be more independent and autonomous or, in other words, self-directed in learning. However, many students still seem to be unfamiliar with self-directed learning. They just want the teachers to tell them what to do and be passive in discovering new things. Therefore, I want to investigate whether the students in CTU are aware of self-directed learning and to which extent they are able to perceive self-directed learning. This is the reason why I am motivated to conduct this study. 1.2. Aims and significance of the research The aim of the research was to investigate the extent to which extent the thirdyear English majors in Can Tho University (CTU) were able to perceive self-directed learning. The purpose of this paper is to find the answers to the following questions: To what extent are the third-year English majors in Can Tho University (CTU) able to perceive self-directed learning? It is hoped that the study can help raise students‟ awareness of the significance 8 of self-directed learning. Then, the students can study more independently and effectively by themselves. 1.3. Organization of the thesis This thesis consists of five chapters: (1) Introduction, (2) Literature Review (3) Research Methodology, (4) Research Results and (5) Discussions, Conclusion, Limitations, and Recommendations. Chapter 1 presents the rationale for the study on the extent to which the thirdyear English majors in CTU were able to perceive self-directed learning. The aims, the significance of the study are mentioned. The thesis organization is also included. Chapter 2, literature review, introduces a brief history of self-directed learning. Previous studies related to self-directed learning are also presented. Chapter 3 describes the research question, the research design, the participants, the procedures, and the materials used in the study. A detail description of the instrument for the data collection is then presented. Chapter 4 reports the findings of questionnaire and interviews. Chapter 5 summarizes and interprets the main results of the study. Implications and recommendations are mentioned. In addition, the limitations of the study are also presented. Finally, the limitations of the research and recommendations for further research are mentioned. 9 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW This chapter includes (1) the definition of self-directed learning, (2) the significance of self-directed learning, (3) the characteristics of self-directed learners. 2.1. What is self-directed learning? According to Knowles (1975, p. 18), self-directed learning is “a process in which individuals take the initiative, with or without the help of others”. This means that the individuals can come up with new ideas to solve problems independently or with others‟ guidance. He also suggests that in this process the learners diagnose their own learning needs, set the learning goals, identify the appropriate learning materials and the strategies for learning as well as evaluate the results of learning. Similarly, Merriam and Caffarella (1999) also present that in the process of self-directed learning, people can solve the problem with new action and they themselves can evaluate the learning experiences. In addition, self-directed learners focus their attention on analyzing information and the level of autonomy through the instructional process. In addition, they can realize which skills they do not have in their learning repertoires in order to implement the necessary strategies (Ertmer and Newby, 1996). Moreover, the implemented plans can be monitored and evaluated by the selfdirected learners to determine whether the learning goals are being achieved (HmeloSilver, 2004). Guglielmino (1977) and Kasworm (1988) (cited in Song and Hill, 2007) suggest self-directed learning as “a personal attribute”. This means that the learners have motivation and ability to be responsible for their own learning (Garrison, 1997) and to pursue their need of knowledge such as an interest or even a wish (Yu-Chiung, Ya-Ming, 2005). The learners can also know to combine the prior knowledge with the prior experiences as well as new characteristics in the context of learning. They totally have the ability to choose appropriate activities to satisfy their desire of learning. Della-Dora and Blanchard (1979) describe self-directed learning as “characteristics of schooling which should distinguish education in a democratic society from schooling in autocratic society in a democratic society” (p.1). They suggest that the students should learn the strategies to set the learning needs, the learning methods, the learning time and the learning evaluation. In self-directed learning, the students learn how to choose what to learn, how to learn, when to learn and how the learning progress is evaluated. Fisher, King and Tague (2001) declare that self-directed learning is not the same as individualized instruction because individualized instruction often has relation with teachers‟ learning of diagnosing of students‟ learning needs, choosing teaching activities which are suitable with the diagnosis and evaluating the progress of the plan. In self-directed 10 learning, the learners can independently set the learning goals, design appropriated plans and evaluate the plans. All in all, self-directed learning is a process that the students diagnose learning needs, set learning goals, design learning plans, monitor and evaluate the learning plans. 2.2. The significance of self-directed learning 2.2.1. Self-directed learning in modern education Self-directed learning is very important in modern education although it is not a new concept. Self-directed learning has been the target of discussion of adult education many years ago (Reghr, Leeson, Regehr and Fusco, 2002, p.55, cited in Amey, 2008). Furthermore, the importance of self-directed learning has been emphasized. Knowles (1975, cited in Amey, 2008) asserts that when the world comes to 2020, the principles of self-directed learning will be the basis of all levels of learning from elementary to postgraduate. Similarly, Bedard (1997, cited in Amey, 2008) also suggests that the next century will become century of learning independently because of the force of new social realities. He believes that “more and more learning will take place outside of traditional teacher-student interactions” (Bedard, 1997, cited in Amey, 2008). Besides, self-directed learning is imperative with the development of information technology, the complication of modern society and the continued change of the workplace. Living in a world that everything never stops changing, students must learn how to be independent, creative and self-directed if they do not want to be eliminated out of the present society. Basing only on the structure of a course, the textbooks and the teachers‟ direction in learning can make students‟ view of learning narrow. Students need to spend more time learning outside the classroom so that they can master their future jobs, discover new interest and follow the continued change of society. Being self-directed in learning, learners are responsible for making their learning more meaningful and they can monitor as well as evaluate themselves (Garrison, 1997, cited in Abdullah, 2001). They always want to try and discover new things as well (Lyman, 1997, cited in Abdullah, 2001). In addition, they like making changes and motivate themselves to be enjoyable in learning, independent and selfconfident to get the goals planned (Taylor, 1995, cited in Abdullah, 2001). Therefore, they are flexible in solving problems and learning things. This is a significant factor to succeed in modern society. Moreover, self-directed learners know to search for necessary information, use multiple strategies to achieve the goals set and different forms to express the ideas. Besides, the learners are able to develop the leadership as well as the rules through self-directed learning (Morrow, et al. 1993, cited in 11 Abdullah, 2001) because the self-directed learners always have their own plans or strategies and the implementation for working. 2.2.2. Self-directed learning and learning organization. To succeed in studying, students must know how to organize their learning or must have learning organization. According to Navran Associates Newsletter (1993, cited in Mason, n. d.), learning organization is one of the way to help learners create their own future with their prober plans. It is believed that learning is an ongoing and creative process for its members; therefore, learners can satisfy their needs and desire by developing, adapting and transforms learning. It allows learners to enhance the ability to achieve the learning results they truly wish. Learning organization plays a significant role in students‟ learning because its activities enhance students‟ capacities to think, communicate and cooperate. Many opportunities for individual and collective learning and development are provided by learning organizations. It is to make sure that the learners can develop the competencies to practise and learn reflectively (Serrat, 2009). Self-directed learning has a close connection with learning organization. Guglielmino & Guglielmino (2002, p.2, cited in Amey, 2008) points out that “individual who is proactive, continuous, self-initiating - the self-directed learner” is believed to be the foundation of students‟ learning organization. This can be understood that to succeed in learning organization, the learners must be self-directed learners because with the ability to diagnose the learning needs, identify the learning goals and solve the problem, self-directed learners can easily set appropriate learning strategies or choose necessary activities for their learning organization. In addition, self-directed learners have capability to evaluate the development of the activities and diagnose problems. Therefore, they can immediately change the strategies in the learning organization to get the desired learning goals. 2.2.3. Self-directed learning and lifelong learning. Self-directed learning is an important factor that helps learner to learn effectively throughout their lives. Learning is a continuous process that lasts forever. People learn not only during school time but also through their lifespan. Scholars use the term “lifelong learning” for this idea. Lifelong learning can be understood as the continuous learning activities throughout learners‟ lives in order to improve knowledge, necessary skills as well as competencies. Knapper and Cropley (2002, cited in Kiley and Cannon, 2000) present that lifelong learning is “a set of organizational, administrative, methodological and procedural measures which accept the importance of promoting lifelong learning” (p.9). 12 In lifelong learning, people always modernize or renew their knowledge and capabilities at any age. Promoting knowledge and competences allow people to adapt to knowledge in present society and flexibly participate in social life. Therefore, they can control their own future more. In addition, lifelong learning is also about evaluating the forms of learning which consist of formal learning, non-formal learning and informal learning (retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/education/lifelong-learningprogramme/doc78_en.htm). It is suggested that everyone should have available learning opportunities in order to formulate the learning methods to meet their desire as well as interest throughout their lives. Certainly, this varies from person to person depending on their needs of learning. Lifelong learning also provides people opportunities to renew skills at advanced levels because they must learn in different settings and apply different learning strategies for different learning contexts. To succeed in learning activities in lifelong learning, learners need to be self-directed. With the ability to diagnose what to learn and when to learn, self-directed learners can totally design an appropriate learning plan for their continuous learning to get necessary knowledge in necessary time. Furthermore, self-directed learners are able choose the resources to satisfy the demand for improving knowledge through-out their lives. 2.3. The characteristics of self-directed learners Guglielmino (1978, cited in Amey, 2008) suggests that a self-directed learner is a person who considers problems as challenges and can independently come up with new ideas to solve the problems. He is also responsible for his own work. In addition, he is always curious about things and strongly loves learning and making changes when necessary to achieve his learning goals. He also has good basic skills such as reading and analyzing information, combining knowledge and evaluating the need of the information; and reasonable plans for studying. A self-directed learner is one who is aware of the missing skills in learning to implement appropriate strategies (Ertmer and Newby, 1996). In the same manner, Hmelo-Silver (2004) explains that a self-directed learner knows that he or she has and do not have which knowledge or skills. Therefore, he or she is able to identify the necessary knowledge to solve the problem and set the learning goals as well as evaluate the development of the plan to determine whether they are attaining the goals. This means that they totally know what to learn, when to learn and how to learn. In addition, a self-directed learner must have capability to communicate cleverly, think critically, make decision and solve the problem reasonably as well as self-evaluate (Engel, 1991, Taylor, 1995 and Garrison, 1997, cited in Amey, 2008). Guthrie, et al. (1996, cited in Abdullah, 2001) also suggests that self-directed learners are able to search for information in multiple texts, use different strategies to achieve goals, and represent ideas in different forms. 13 CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODOLOGIES This chapter will present the research method of the study including (1) the research question and hypothesis, (2) the research design, (3) the participants, (4) the research instruments, and (5) the procedures of the study and data analysis. 3.1. Research question and hypothesis The prime concern of the researcher in this study is to examine the extent to which the third-year English majors in Can Tho University (CTU) were able to perceive self-directed learning. Therefore, the research question was: To what extent are the third-year English majors in Can Tho University (CTU) able to perceive self-directed learning? It was hypothesized that the third-year English majors in CTU had awareness of self-directed learning and they would need more training and guidance in doing this more effectively. 3.2. Research design This study employed the survey research design. Questionnaires and interviews were used as the instruments to collect data. The data were then described and interpreted in an analytical manner. 3.3. Participants 83 third-year students of the English Studies Programs at Can Tho University (CTU) aged 20 to 23 were selected randomly. They all have studied English for ten years, so their English was at upper-intermediate level. 3. 4. Data collection instruments and analysis 3.4.1. Questionnaire A 21-item questionnaire adapted from Learning Preference Assessment (Guglielmino, 1991, cited in Amey, 2008) was used to collect data of the participants‟ self-directed learning (see Appendix A). The questions were grouped into eight factors of self - directed learning (Guglielmino, 1978, cited in Amey, 2008) as follows: 1. Setting goals (item 4) 2. Designing learning plan (item 5, 6, 14, 16) 3. Desiring to learn (item 1, 8, 9, 13, 17, 20) 4. Monitoring the learning plans (item 7) 14 5. Evaluating the learning plans (item 19) 6. Curiosity in learning new things (item 10) 7. Making changes (item 12, 15) 8. Others (item 11, 18, 21, 2, 3) The number of items in each factor is different to confirm the reliability of the participants‟ responses. The response pattern was in the form of always true of me, usually true of me, sometimes true of me, not often true of me and never true of me. These were weighted 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 respectively for the purpose of data analysis. Mean scores above the midpoint of the scale (2.5) indicate that the participants have an above average level toward the items. Percentages were also used to describe the number of students‟ responses to the items. Validity and reliability testing revealed that the questions had a reliability score of 0.72. The researcher guided the participants through the questionnaire and was available to explain and provide information when necessary. 3.4.2. Semi-structured interview Semi-structured follow-up interviews took place on campus with ten participants from the groups that were willing to participate further in the research. The interview questions were about to find out whether or not the participants were aware of self-directed learning and explore their learning methods. The interview also aimed to confirm reliability of the questionnaires. Each interview lasted about 15 minutes and was conversational in style rather than based on a fixed schedule of questions. Followings are the interview questions (see Appendix B): 1. When you begin to learn something, what do you often do first? 2. What do you think about learning problems? 3. When having a problem, what do you do? 4. After finishing any learning plans, what do you do? Transcripts of the interviews were analyzed to identify factors which were explored further through analysis of the survey results. 15 CHAPTER 4 RESEARCH RESULTS This chapter includes (1) data analysis of the questionnaire on the students’ perception on selfdirected learning; (2) data analysis of the responses of the students toward the interview questions. A total of 83 students completed the questionnaire. 64 of them were female and 13 of them were male. 6 did not report their gender. 83 questionnaires were distributed. 83 responses (100%) were received. 4.1. Data analysis of the questionnaire 4.1.1. Students’ perception on eight factors of self-directed learning The results of this investigation in terms of the eight factors are shown in Table 4.1. Table 4.1: Means Scores of the Eight Factors N Valid Missing Mean FACTOR 1 FACTOR 2 83 83 FACTOR 3 83 FACTOR 4 FACTOR 5 FACTOR 6 FACTOR 7 FACTOR 8 83 83 83 83 83 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.8072 2.4649 3.6004 2.3494 3.0723 3.9518 3.1084 3.6024 Notes: Eight Factors 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Setting learning goals: Items 2, 4 Designing learning plans: Items 5, 6, 14, 16 Desiring to learn: Items 1, 8, 9, 13, 17, 20 Monitoring the learning plans: Item 7 Evaluating the learning plans: Item 19 Curiosity in learning new things: Item 10 Making changes: Items 12, 15 Others like self-confidence, the ability to express ideas, and self-evaluation: Items 3, 11, 18, 21 As can be seen from Table 4.1, Factor 1 which focuses on students‟ curiosity in learning new things has the highest mean score (m = 3.95). The mean scores of the students‟ setting learning goals and of their other characteristics such as confidence, communication skill, self-evaluation and self-directness in class are also high (m = 3.80 and m = 3.60 respectively). The results also show the students‟ desire to learn (m = 3.60). The abilities of evaluating and making changes in their study plan are also high (m = 3.05 and m = 3.10 respectively). However, the students‟ abilities in designing and monitoring their learning plan seem low (m = 2.46 and m = 2.34 respectively). 16 The results of the data analysis of each item were presented in the following sections. 4.1.2. Setting learning goals Table 2 revealed the percentage of the frequency of the students‟ setting learning goals. Table 4.2: Percentage of frequency of the students’ setting learning goals (n=83) Item (s) 2. I know exactly what to learn and where to find necessary information. 4. When learning, I set the goals. always 10.8% usually 49.4% sometimes 27.7% not often 12.0% 32.5% 45.8% 16.9% 1.2% never 0% 3.6% As can be seen from Table 4.2, about 60% of the students reported that they always or usually knew exactly what to learn and where to find necessary and about 70% of the students set the goals in learning. However, there were still 12% of students did not often knew what to learn and where to find necessary information and about 5% of the students did not often set learning goals. 4.1.3. Designing learning plans The percentages of frequency of the students‟ designing learning plans were presented in Table 3. Table 4.3: Percentages of frequency of the students’ designing learning plans (n=83 Item(s) 5. When learning, I make a plan and change it if there are problems. 6. When learning, I can figure out the method to learn. 14. When learning something, I know when to learn. 16. In learning, I decide what to learn and how to learn. always 0% usually 2.4% sometimes 42.2% not often 43.4% never 12.0% 1.2% 7.2% 39.8% 51.8% 0% 0% 12.0% 28.9% 59.0% 0% 0% 8.4% 25.3% 66.3% 0% Table 4.3 revealed that about 50% of the students did not often make their own learning plans (for example, 43.4% said that they did not often make their plans and about 66.3% reported they did not often decide what and how to learn.) Interestingly, 17 12% said that they never made their learning plans. 40% reported that they sometimes made plans for their study. Overall, designing one‟s own study plan seemed not to be the focused group‟s strength in this study. 4.1.4. Desiring to learn The percentages of frequency of desiring to learn were presented in Table 4. Table 4.4: Percentages of frequency of desiring to learn (n=83) Item(s) 1. I expect to study throughout my life. 8. I think that problems are obstacles. 9. I think that learning is my responsibility. 13. Difficulty in study doesn‟t bother me if I‟m interested in something. 17. I learn just for fun. 20. I think constant learning is boring. always 21.7% usually 32.5% sometimes 19.3% not often 26.5% never 0% 6.0% 54.2% 44.6% 31.3% 39.8% 14.5% 7.2% 0% 2.4% 0% 1.2% 16.9% 42.2% 33.7% 6.0% 0% 0% 0% 26.5% 14.5% 19.3% 31.3% 32.5% 54.2% 21.7% As can be seen from Table 4.4, about 54% of the students reported that they always or usually expected to learn throughout their life whereas the other 46% just sometimes or did not often think of life-long learning. However, despite the high expectation of life - long learning, about 84% usually or sometimes thought that problems could be the obstacles to their study. It can also be seen from Table 4 that most of the students were aware of their responsibility to their learning (54.2% always, 31.3% usually and 14.5% sometimes). The majority of the students (about 60%) reported that difficulty in study did not bother them if they were interested in learning something. However, there were still those who reported that difficulty could affect their learning (about 40%). It can also be seen from the table that while 14.5% of the students thought that learning was just for fun, half of the students (54.2%) never thought of learning for fun and about 30% did not often think so either. Table 4 also showed that about 45% of the students thought constant learning was boring whereas the rest (55%) did not think so. 4.1.5. Monitoring the learning plans The percentages of frequency of monitoring the learning plans were presented in Table 5. 18 Table 4.5: Percentages of frequency of monitoring the learning plans (n=83) Item(s) 7. I monitored the learning plan to determine whether the learning goals are being achieved or not. always 0% usually 2.4% sometimes not often 39.8% 48.2% never 9.6% It can be seen from Table 4.5 that about 40% of the students reported that they sometimes did the monitoring of their learning plans to determine whether the learning goals were being achieved or not whereas about 50% did not often have their plans monitored. About 10% never did. 4.1.6. Evaluating the learning plans The percentages of frequency of evaluating were presented in Table 6. Table 4.6: Percentages of frequency of evaluating the learning plans (n=83) Item(s) 19. I think experiences and evaluations are important things I get after any learning plan. always usually sometimes not often never 0% 32.5% 43.4% 22.9% 1.2% Table 4.6 showed that while about 85% of the students reported that they usually or sometimes thought experiences and evaluations were important in the process of self-study, about 25% of them did not often or never thought about this. 4.1.7. Curiosity in learning new things The percentages of frequency of curiosity in learning new things were presented in Table 7. Table 4.7: Percentages of frequency of curiosity (n=83) Item(s) 10. I‟m always curious about new things. always 30.1% usually 43.4% sometimes 20.5% not often 3.6% never 2.4% The majority of the students reported that they were always or usually curious about new things (30.1% and 43.4% respectively). 20.5% sometimes did. However, 19 there were still students who reported that they were not often or never curious about new things (3.6% and 2.4% respectively). 4.1.8. Making changes The percentages of frequency of making changes were presented in Table 8. Table 4.8: Percentages of frequency of making changes (n=83) Item(s) 12. Solving every study problem in the same way is best. 15. I like to think of new ways to do things always usually sometimes not often never 3.6% 32.5% 34.9% 28.9% 0% 0% 27.7% 37.3% 32.5% 2.4% As can be seen from Table 4.8, the majority of the students usually or sometimes solved their study problems in the same way (32.5% and 34.9% respectively). However, the same percentage of the students usually or sometimes liked to think of new ways to do things (27.7% and 37.3% respectively). 4.1.9. Others The percentages of frequency of others were presented in Table 9. Table 4.9: Percentages of frequency of others (n=83) Item(s) 3. In classroom, I expect the teacher to tell me exactly what to do. 11. I think I don‟t work well on my own. 18. I know which skills I do and don‟t possess. 21. I can express my ideas easily always usually sometimes not often never 43.4% 34.9% 12.0% 6.0% 3.6% 2.4% 24.1% 45.8% 25.3% 2.4% 18.1% 59.0% 19.3% 2.4% 1.2% 6.0% 47.0% 31.3% 15.7% 0% It can be seen from Table 4.9 that the majority of the students always or usually expected the teacher to tell them exactly what to do in classroom (43.4% and 34.9% respectively). 12.0% sometimes did. There were still those who did not often or never expected the teacher to tell them what to do in classroom (6.0% and 3.6% respectively). 20
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