Learning Preference Assessment Self Assessment
Certain learning situations tend to promote self-direction in learning more than others, but is the personal characteristics of the learner - including his or her attitudes, values, and abilities - that ultimately determine whether self-directed learning will take place in a given situation. The Learning Preference Assessment (LPA) is designed to gather data on an employee's preferences and attitudes towards learning.
Self-direction in learning can occur in a wide variety of situations, ranging from teacher-directed classrooms to self-planned and self-conducted learning projects. Certain learning situations tend to promote self-direction in learning more than others, but is the personal characteristics of the learner - including his or her attitudes, values, and abilities - that ultimately determine whether self-directed learning will take place in a given situation. The self-directed learner chooses or influences the learning objectives, activities, resources, priorities, methods of evaluation, and levels of the energy expended in a learning situation more often than does the other-directed learner.
Malcolm Knowles defines self-directed learning as a process in which individuals take the initiative, with or without the help of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating learning goals, identifying human and material resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes.
Self-directed learning is rarely a neat, orderly, continuous, sequential process. In any self-directed learning project, problems may arise, such as lack of resources or lack of time. Interruptions in the learning may occur as other areas of life intervene. Then a chance incident may provide renewed motivation or interest, restarting the process. Outside forces may cause re-evaluation and redirection. Finally, learning projects may not always be consciously planned and therefore not consciously carried through. More focused planning and reflection on the entire process, however, are likely to enhance significantly the value and effectiveness of any self-directed learning project.
There are many benefits to be gained from expanding your employees' readiness for self-direction in learning. Training that is accomplished through self-directed learning has several benefits. It is likely to:
- have greater relevance to the needs of the learner
- offer more flexibility in the scheduling of learning
- encourage the development of patterns for approaching and solving problems
- provide for more cost-effective use of training resources
- make possible more frequent updating of skills and information
- develop skills and attitudes that can be applied to personal learning needs as well as work-related needs
Using the LPA and Accompanying Materials
The Learning Preference Assessment
The Learning Preference Assessment (LPA) is designed to gather data on an employee's preferences and attitudes towards learning. The score a respondent achieves on the LPA represents their current willingness and ability to engage in self-directed learning when the opportunity presents itself.
People with high scores usually determine their own learning needs and prefer to take responsibility for planning and implementing their own learning. They can identify a variety of approaches and resources to meet their learning needs.
People with average scores are likely to be successful in independent learning situations, but they are not completely comfortable with being responsible for the entire process of identifying their learning needs and planning, implementing, and evaluating their learning.
People with below average scores may have difficulty in recognizing their needs for learning. Usually they prefer very structured learning options, such as lectures in traditional classroom settings where decisions about what, when, and how to learn are made by someone else. Some people have a low level of self-directed learning readiness because they have consistently been exposed to other-directed instruction.
Expanding Your Readiness for Self-Directed Learning Workbook
Expanding Your Readiness for Self-Directed Learning is a companion workbook that contains readiness-building activities for groups and individuals. The information and exercises in the workbook may be used to:
- explore the concept of self-directed learning and why it is needed in today's work environment and personal life
- further assess employees as self-directed learners
- sharpen some of the skills that contribute to success in self-directed learning
Includes 1 assessment. Order one Self Assessment for each individual.
Self Assessment Table of Contents:
18-item assessment with pressure-sensitive scoring
How to Score the Learning Preference Assessment
What is Self-Directed Learning and Why Is It Important to You?
What Does My Score Mean?
What Our Research Tells Us
Why Self-Directed Learners are Critical In Contemporary Organizations
What to Do About Your Own Readiness for Self-Directed Learning
How To Order