open, digital, online, education

Development of a Learner Autonomy Scale

Δημοσιευμένα: Oct 7, 2018
Autonomy distance learning distance education scale development
Smaragda Sereti
Yiannis Panteleimon Giossos

In distance learning educational context, learner autonomy is an element of research since the decade of 1970. Consequently, there are a lot of theoretical and empirical research of learner autonomy in distance learning trying either to conceptualizing it or to measure it. There are at least eight scales for measuring learner autonomy but all of them have been developed in a different socio-educational context and although it is not a mistake to be used in different socio-educational context it is more appropriate to develop a new one for the specific context. Therefore the aim of this study was to develop a learner autonomy scale that can be used in the context of the Open University of Cyprus and provide psychometric evidence of reliability and validity of the interpretation of the scores derived from the scale. First, the concept of learner autonomy was clarified through literature review. Second information on students’ beliefs and feelings about their learner autonomy was gathered. On the basis of the afore-mentioned procedures, an item pool was developed and was given to fourteen (14) university expertise of distance learning in order to evaluate the items and ensure content validity. Reliability and validity were then tested using exploratory factor analysis with a sample of two hundred and fiftyeight (258) undergraduate and postgraduate students from the Open University of Cyprus. Principal component analysis with oblimin rotation was used to determine the sufficient number of factors. The extraction of the number of factors was based on a) the theory; b) the scree plot test; c) eigenvalue-greater-than-one rule; d) the percentage of explained variance of each factor; e) the percentage of total explained variance and f) the number of factors that can be conceptually interpreted. Four dimensions of learner autonomy, namely, a) special ability to self-management, b) special psychological disposition, c) general ability to self-management and d) general psychological disposition, were revealed. The first factor explained 22.84% of the variance, the second factor 9.13% of the variance, the third factor 7.06% of the variance and the fourth factor 6.36% of the variance. Though some items in this scale were similar to those of other scales, factorial structure was different. Three different possible explanations proposed. The first was based on the differentiations of the educational environments the second on the fact that learner autonomy is a complex concept and therefore different conceptualizations of the term lead to different measurement scales and the third was based on the fact that all the scales measure perceived (form the student perspective) learner autonomy. Cronbach’s alpha for the overall scale was .85, for the factor of special ability to self-management was .82, b) for the factor of specific psychological disposition was .65, c) for the factor of general self-management capacity was .76 and for the factor of general psychological disposition was .48. Finally, the Pillai's Trace showed no statistically significant gender differences in the four factors

Λεπτομέρειες άρθρου
  • Ενότητα
  • Μέρος πρώτο / Section 1
Τα δεδομένα λήψης δεν είναι ακόμη διαθέσιμα.
Anderson, T., & Dron, J. (2011). Three Generations of Distance Education Pedology. International Review of Research in Distance Learning, 12(3), 80-97.
Bei, E. (2016). Developing a range of autonomy for students in the HOU. Unpublished Postgraduate Thesis. Patras: HOU.
Bekker, M.H.J., & Van Assen, M.A.L.M. (2006). A Short Form of the Autonomy Scale: Properties of the Autonomy – Connectedness Scale (ACS-30). Journal of personality assessment, 86(1), 51-60.
Benson, P. & Voller, P. (1997). Autonomy and Independence in Language Learning. London: Longman.
Brockett, R. G. & Hiemstra, R. (1991). Self – Direction in Adult Learning: Perspectives on Theory, Research and practice. London and New York: Roudledge.
Chen, Y. J. (2001a). Transactional distance in Word Wide Web learning environments. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 55(4), 327-338.
Chen, Y. J. (2001b). Dimensions of transactional distance in Word Wide Web learning environment: A factor analysis. British Journal of Educational Technology, 52(4), 459-470.
Fabrigar, L. R., D. T. Wegener, R. C. MacCallum, and E. J. Strahan. (1999). Evaluating the use of exploratory factor analysis in psychological research. Psychological Methods 4, 272–299, doi:10.1037/1082-989X.4.3.272
Fisher, M., King, J., & Tague, G. (2001). Self-directed Learning Readiness Scale. Nurse Education Today, 21, 516-525.
Garrison, D. R. (2000). Theoretical challenges for distance education in the 21st century: A shift from structural to transactional issues. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 1(1), (pp. 1-17). Available online at: File/2/22
Giagli, S., Giaglis, G., & Koutsouba, M. (2010). Autonomy in Learning in Distance Learning. Open Education Journal, 6(1&2), 93-106.
Guglielmino, L. M. (1977). Development of the Self-directed Learning Readiness Scale. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Georgia.
Gunawardena, C. N. & Mclsaac, M. S. (2004). Distance Education. In D. H. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of Research on Educational Communications and Technology (2nd ed) (pp. 355-395). London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.
Guven, Z., & Sunbul, A. M. (2007). The Relation between the Learner’s Autonomy Level and their Learning Styles. Paper presented in International Conference on Quality in Education in the Balkan Countries. Thessaloniki, Greece.
Habibur, R. (2014). The Role Of Ict In Open And Distance Education. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education. 15(4), 162-169. Available online at:
Ho, J. & Crookhall, D. (1995). Breacking with Chinese cultural traditions: learner autonomy in English Language teaching, System, 23(2), 235-243.
Holec, H. (1981). Autonomy in Foreign Language Learning. Oxford: OUP.
Huang, H. M. (2002). Student perceptions in an n online mediated environment. International Journal of Instructional Media, 29(4), 405-422.
Kline, R. (2011). Principles and Practice of Structural Equation Modeling. New York: Guilford.
Knowles, M. S. (1975). Self - Directed Learning: A Guide for Learners and Teachers .New York: Association Press.
Little, D. (1994). Learner Autonomy: a theoretical construct and is practical applications. Die Neueren Sprachen,93(5), 430-442.
Macaskill, A. & Taylor, E. (2010). The development of a brief measure of learner autonomy in university students. Studies in Higher Education, 35(3), 351-359.
Matralis, C. (1998). The printed material in distance education. In: A. Kokkos, X. Lionarakis, C. Matralis, & Ch. Panagiotakopoulos. Open and Distance Learning Educational material and new technologies. (Vol. 3, pp. 21-49). Patras: HOU
Moore, M. G . & Kearsley, G. (1996). Distance Education: A systems view. New York: Wadsworth.
Moore, M. G. (1972). Learner autonomy: the second dimension of independent learning. Convergence 5(2), 76-88.
Moore, M. G. (1973). Toward a Theory of independent Learning and Teaching. Journal of Higher Education. 44(12), 661-679.
Moore, M. G. (1993). Theory of transactional distance. In D. Keegan (Ed.), Theoretical principles of distance education. (pp. 22-38). New York: Routledge.
Murphy, L. (2007). Supporting learner autonomy: theory and practice in a distance learning context. In D. Gardner (Ed.), Learner Autonomy 10: Integration and Support. Authentic books for language teachers, 10, (pp.72-92). Dublin, Ireland: Authentic Language Learning Resources Ltd.
Nunnally, J. C., & Bernstein, I. C. H. (1994). Psychometric theory. (3rd ed). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Pavlakis, A., & Kaitelidou, D. (2007). Open and Distance Education and Cyprus Reality From idea to Materialization. In A. Lionarakis (editor). Proceedings of 4th International Conference in Open and Distance Learning "Forms of Democracy on Education: Open Access and Distance Education". (Vol. B, 582-592).
Pavlakis, A., & Kaitelidou, D. (2012). Burnout syndrome in students of distance learning program: The Open University of Cyprus Experience. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning, 15(1). Available online at:
Saba, F., & Shearer, R. (1994). Verifying key theoretical concepts in a dynamic model of distance education. The American Journal of Distance Education 9(1), 36-59.
Vasiloudis, G., Koutsouba, M., Giossos, Y., & Mavroidis, I. (2015). Transactional distance and autonomy in a distance learning environment. European Journal of Open, Distance and e-Learning,18(1), 114-1220. Available online at:
Walker, S. L., & Fraser, B. J. (2005). Development and Validation of an Instrument for Assessing Distance Education Learning Environments in Higher Education: The distance Education Learning Environments Survey (DELES). Learning Environments Research 8(3), 289-308, doi:10.1007/s10984-005-1568-3.
Wedemeyer, C. A. (1977). Independent study. In A.S. Knowles (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Higher Education. (Vol 5), 2114-2132. Boston: CIHED.
White, C. (1995). Autonomy and Strategy use in distance foreign language learning: research findings. System, 23(2), 207-221.
Zimmerman, B. J. & Schunk, D. H. (1989). Self-regulated learning and academic achievement: Theory, research, and practice. New York: Springer-Verlag.