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Student perceptions of personalised learning: development and validation of a questionnaire with regional secondary students


This project sought to evaluate regional students’ perceptions of their readiness to learn, assessment processes, engagement, extent to which their learning is personalised and to relate these to academic efficacy, academic achievement, and student well-being. It also examined teachers’ perceptions of students’ readiness to learn, the assessment process, engagement, and the extent to which students’ learning is personalised. The sample involved students in years 7–10 from six Victorian secondary schools. An instrument Personalised Learning Environment Questionnaire (PLQ) was developed to measure students’ perceptions of the factors effecting the implementation of Personalised Learning Plans (PLPs). It employed the latest scales to assess a range of PLP indicator variables, with all scales modified for use in an Australian context, and the total number of items kept to a minimum. Only scales more sensitive to PLPs were used to minimise the length of the instrument. There were three outcome variables: academic efficacy, academic achievement, and student well-being. The PLPs were assessed through scales that assess several contributing, distinct dimensions: selfdirected learning readiness, personal achievement, goal orientation, learning environment, personalised teaching and learning initiatives, curriculum entitlement and choice, and perceptions of assessment for learning. The trail PLQ was administered to 220 students, resulting in a 19 scale questionnaire with three or four items per scale. This paper reveals good data to model fit for the majority of items and each scale had good reliability. The paper describes the analytic techniques and results, how the instrument was refined and identifies common and uncommon student perceptions based on a post hoc analysis. The main study consisted of 2,407 students from four schools in the Bendigo Education Plan. They responded to this refined 19 scale version of the PLQ that was developed from the trial PLQ. All scales had satisfactory internal consistency reliability.

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The research described in this paper was supported in part by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant LP100200179 called Improving Regional Learning.

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Correspondence to Bruce Waldrip.

Appendix: Student Questionnaire

Appendix: Student Questionnaire

  1. 1.

    I am organised.

  2. 2.

    I can be trusted to look after my own learning.

  3. 3.

    I have self-control.

  4. 4.

    I am confident in my ability to search out information.

  5. 5.

    I want to learn new information.

  6. 6.

    I enjoy learning new information.

  7. 7.

    I enjoy a challenge.

  8. 8.

    I enjoy studying.

  9. 9.

    I am responsible for my own decisions/actions.

  10. 10.

    I set high standards for myself.

  11. 11.

    I am responsible.

  12. 12.

    I can find out information for myself.

  13. 13.

    Teachers in my school help me.

  14. 14.

    Teachers consider my feelings.

  15. 15.

    Teacher help me when I have trouble with my work.

  16. 16.

    At school I learn about everyday life.

  17. 17.

    At school my new learning starts with problems about everyday life.

  18. 18.

    Because of school I have a better understanding of everyday life.

  19. 19.

    I plan with the teacher how well I am learning.

  20. 20.

    I plan with the teacher which activities are best for me.

  21. 21.

    I plan with the teacher how much time I spend on learning activities.

  22. 22.

    In class, I explain my understandings to other students.

  23. 23.

    In class, I ask other students to explain their thoughts about their work.

  24. 24.

    In class, other students explain their ideas to me about their work.

  25. 25.

    I am happy at school.

  26. 26.

    I am pleased to be at school.

  27. 27.

    I am interested in school.

  28. 28.

    I am excited to be at school.

  29. 29.

    When I study, I put important ideas into my own words.

  30. 30.

    I always try to understand what the teacher is saying.

  31. 31.

    When I’m reading I sometimes stop and check my understanding.

  32. 32.

    I work hard to get a good grade even when I don’t like a class.

  33. 33.

    I take part in discussions.

  34. 34.

    I give my opinion in class.

  35. 35.

    My ideas and suggestions are used in class.

  36. 36.

    I ask questions in most of my classes.

  37. 37.

    My assignments/tests examine what I do in class.

  38. 38.

    My assignments make me think about work done in class.

  39. 39.

    I am assessed on what the teacher has taught me.

  40. 40.

    I am asked to apply my learning to real life situations.

  41. 41.

    My assessment tasks are useful to everyday events.

  42. 42.

    Assessment tasks are connected to what I do outside of school.

  43. 43.

    I can choose how I will be assessed in class.

  44. 44.

    I have helped the class develop rules for assessment.

  45. 45.

    My teacher has explained to me how to use each type of assessment.

  46. 46.

    I am told in advance when I am being assessed.

  47. 47.

    I am told in advance on what I am being assessed.

  48. 48.

    I am clear about what my teacher wants in my assessment tasks.

  49. 49.

    I am certain I can figure out how to do the most difficult class work.

  50. 50.

    I can do almost all the work in class if I don’t give up.

  51. 51.

    Even if the work is hard, I can learn it.

  52. 52.

    Other students find me interesting.

  53. 53.

    I think that other kids like to be with me.

  54. 54.

    Being together with other people gives me a good feeling.

  55. 55.

    I find it easy making friends.

  56. 56.

    I think that students who annoy the teachers are cool.

  57. 57.

    I get into trouble at school more than most kids.

  58. 58.

    I sometimes make fun of students who cooperate with teachers.

  59. 59.

    I can choose topics I wish to study.

  60. 60.

    I use different materials from those used by other students.

  61. 61.

    Tasks are suited to my ability.

  62. 62.

    I have different assessment from other students.

  63. 63.

    In my school, I could have career guidance.

  64. 64.

    In my school, I could get counselling.

  65. 65.

    In my school, I could take part in student clubs.

  66. 66.

    In my school, I could be on the school council.

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Waldrip, B., Cox, P., Deed, C. et al. Student perceptions of personalised learning: development and validation of a questionnaire with regional secondary students. Learning Environ Res 17, 355–370 (2014).

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  • Learning plans
  • Perceptions
  • Personalised learning
  • Questionnaire development
  • Regional students