Examining Self-Directed Learning in an Educational Technology Class for Pre-Service Teachers: A Qualitative Case Study

Session Description
The purpose of this case study was to explore a self-organized learning environments (SOLE) experience for adult learners to describe their response in relation to self-directed learning and curiosity in a self-organized learning environment. The participants in this study were students enrolled in two sections of an undergraduate educational technology course for pre-service teachers at a midwestern university. The study included 37 total students who were enrolled in the course.

This study was a descriptive case study based off of Merriam’s (1998) guide for a descriptive case study. The scope of the study was two sections of one course during one semester. The phenomenon studied was providing support for the role of curiosity in a SDL adult learning environment. It is important to consider the context for this study along with multiple variables, exploring data, and altering instruction. The data collection was conducted during the first nine weeks of the course. Data sources included interviews, observations, focus groups, The Curiosity and Exploration Inventory II (Kashden et al., 2009) pre- and post-survey, and document analysis. Data analysis entailed open coding of transcripts from interviews and observations. Emphasis was given to identifying categories that “fit” the data. Repeatedly appearing categories and concepts helped to construct themes based on adult self-organized learning and curiosity. In order to help give structure and language to the findings, the final phase of analysis and interpretation applied both Knowles’s (1975) and Merriam’s (2001) Theory of Adult, Self-directed learning and Kashden et al.’s (2009) The Curiosity and Exploration Inventory II.

The findings revealed the pre-service teachers experience through SOLE demonstrated many elements of SDL and curiosity, adult learning. Further, findings described that using adult learning principles as a guide, learning was enhanced by many of the participants in the study. Findings from the The Curiosity and Exploration Inventory II (Kashden et al., 2009) suggested curiosity was slightly enhanced through SOLE in an adult learning environment.

Cates Schwark
Cates Schwark, Oklahoma State University, OK, USA
I am a recent graduate of Oklahoma State University! I just completed my doctorate degree in educational technology. I am from Stillwater, Oklahoma, but I have traveled to nearly every continent and lived in Australia for several years with my husband. We have three babies that continually inspire me to pursue my goals for learning and research. My research interests include: designed based research, curiosity, student-directed learning, teaching pedagogy, instructional design, online course culture and community, curriculum development, and diversity as a concept and learning outcome in higher education. I’m constantly trying to expand my knowledge through reading, research, and collaborating with other professionals in the field. I’m a nerd – research and reading, and discussing research and reading are perhaps my favorite hobbies!
All Audiences

A recording of this presentation is available.
Click the button to the right to access the session archive.


, , , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Produced by LearningTimes