The Development and Validity Analysis of a Self-Learning Ability Questionnaire for Management Cadets

By Wen, Jing; Shi, Jin et al. | Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal, June 2010 | Go to article overview

The Development and Validity Analysis of a Self-Learning Ability Questionnaire for Management Cadets


Wen, Jing, Shi, Jin, Sun, Haoyuan, Shao, Yongcong, Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal


People can acquire self-learning ability in order to gain knowledge and use it for creation and innovation (Zimmerman, 2002). Self-learning ability is a very important psychological function which includes the ability to select learning content, obtain information, collect data, process and use information, and discover and solve problems (Lapan, Kardash, & Turner, 2002; Zimmerman & Martinez-Pons, 1990). Researchers have concluded that people with self-learning ability can rationally plan and arrange their learning activities, and assess their study objectively.

A number of assessment tools have been used for measuring self-learning ability, such as the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ; Pintrich & De Groot, 1990), the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI; Van Rossum & Schenk, 1984), and the Self-monitoring Study Scale for Primary and Secondary School Students (Zimmerman, 2002; Zimmerman & Kitsantas, 1997). These questionnaires vary greatly in scale structure and sample and, in addition, data analysis and research results are quite different. In China there is at present no formal research tool available for evaluating self-learning ability.

The purpose of this study was to develop a self-learning ability questionnaire and then to test it for validity and reliability.

METHOD

Participants

Students at three management colleges in China took part. Participants were 484 healthy male undergraduate students (mean age 22 years, range 18 to 24 years) who were enrolled in an educational course. The student group was composed of 120 freshmen, 125 sophomores, 138 juniors, and 101 seniors. They received extra credit for taking part in the study. It was the first time they had participated in a psychological test and they all signed a permission protocol. Of the 484 questionnaires which were distributed, 482 valid questionnaires were returned (recovery rate, 99.6%).

Procedure and Instrument

The Self-learning Ability Questionnaire (SLAQ) for College Students The SLAQ was designed with reference to the results of studies completed in countries other than China, and on the basis of theoretical study of self-learning ability and interviews with self-learning research experts. The key factors of self-learning ability were identified as including analysis of learning demand, setting learning objectives, determining learning content, selecting learning resources, making a learning schedule, choosing learning methods, and monitoring and evaluating the entire learning process. Of the 85 items which were selected through an investigation of self-learning ability, 54 items were retained to form the main body of the questionnaire, with each item reflecting one key factor of self-learning ability. All these items were incorporated into the subscales of the SLAQ under the dimensions of motivation, selection, collaboration/ communication, self-regulation, and self-evaluation. All items were arranged in a random sequence.

There were two types of closed question. For type I, each question had only one correct answer, which the respondents must select. The responses to each question ranged from 1 (most frequently) to 5 (never). For Type II questions, the respondents must decide on the importance of the listed items and arrange them in sequence according to this judgment. The responses to each question ranged from 1 (the most important) to 5 (the least important). The results of Type II questions were normalized before further analysis. Participants completed the SLAQ in groups of approximately 50.

Data Analysis

The data were analyzed by factor analysis and correlation using SPSS for Windows Version 11.5 for correlation analysis, partial correlation analysis, and confirmatory factor analysis. The significance level was set at p < 0.01.

RESULTS

Item Discrimination

The correlation coefficients for item discrimination were between 0. …

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