Innovative Higher Education

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 45–54 | Cite as

An examination of self-directed contract learning as an instructional strategy

  • Carol E. Kasworm


In recent years, instructors, academic programs, and innovative educational institutions have begun utilizing self-directed learning concepts and contract learning structures for assumed development of student self-directed learning outcomes. However, prior investigations of development of self-directed learning have been hortative in form or have examined correlative relationships of self-directed behavior with specific learner characteristics. Does learner participation in a self-directed contract learning course influence his/her future behavior and attitudes toward self-directed learning? This study examined the impact of a self-directed contract learning course upon participant self-directed learning behavior and attitudes. Findings of this study were examined from three forms of impact evaluation. Significant positive gains were noted on participant pre- and postgain scores on the Self-Directed Learning Readiness Scale (SDLRS). Course evaluations noted a majority of positive participant responses regarding perceived changes in knowledge and skill of self-directed learning as well as reported value of the course experience. The third form of impact evaluation came from observational diaries analysis. Diaries from selected students and the instructor were analyzed for major themes and transitions. A discussion of these themes and transition points are presented in a framework analysis of the Fuller and Bown “Concerns model.” Findings are discussed for their varying significance in understanding the development of self-directed learning behavior.


Cross Cultural Psychology Instructional Strategy Learning Concept Impact Evaluation Specific Learner 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol E. Kasworm

There are no affiliations available

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