Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

William H. Young, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Waynne B. James, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Edward C. Fletcher, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Yi-Hsin Chen, Ph.D.


adult learning, environmental aspects, Learning Preference Assessment, workplace learning


The purpose of this study was to identify perceptions of environmental changes that promote self-directed learning in the workplace by Human Resources Development (HRD) practitioners and to investigate possible differences of the dependent LPA score variables to independent variables of highest level of education achieved, race/ethnicity, age, gender, position title, industry, size of the organization, and years of HRD experience.

The research used a mixed method design. Qualitative data were recorded through four focus groups until a saturation of comments was reached. Quantitative Pearson product moment correlation and ANOVA statistics were used to show the possible differences of LPA scores with each demographic variable. Tukey post-hoc tests were used to compare significant differences in mean scores of associated variables.

Focus groups were conducted with 14 Human Resources Development (HRD) practitioners to collect the top five environmental preferences that promote self-directed learning in the workplace. The environmental preferences, the Learning Preference Assessment (LPA), and the demographic form made up the survey to measure participant self-directed learning readiness across independent variables. A total of 163 participants completed the survey.

Results showed the consensus mean scores for importance of implementing environmental preferences that promote SDL in the workplace was 3.39 for other written categories and 3.31 for organization culture encourages employees to learn on their own. The consensus mean scores for ease of implementing environmental preferences that promote SDL in the workplace was 2.53 for flexibility to work virtually with mobile access to learning and 2.16 for managers guide employees/match content to role.

Pearson product moment correlations showed no significant evidence of relationship between the continuous LPA mean scores and age variables. Group mean scores were compared for the remaining independent variables. The results were significant for the level of education and the size of the organization. Tukey post-hoc multiple comparisons tests were conducted for the differences of LPA scores and the demographic variables of highest level of education achieved and the size of organization. Only the level of education categories of high school diploma or equivalent and master’s degree were found to be significant.