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Self-Directed Learning

Self-directed learning has become a new norm among learners at different levels of education following its stipulation in the National Education Act of 1999 in Thailand as a way to foster autonomous learning activities. For this reason, several articles about self-directed learning activities have been published, and they give more detail on how different groups of learners utilize self-directed learning to advance their knowledge of various aspects of education. Therefore, this paper analyzes two different ProQuest articles on self-directed learning. Specifically, key features of each article, including the purpose statement, methods, and results, will form the stake of the discussion. Moreover, a short critique of each article will be highlighted to point out areas in the articles that would have been done better.

I used ProQuest and found an article related to self-directed learning titled “The effectiveness of self-directed learning for English language education: A systematic literature review,” authored by Ramadhanty et al. (2023). In their study, the authors purposed to determine how self-directed learning abilities influence the ability to English language education.Since the study is a systematic process, all relevant data was reviewed using the Preferred Reporting Items for Literature Reviews and Meta-analysis (PRISMA) and Mendeley, which aided in managing references. Besides, the review of the relevant data was limited to articles published between 2015 and 2023, where only respected online databases such as ResearchGate, Google Scholar, Springer, and ProQuest were used to obtain relevant information regarding self-directed learning in English language education.

Results from the article revealed that self-directed learning provides important learning opportunities for students where they effectively manage their study schedules. At the same time, the findings suggested bettering of self-directed learning by strengthening home-school partnerships and emotional support, making learning activities simpler and clearer through giving clearer instructions.

Although the systematic literature review captures data from a wider range of articles, for this case, all articles from 2015 -2023 were used, but challenges were faced in the search criteria used to obtain relevant literature sources. That is, the study aimed at only using literature on self-directed learning, but a majority of the searches were combined technology; hence, other irrelevant materials appeared too (Ramadhanty et al., 2023). This can potentially cause confusion and inaccurate databases about self-directed learning in English language learning among students.

Based on the previous articles read, my research question would be, “How does the incorporation of self-directed learning activities in engineering education affect students’ academic performance in online learning environments?” My choice of this type of research question is supported by previous articles by Chou (2012) and Ramadhanty et al. (2023). According to Chou, his study intended to investigate whether any relationship existed between engineering students’ self-directed learning abilities and online learning performances. On the other hand, Ramadhanty et al. (2023) also purposed to investigate the effectiveness of self-directed learning in English language education, with the study focusing on students’ scores in the English language after self-directed learning activities.

In order to answer the above research question, a well-formulated hypothesis will be necessary. For this reason, I hypothesize that “Engineering students who actively use self-directed learning strategy show a general improvement in academics, particularly in online courses, compared to those that do not value the worth of self-directed learning activities on students’ performance. This is evidenced by Chou’s study, which supports the idea that self-directed learning abilities enhance online performance outcomes. Similarly, results in Ramadhanty show great evidence to support the effect of self-directed learning on improving student performance.

Moreover, I think that my study will use a mixed-methodology approach where I will collect data from the sampled population using a survey method to collect relevant information about self-directed learning activities. During the study, the level of engagement in self-directed learning activities will form my independent variable, while online academic performance outcomes will be the dependent variable. Technological proficiency will act as a control variable during the study, and data will be analyzed statistically through regression analysis to determine the association’s strength between self-directed learning activities and online academic performance.


Chou, P. N. (2012). The relationship between engineering students self-directed learning abilities and online learning performances: A pilot study. Contemporary Issues in Education Research (CIER)5(1), 33-38.

Ramadhanty, F., Dasuki, D., Mandalika, D., & Sumarni, S. (2023, June). The Effectiveness of Self-Directed Learning for English Language Education: A Systematic Literature Review. In English Language and Literature International Conference (ELLiC) Proceedings (Vol. 6, pp. 348-356).


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