The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of preference for structure and a self-directed learning (SDL) project on the SDL readiness of junior-class baccalaureate nursing students. The sample was divided into a control group consisting of two sections (N=50) who did not conduct an SDL project, and an experimental group consisting of two sections (N=54) who did conduct an SDL project.
Preference for structure was measured by Ginther's Reactions to Statements; SDL readiness was measured by Guglielmino's Self-Directed Learning Readiness Scale (SDLRS). Before treatment, both groups of students and both groups of faculty were similar on these research variables. Data were analyzed by multiple regression analysis of covariance, with pretest SDLRS scores as the covariate.
It was concluded that neither preference for structure nor conducting an SDL project contributed significantly to the variance in posttest SDL readiness, but the interaction of these two variables did contribute. The findings suggest that persons who prefer low structure benefit from SDL teaching more than do persons who prefer high structure.