International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Effect of Students’ Self-Directed Learning Abilities on Online Learning Outcomes: Two Exploratory Experiments in Electronic Engineering
Pao-Nan Chou

Little empirical evidence explains how engineering students’ self-directed learning abilities relate to their learning achievements in the existing literature. To add knowledge base regarding self-directed learning to current engineering educational research, this research attempted to employ two experimental studies to explore the effect of self-directed learning on engineering students’ online learning. The research centers on the correlation and cause-effect relationships between students’ self-directed learning abilities and learning outcomes. Two experimental studies, one in a computer lab and one in an online environment, supply the data which fulfills the study’s purpose. The results of the first study show that a positive relationship exists between engineering students’ self-directed learning abilities and online learning performances (r=0.6; p<0.01). The results of the second study indicate that students’ self-directed learning abilities do not influence their learning outcomes.The reasons for the resulting inconsistent findings between two studies were reported. Several implications for current engineering instruction in traditional learning contexts were proposed.

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