Date of Award

12-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Educational Psychology and Research

Major Professor

Ralph G. Brockett

Committee Members

Virginia W. Kupritz, John W. Lounsbury, Mary F. Ziegler

Abstract

This study investigated the relationship between self-directed learning and hope in the workplace. Participants completed two self-directed learning instruments, the Survey of Adult Learning Traits (SALT) (Hogg, 2008) and the Learner Self-directedness in the Workplace Scale (LSWS) (De Bruin & De Bruin, 2011), along with two hope scales, the Hope Trait Scale (Snyder et al., 1991) and the author-generated Workplace Learning Hope Scale. Correlation, ANOVA, and multiple regressions were used to test the relationship and differences between self-directed learning and hope, specifically within the domain of workplace learning. All instruments utilized in this study displayed sound internal consistency reliability. The author-generated Workplace Learning Hope Scale was found to be a valid and reliable measure to measure hope specifically within the domain of workplace learning. Statistically significant relationships were found between the Workplace Learning Hope Scale and each of the other instruments utilized in this study. Additionally, both self-directed learning instruments were found to be positively significantly correlated with each other. The self-reported number of the participant’s annual voluntary formal training hours was found to be significantly positively correlated with the scores on both the Workplace Learning Hope Scale and the LSWS. The participant’s self-reported number of annual SDL projects was found to be only significantly positively correlated with the LSWS. However, the SALT was not found to be significantly correlated with either the number of annual voluntary training hours or the number of annual SDL projects. The participants’ perceived satisfaction with their level of workplace learning, as well as their perceived level of importance of workplace learning, was found to be significantly positively correlated with the Workplace Learning Hope Scale, the LSWS, and the SALT. However, “dissatisfaction” was found to be only significantly negatively correlated with the SALT but not with the Workplace Learning Hope Scale as expected. The study concludes with implications for research and practice. Suggestions for further research are proposed along with a discussion of the results and conclusions.

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