Self-directed learning is a method of instruction used increasingly in adult education. A scale was developed in response to a need for a valid and reliable instrument to measure self-directed learning readiness. Such a scale will allow nurse educators to diagnose students' attitudes, abilities and personality characteristics, necessary for self-directed learning. This study was undertaken in two stages. In the first, the Delphi technique utilizing a panel of 11 nurse educator experts was used to assess the content and construct validity of a number of items perceived to reflect self-directed learning readiness. Each panel member was asked to independently rate the relevance of each item on a Likert scale. The second stage involved the administration of the questionnaire to a convenience sample of 201 undergraduate nursing students. The questionnaire was analysed using principal components factor analysis with varimax rotation, Chronbach's coefficient alpha, and item-to-total correlations to measure the scale's construct validity, internal consistency (reliability), and unidimensionality, respectively.The resulting self-directed learning readiness scale appears homogeneous and valid. The scale will assist nurse educators in the diagnosis of student learning needs, in order for the educator to implement teaching strategies that will best suit the students. Furthermore the development of this scale will provide valuable data for curriculum development.
Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.