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International Journal
of
Learning, Teaching
And
Educational Research
p-ISSN:
1694-2493
e-ISSN:
1694-2116
IJLTER.ORG
Vol.22 No.8
International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
(IJLTER)
Vol. 22, No. 8 (August 2023)
Print version: 1694-2493
Online version: 1694-2116
IJLTER
International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research (IJLTER)
Vol. 22, No. 8
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Society for Research and Knowledge Management
International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
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management issues, educational case studies, etc.
Indexing and Abstracting
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Research is indexed in Scopus since 2018. The Journal is also indexed in
Google Scholar and CNKI. All articles published in IJLTER are assigned
a unique DOI number.
Foreword
We are very happy to publish this issue of the International Journal of
Learning, Teaching and Educational Research.
The International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational
Research is a peer-reviewed open-access journal committed to
publishing high-quality articles in the field of education. Submissions
may include full-length articles, case studies and innovative solutions to
problems faced by students, educators and directors of educational
organisations. To learn more about this journal, please visit the website
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We are grateful to the editor-in-chief, members of the Editorial Board
and the reviewers for accepting only high quality articles in this issue.
We seize this opportunity to thank them for their great collaboration.
The Editorial Board is composed of renowned people from across the
world. Each paper is reviewed by at least two blind reviewers.
We will endeavour to ensure the reputation and quality of this journal
with this issue.
Editors of the August 2023 Issue
VOLUME 22 NUMBER 8 August 2023
Table of Contents
Hybrid Teaching Using Problem-Based Learning to Promote Self-Directed Learning Abilities of Students during
the COVID-19 Pandemic.......................................................................................................................................................... 1
Wilaiporn Chaiyasit, Komkrit Chomsuwan, Sumalee Chanchalor
Social Justice Leadership Capabilities for Pre-Service Teachers in Contemporary Times: An Education Policy
Perspective................................................................................................................................................................................23
Emma Priscilla Barnett, Edwin Darrell De Klerk
Distance Learning Barriers and Bottlenecks: A Phenomenological Inquiry on the Conduct of English Language
Arts (ELA) Standard Assessments........................................................................................................................................39
Jesselle M. Garbo, Jaypee R. Lopres, Melissa P. Novenario, Cara Elijah G. Esternon, Gleiza Marie P. Pilapil, Bernadette L.
Gomez, Mary Faith B. Silva, Rachel M. Anjao
Physical Sciences Teacher’s Epistemic Cognition on Electric Circuits and their Science Teaching Practice.............66
Taurayi Willard Chinaka, Aviwe Sondlo
Undergraduate Students’ Experiences with Electronic Learning Platforms During the Covid 19 Pandemic at a
Rural-Based Tertiary Institution in South Africa................................................................................................................83
Andani Sadiki, Rendani Tshifhumulo, Vanesa Mpatlanyana, Ekene Kingsley Amaechi
The Effectiveness of Classroom Activities in EFL Elementary-Level Courses from Adult Learners’ Perspectives
.................................................................................................................................................................................................. 104
Stanislava Jonáková, Jana Rozsypálková, Magdalena Veselá
AI Language Models as Educational Allies: Enhancing Instructional Support in Higher Education......................120
Ramiz Zekaj
Challenges Faced by Economics Teachers who did not Receive Specialised Training in the Subject......................135
Thandile Williams, Xolani Khalo
Open-book-based Assessment during COVID-19: Challenges and Opportunities.....................................................146
Moza Al Malki, Sharifa Al’Adawi, Nagham Al-Azzawi, Khalid Al-Abri
Implementing Active Reading Strategies in Virtual Settings: High School Students’ Experience During Remote
Learning.................................................................................................................................................................................. 169
Ana Quinonez-Beltran, Paola Cabrera-Solano, Luz Castillo-Cuesta
Developing through Merits and Demerits: A Literature Review of Online Classroom, Teaching Motivation and
Teaching Methods in China Primary School.....................................................................................................................183
Yi Zhao, Sanitah Mohd Yusof, Mingyu Hou
Relationship between Student Engagement and Academic Achievement in College English Education for Non-
English Majors in China....................................................................................................................................................... 203
Mengjie Liu, Nooreen Noordin, Lilliati Ismail, Nur Aira Abdrahim
Effectiveness of Dialogical Reading Literacy Programs in Improving Language Skills and Literacy of Early
Students...................................................................................................................................................................................233
Syarif Hidayatullah, Yeti Mulyati, Vismaia S. Damaianti, Tedi Permadi
The Role of Narrative Ability on Emergent Literacy Skills and Early Word Reading of Early Childhood Students
.................................................................................................................................................................................................. 253
Nur Aini Puspitasari, Vismaia S. Damaianti, Syihabuddin Syihabuddin, Sumiyadi Sumiyadi
Preserving the Mother Tongue of Ethnic Minority Students through Experiential Activities in Primary Schools:
An Exploratory Study in the Northern Mountainous Region of Vietnam....................................................................272
Huyen Thanh Thi Nguyen, Hue Thanh Thi Le, Linh Kim Thi Ha
Concept Mapping for Improving Reading Comprehension in Second Language Education: A Systematic Review
.................................................................................................................................................................................................. 287
Na Ta, Abu Bakar Razali
Factors Influencing Ethnic Minority Students’ Programme Development Capacity: Case Study at Pedagogical
Universities in Vietnam........................................................................................................................................................ 301
Nguyen Quang Linh, Cao Tien Khoa, Phung Viet Hai, Le Thi Thu Huong, Nguyen Van Quyet, Nguyen Thi Bich
Exploring Socio-Variational Patterns in Indian Adolescents’ Lexical Diversity: Insights for Education.................325
Aruna Parandhama, Kishore Selva Babu
Status of Memory Strategies Use among Medical English Students............................................................................. 358
Hongmei Cui, Naginder Kaur
Design Thinking and Project-Based Learning (DT-PBL): A Review of the Literature................................................376
Li Jia, Nur Atiqah Jalaludin, Mohamad Sattar Rasul
School-Based Teacher Professional Development Framework (SBTPDF): A Blueprint for School Principals in
Nigeria.....................................................................................................................................................................................391
Oluwasola Babatunde Sasere, Sekitla Daniel Makhasane
TVET Lecturer Work-Integrated Learning: Opportunities and Challenges.................................................................415
Joseph Mesuwini, Sello P. Mokoena
Innovative Strategies for Integrating Technology into Agricultural Programmes at Technical and Vocational
Colleges...................................................................................................................................................................................441
Ramongwane Daniel Sephokgole, Moses Makgato, Sammy Khoza
Factors Affecting Faculty Members’ Readiness to Integrate Artificial Intelligence into Their Teaching Practices: A
Study from the Saudi Higher Education Context.............................................................................................................465
Badiah N. M. Alnasib
1
©Authors
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0
International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).
International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
Vol. 22, No. 8, pp. 1-22, August 2023
https://doi.org/10.26803/ijlter.22.8.1
Received May 29, 2023; Revised Aug 1, 2023; Accepted Aug 13, 2023
Hybrid Teaching Using Problem-Based Learning
to Promote Self-Directed Learning Abilities of
Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Wilaiporn Chaiyasit* , Komkrit Chomsuwan
and Sumalee Chanchalor
King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi
Bangkok, Thailand
Abstract. This study aims to 1) investigate the self-directed learning (SDL)
abilities and factors influencing SDL among undergraduate students, and
2) examine the effects of hybrid teaching using problem-based learning in
promoting self-directed learning abilities. The study is divided into two
phases. The first phase involves analyzing self-directed learning abilities
and factors influencing SDL among students in Thailand Universities,
with a sample group of 326 individuals. The research tool in Phase 1 was
a Self-Directed Learning evaluation form. The findings reveal that
students possess high levels of self-directed learning abilities in all
aspects. Furthermore, all factors significantly impacted SDL, with the
highest influence in the utilization of information technology. The
statistical regression model is represented by Y
̂ = 1.542
+0.115X1+0.088X2+0.303X3, indicating that the model can predict the
dependent variable with an accuracy of 34%. In the second phase, the
effects of the approach in promoting self-directed learning abilities were
explored out with an experimental sample group of 17 students, enrolled
in the Database Systems for Technology and Computer Innovation
course. The main research tools for Phase 2 included (1) a Self-Directed
Learning evaluation form, (2) an achievement test, and (3) a
questionnaire. The findings revealed the highest level in all aspects, and
students who learned through the approach demonstrated higher self-
directed learning abilities after the course. Additionally, their post-course
learning outcomes were significantly higher than their pre-course
outcomes, with statistical significance at the 0.01 level. Students
expressed a favorable perception toward the learning approach.
Keywords: COVID-19 Pandemic; Hybrid Teaching; Problem-Based
Learning; Self-Directed Learning
*
Corresponding author: Wilaiporn Chaiyasit, wilaiporncha@mcru.ac.th
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1. Introduction
The recent COVID-19 crisis has had significant and ongoing impact on the
activities and learning systems of undergraduate students. It has necessitated a
shift to online learning in some cases and traditional classroom learning in others.
One of the challenges encountered by students in online learning is the lack of
direct supervision and facilitation of learning, as compared to learning in a
physical classroom. Students are unable to effectively control their own learning,
as observed through their learning behaviors and academic performance, which
has resulted in a learning loss (Equitable Education Research Institute [EEFI],
2022).
Therefore, creating an effective learning environment and the cultivation of
lifelong learning skills are part of self-directed learning, which is an essential soft
skill in the present day. In addition, hybrid learning is taken into account as an
effective new normal approach during the Covid pandemic in educational
management, combining classroom-based learning (with physical distancing) and
online learning. The approach is gaining popularity as it aims to provide students
with an appropriate learning environment and achieve the highest educational
outcomes through the utilization of modern tools and multimedia. Tsoi and Goh
(2008) discussed the four components of hybrid learning: (1) transformation
involves changing the traditional general teaching and learning methods to ones
that emphasize experiential learning; (2) experience creation is a crucial
component that focuses on enabling learners to observe, analyze, and learn
independently; (3) practice is an important element that bridges experience
creation and integration, emphasizing the development of ideas derived from
learners’ own learning experiences; and (4) integration emphasizes the
application of concepts according to learners’ needs (Tsoi & Goh, 2008).
Designing hybrid learning activities involves integrating online learning, where
students have the flexibility to access learning materials anytime and anywhere,
and online classroom teaching, where students and teachers interact through
video conference applications like Google Meet, resembling synchronous learning
activities in a virtual environment (MicroTek, 2017; Scheiderer, 2021;
Tungchityuengyong, 2022). Hybrid teaching can cater to students with different
learning styles, provide opportunities for self-directed learning based on their
preferred time, location, and convenience, facilitate easy connectivity and
coordination, engage and stimulate students’ interest, and enhance the
effectiveness of their learning outcomes.
Self-directed learning (SDL), as stated in Mingsiritham (2009), naturally arises
from voluntary learning without coercion, thus discipline and responsibility are
essential in order to bring about meaningful learning experiences and cultivate a
lifelong learning culture. Effective and sustainable learning is achieved through
self-directed learning, as it enhances learners’ motivation, enables them to work
at their own ability and pace, and allows them to choose learning content and set
goals based on their experiences and personal needs (PPTV, 2022). Consequently,
learners experience continuous learning development. This concept aligns with
lifelong learning (Donald, 1995). Self-directed learning empowers individuals to
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control their own learning, comprehend textbook content independently, and
facilitate the synthesis of key concepts. Moreover, it enables learners to solve
problems, reason critically, and engage in learning activities. Larisey (1997, as
cited in Phodong & Jarujit, 2022) and Borich (2000) emphasize the increasing
importance of self-directed learning, as learners will be required to take greater
responsibility for their learning in the future. Thus, it becomes essential to
cultivate learners’ self-directed learning abilities and assess their readiness for
learning to enhance their self-responsibility in the learning process.
Problem-based learning (PBL) is an instructional approach that aims to create
direct learning experiences by emphasizing hands-on activities, critical thinking
development, problem-solving situations, learning planning, and directed
learning. PBL also motivates learners and places them at the center of the learning
process. In the PBL teaching model, learners engage with the content by
attempting to find open-ended solutions to problems (Phungsuk et al., 2017). This
approach fosters motivation and enhances self-directed inquiry skills, problem-
solving abilities, and clear communication skills. Additionally, it facilitates
teamwork and the evaluation of research resources and promotes lifelong
learning (Duch et al., 2001) as well as helping to promote the acceptance of
different opinions by incorporating collaborative group work and a learner-
centered approach. It is a learning method that stimulates learners to think,
analyze, search, and integrate new knowledge relevant to real-life situations
(Haryani et al., 2018). Moreover, PBL stimulates students’ interest in learning
within a new environment (Susanti et al., 2020), wherein learners may not
necessarily need prior knowledge or a foundational understanding of the subject
matter. Barrows (2000) and Evensen and Hmelo (2000) have stated that PBL is
related to constructivist learning, which is rooted in the learning theories of Piaget
and Vygotsky. Constructivism views learning as an intellectual developmental
process in which learners actively construct knowledge. This process of occurs
through learners’ interactions with the environment and their assimilation and
accommodation of new experiences, ultimately resulting in the adaptation of
intellectual structures to fit new experiences.
During the Covid pandemic, online learning was a new alternative for classroom
instruction in Thailand. However, internet coverage was not accessible in all rural
areas. The idea of hybrid learning is, therefore, seemingly an appropriate choice
for Thai education to bridge the gap (Ruangsri et al., 2021). Since the online
learning part was reliable heavily on students’ own learning control,
incorporation of self-directed learning also serves as a support tool for fulfilling
successful learning setting.
The aforementioned teaching and learning format have been adjusted to align
with the current global situation. Universities have implemented a hybrid
teaching approach that incorporates online instruction; however, instructors face
challenges in maintaining students’ focus and the lack of self-directed learning to
acquire additional knowledge. As these questions are directed at teaching, the
first research question is on how students can gain self-directed learning and its
influential factors and second question on how to develop a problem-based
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hybrid teaching with the by-product of self-directed skill enhancement. Therefore,
the study has the aims of (1) the investigation on to what extent the students can
promote their self-directed learning and the influential factors, (2) the
examination of the effectiveness of hybrid teaching using problem-based learning.
As for a reason, teaching through PBL is one of the plausible approaches enabling
learners to acquire self-directed learning. Employing problem-solving methods as
a foundation, the design and development of a hybrid teaching model can be
enhanced to foster self-directed learning in the Information Technology and
Digital Innovation course. Through experimentation and instructional
management, it is essential to examine whether this approach can effectively
enhance students’ ability to engage in self-directed learning.
2. Literature Review
2.1 Hybrid Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional teaching approach proved
inadequate to meet the educational demands of the current situation. As a result,
new teaching approaches have emerged, leveraging technology to facilitate the
teaching and learning processes. Examples include online classes with
consideration on fostering analytical thinking skills, communication skills,
adoption of modern technology, and self-directed learning in order to bring about
effective learning and new knowledge.
Hybrid learning is a versatile and adaptable teaching format that combines
various learning methods through integration of both offline and online learning
methods (MicroTek, 2017). It involves simultaneous learning activities conducted
both in real-time, such as live-streamed classes, and recorded online class together
with onsite classrooms, thereby exemplifying synchronous learning (Finol, 2020).
The hybrid learning experience resembles authentic classroom activities but in a
simulated environment (Scheiderer, 2021). Additionally, through flexible and
easily accessible platforms such as smartphones, online learning is accessible from
anywhere, which characterizes asynchronous learning (Finol, 2020). Learners
have the freedom to schedule their learning activities and access resources at their
own pace, even retrospectively (Tungchityuengyong, 2022). Hybrid learning
combines the strengths and beneficial aspects of various learning modalities,
encompassing both classroom-based and online learning through internet-based
technologies (Driesen, 2016; Garnham & Kaleta, 2002; Ossiannilsson, 2017). This
instructional approach fosters challenging and personalized learning experiences,
catering to individual learners’ needs and enabling the enhancement of their self-
directed learning abilities (Carman, 2002). Hybrid learning systems emphasize
interactivity and align with the objective of enhancing the effectiveness and
efficiency of teaching and learning processes (Yaso, 2013).
Hybrid learning, as a teaching approach, leverages the advantages of
communication technology, enabling learners to engage in more convenient
interactions and discussions with instructors. Online classes allow learners and
teachers to participate from any location without the need to physically be present
at the school every day. This reduces travel time and expenses, while also
promoting social distancing and reducing congestion within educational
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institutions, which are important measures in preventing the spread of the
ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Simultaneously, this learning format provides
opportunities for learners to meet and engage in collaborative learning activities
in the classroom. Although the in-class learning time may be reduced, the focus is
placed on interactive learning activities, skill development, and summarizing
lessons to enhance learners’ understanding (Funchian, 2021).
Hybrid learning is a learner-centric instructional approach that enhances the
effectiveness of teaching and learning. It is a blended learning format that
leverages the advantages of both online teaching and offline examinations. This
allows for diverse learner access and aligns with the evolving circumstances of
the COVID-19 pandemic or unforeseen future situations. Therefore, instructors
should be prepared to adapt to unexpected scenarios while keeping up with the
fast-evolving technological landscape. Furthermore, the integration of various
learning management strategies and their alignment with different learning
contexts should be considered to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of
teaching and learning. Thus, a well-designed hybrid learning approach should
cater to the diverse learning styles of learners, capturing and stimulating their
interests in learning, while providing them with the flexibility to learn at their
own convenience, time, and preferred locations, thus responding to the demands
of the new normal lifestyle.
2.2 Problem-Based Learning as a Promoter of Self-Directed Learning
PBL is an instructional approach that emphasizes self-directed learning, utilizing
problems as stimuli to ignite learners’ desire to explore and seek knowledge
(Barrows, 2000). It involves the learners themselves in the process of problem-
solving (Duch et al., 2001). The use of problem situations stimulates learners to
seek knowledge in order to solve those problems (Office of the Education Council
[OEC], 2007). This approach fosters collaborative group work, facilitating
knowledge exchange and emphasizing the development of various skills, which
can be applied to real problem-solving scenarios. PBL encourages learners to
acquire skills in researching information from various learning sources, working
collaboratively in teams, and learning to be effective leaders and followers.
Learners also have the opportunity to exchange experiences and deepen their
understanding by sharing their thoughts and opinions (Imchit, 2013). The focus is
on developing learning skills rather than simply acquiring knowledge, resulting
in learners engaging with the content and developing problem-solving skills on
their own (Edens, 2000).
The process of PBL, based on the use of problems, typically consists of five steps
(Hmelo & Lin, 2000; OFC, 2007; Tan & Marincovich, 2003; Weir, 1974) as follows:
step 1: problem identification, which refers to investigation and identification of
the problems; step 2: problem analysis, which refers to analysis of the causes and
sources of the problems; step 3: planning and conducting research which refers to
a plan of how to conduct the research; step 4: selecting problem-solving
approaches which refers to the experimental teaching approach; and step 5:
evaluating learning which refers to the measurement of the success of the learning
outcomes. To recap, PBL is an instructional approach in which learners engage
with content by actively seeking solutions to open-ended problems (Phungsuk et
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al., 2017). It enhances motivation for learning and develops self-directed inquiry
skills and also fosters problem-solving skills and encourages learners to apply
knowledge gained from their studies to solve real-world problems, thereby
promoting critical thinking, reasoning, analysis, and accepting others’
perspectives. By utilizing collaborative group work processes, PBL improves
learning efficiency and cultivates a learning environment where learners take
charge of their own learning (self-directed learning).
2.3 Self-directed Learning
Self-directed learning is a pathway that aims to develop learners who possess the
knowledge and readiness to continuously develop themselves. It is a crucial soft
skill for learners to maximize their learning effectiveness. It is a personalized
learning process that empowers individuals to have the ability to plan their
actions and evaluate their learning outcomes. It begins with setting learning goals,
seeking support, identifying sources of knowledge, utilizing educational
materials, and assessing one’s own learning progress. Therefore, it is essential to
enable learners to enhance their learning capabilities, as they are able to plan,
execute, and evaluate their learning independently. This leads to a continuous
learning process, even beyond the confines of the traditional classroom or formal
education, and equips learners with lifelong learning skills. Hence, educational
management should focus on fostering learners’ self-directed learning skills,
nurturing their ability to seek knowledge and stay informed about various events
and cultivating a love for learning. This will serve as a foundation for their higher-
level education. Knowles (1975) and Starfish Academy (2022) mentioned that self-
directed learning is a skill that every child should possess for future success, as it
enables them to utilize the knowledge available to them effectively. The more
proficient learners become in self-directed learning, the greater their chances of
achieving success. To elaborate further, self-directed learning has four key
benefits:(1) serving learners’ needs and satisfaction, (2) promoting learning
engagement, freedom, and independence, (3) exhibiting flexibility and learning
autonomy, and (4) enabling a lifelong learning.
According to Borich (2000), self-directed learning is crucial as it enables learners
to take control of their own learning, understand textbook content independently,
and summarize the key concepts. It also helps learners develop problem-solving
skills, reasoning abilities, and critical thinking in the learning process.
Additionally, Knowles (1975) emphasized the importance of self-directed
learning by stating that learners who engage in such an approach achieve better
learning outcomes compared to those who rely solely on instructors for
knowledge. Self-directed learners approach learning with intentionality,
motivation, and the ability to effectively utilize the benefits of learning.
Furthermore, learners’ development aligns with principles of psychology and
natural processes, as they transition from dependency to increased self-reliance
and responsibility. Self-directed learners also enhance their learning abilities to
adapt to new systems and thrive in a society characterized by constant change.
Therefore, self-directed learning is crucial and necessary for individuals to
prepare for and adapt to current and future changes. For instance, the COVID-19
pandemic has emphasized the importance of self-directed learning as a
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foundation for acquiring enduring skills. In brief, self-directed learning empowers
learners to take control of their learning, seek relevant knowledge, and navigate
challenges sustainably.
The design of teaching and learning that focuses on promoting self-directed
learning is crucial. According to Brockett and Hiemstra (2018), the learning
process is the responsibility of learners, who need to engage in planning,
executing learning activities, and evaluating their learning processes. Garrison
(1997, as cited in Kuawnamchum et al., 2017) stated that self-directed teaching and
learning require self-management in order to utilize learning resources, self-
monitor, and possess learning motivation. These three aspects are interrelated,
with the learning process aiming to enable learners to understand learning
strategies. In this process, instructors play the role as facilitators, providing
guidance and creating a conducive learning environment (Bolhuis & Voeten,
2001). Currently, instructors can integrate technology into self-directed learning,
allowing learners to utilize technology for their learning (Teo et al., 2010; Väljataga
& Fiedler, 2009). Teo et al. (2010) summarized the self-directed learning process
into three components: goal setting and task analysis, following the planned
activities, and evaluating the self-directed learning process. Knowles (1975)
described self-directed learning as an approach where learners must organize
their learning processes, including diagnosing their learning needs, setting
learning objectives, designing learning plans, engaging in learning activities from
various sources, and evaluating outcomes.
The concept of self-directed learning management involves customizing
individual requirements, growing a sense of self-responsibility, stimulating
collaborative learning, and encouraging individual and collaborative assessment.
It is expected to become a significant educational paradigm in the future. The
management of self-directed learning consists of the five following stages
(Knowles, 1975): (1) Self-learning needs analysis, which refers to the perception
and ability to analyze one’s own learning needs and clearly identify the content
or subjects required; (2) Goal setting in learning, which refers to the explicit
identification of objectives or targets in learning, characterized by knowledge or
activities that can be achieved and measured; (3) Planning and seeking learning
resources, which entail developing a personal learning plan that aligns with the
identified learning needs and goals; (4) Learning that entails designing learning
activities and selecting learning methods that are efficient and align with
individual aptitudes and abilities; and (5) Self-assessment of learning, which
refers to evaluating one’s own learning progress, where the assessment must be
in line with the set learning objectives and should determine whether the intended
learning goals have been achieved.
2.4 Prevalent Factors toward Self-directed Learning Skills
According to related previous studies, it is conclusive that three significant factors
play role as the key to promote self-directed learning skills. The first is information
technology (IT), which helps students to be able to find multiple sources of
knowledge where they can rely on their own learning and escalate their learning
motivation (Lai & Mingyue, 2011). The second factor is problem-solving
experience (PS). This is the setting of a learning environment to direct the students
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toward their learning goals. It promotes their thought to be more critical and
systematic as well as maintains endurance toward their learning achievement
(Wisetdonwai, 2022). The last factor is nurturing (NR), which is also one of the
prevalent factors. There are many ways for parents to raise their children. The best
way to promote self-directed learning is to allow the children to be more free-
minded so that they will have more confidence to explore learning on their own.
However, the parents also need to provide them proper guidance to lead them to
their goals (Hurlock, 1984). Applying these concepts to classroom instruction
during the Covid epidemic is worthwhile for a study.
2.5 Context in Thailand during the Covid Pandemic
During the Covid pandemic, the Ministry of Thailand Education established five
different teaching approaches to accommodate the unique requirements of each
region in the country as they were preparing for the semester's opening. In
response to the situation, Thienthong (2021), the Minister of Education,
emphasized the need for adaptable instructions and the ministry then devised
classroom instructional designs into the following five approaches:
1) On-site learning: this format was suitable for schools with a small number of
students, enabling them to maintain strict distancing and adhere to public
health measures by wearing face masks. The classroom arrangement allowed
for a safe learning environment.
2) On-Air learning: this was implemented through the Distance Learning
Foundation System or DLTV. This approach enabled students to participate
in classes remotely, accessing educational content through broadcasting.
3) On-Line learning: in this approach, teachers conducted lessons through online
platforms, making it possible for students to engage in learning from their
own devices.
4) On-demand learning: students could access learning content through
applications, allowing them to study at their own pace and convenience.
5) On-hand learning: teachers personally delivered worksheets and learning
materials to students at their homes, ensuring continued learning even when
physical attendance was not possible.
Throughout this period in Thailand, online learning was implemented and rolled
out in classrooms due to the school context suitability. However, the abrupt
change to online learning relied heavily on internet access or coverage.
Unfortunately, in certain rural areas, weak internet signals posed challenges for
some students who faced difficulties learning solely through online means. The
concept of conducting an entirely virtual classroom online appeared impractical
in the given contexts. Therefore, a viable alternative for the cases was hybrid
learning which emerged as a feasible solution, allowing students to engage in both
face-to-face and online study (Ruangsri et al., 2021). The students had to rely
mainly on taking responsibility in learning for themselves, so facilitating their
self-directed learning appeared to be crucial.
3. Research Methodology
The research is a quasi-experimental design. In this section, the details pertaining
to research objectives, sample selection, instrumentation, the conceptual
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framework, data collection, and data analysis procedures are presented. To begin
with, the research objectives are outlined as follows: (1) to examine the presence
and prevalence of self-directed learning among students in Thailand and explore
the various influential factors that may affect its development; (2) assess the level
of students' self-directed learning abilities after conducting an experimental
intervention; and (3) to investigate the effectiveness of hybrid teaching using a
problem-based learning approach in enhancing students' learning achievement.
Two sampling methods include simple random sampling in Phase 1 and
purposive sampling in Phase Two. In Phase One, the researchers applied simple
random sampling to select a representative sample from the entire population
under investigation, which was applied in the study. In Phase 2, the samples were
limited to individuals who had enrolled in the Database Systems for Technology
and Computer Innovation course. For a comprehensive overview, the conceptual
framework is presented in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Research Conceptual Framework
Data collection consisted of two phases as mentioned above. Phase 1 involved an
investigation of the presence and prevalence of self-directed learning among
students in Thailand and explored the various influential factors that may affect
its development. Data were collected from a sample group, drawn from simple
random sampling, comprised of 326 undergraduate students from four Rajabhat
Universities in the western region of Thailand. The sample size was determined
and collected using the formula developed by Yamane (1973), out of the total
population of 1,747 students who were currently enrolled in the IT relevant
programs, from western universities in Thailand. The research instrument
employed in this phase was a Self-Directed Learning evaluation form,
incorporating a rating scale to assess various potential factors.
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It consists of three parts. Part 1 captures general background information of the
respondents. Part 2 assesses the factors influencing self-directed learning,
consisting of three dimensions: (1) nurturing, (2) problem-solving experiences,
and (3) technological competence. These dimensions are measured using a 5-point
rating scale. Part 3 measures self-directed learning abilities and consists of five
stages: (1) analyzing and determining personal learning needs, (2) setting learning
goals, (3) planning and seeking learning resources, (4) learning activities, and (5)
self-assessment of learning outcomes. There is a total of 22 factors that will be
measured using a five-point rating scale. The measurement for self-directed
learning ability was based on the mean value (Best, 1981). Details are as follows:
4.50–5.00 the highest level
3.50–4.49 high level
2.50–3.49 moderate level
1.50–2.49 low level
1.00–1.49 the lowest level
The validity of this measurement instrument was assessed by a panel of seven
experts with the IOC of 1.00. Then, it was carried out for a trial with a small group
of homogenous 30 students, which resulted in the overall confidence level of 0.93.
The relationship assessment between the factors influencing self-directed learning
and the levels of self-directed learning were analyzed by using multiple linear
regression processed on the correlation levels of each category. Data were
collected through an online questionnaire and by the researcher from four
Rajabhat Universities in the western region of Thailand. The survey results are
categorized and presented in percentage values based on gender, academic year,
and educational institutions including Muban Chombueng Rajabhat University
(MCRU), Nakhon Pathom Rajabhat University (NPU), Kanchanaburi Rajabhat
University (KRU), Phetchaburi Rajabhat University (PRU), as illustrated in Figure
2.
Figure 2: Analysis results shown in percentage values within categorized sample
groups based on gender, academic year, and educational institution.
In Phase 1, the data analysis involved employing several statistical measures,
including percentage, mean, standard deviation, Pearson's product-moment
correlation coefficient, and multiple linear regression. Phase 2 involved the
assessment of the level of the students' self-directed learning abilities after
conducting an experimental intervention, and the investigation of the
effectiveness of hybrid teaching using a problem-based learning approach in
enhancing students' learning achievement. Purposive sampling was employed in
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T1 X 1 T 2 X2 T3
this phase, specifically focusing on a targeted group of the individuals who had
enrolled in the Database Systems for Technology and Computer Innovation
course. The experiment was conducted with a sample group consisting of 17
students majoring in Technology and Computer Innovation. This group of
students was the group who were fully equipped with IT skills and readiness for
partaking in an online course. The research utilized the following tools: (1) a
problem-based hybrid teaching plan; (2) a Self-Directed Learning evaluation
form, utilizing a rating scale; (3) online teaching media; (4) a performance
measurement for learning achievement; and (5) a questionnaire to gather student
feedback on the problem-based hybrid teaching approach. In this phase, the
statistics encompassed the measures including mean, standard deviation,
Pearson's product-moment correlation coefficient, multiple linear regression, and
dependent t-tests. The experiment was conducted in two parts as outlined below:
The notation used to represent the different phases is as follows:
T1 refers to the pre-test conducted using a traditional
teaching method
X1 refers to the traditional teaching method
T2 refers to the post-test administered after the traditional
teaching method has taken place, as well as the pre-test
conducted before the implementation of the problem-based
hybrid teaching method
X2 refers to the problem-based hybrid teaching method.
T3 refers to the post-test after the implementation of the problem-
based hybrid teaching method.
During Phase 1, a six-week experiment used a traditional teaching method with
the sample group of 17 students, taking place in order to compare it with the
developed teaching approach. It began with student orientation sessions to
explain course details. Students were given a pre-study to assess their knowledge
and factors influencing self-directed learning. Then, the traditional teaching
method was conducted through video conference sessions according to the
instructional design outlined in the learning management plan. Once the planned
instructional period was completed, students were given a post-test to measure
their learning outcomes and assess their self-directed learning abilities. The
collected data were statistically analyzed using commonly used statistical
techniques, including measures such as percentage, mean, standard deviation,
Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficient, and multiple linear regression.
Phase 2 involved an eight-week experimental implementation of the problem-
based hybrid teaching method with the same participants group of 17 students.
In the five steps teaching, the third step was designed for the students to
incorporate self-directed learning skills as to solve the lesson problem. The phase
commenced with a detailed explanation of the instructional design for the
students. Following the orientation, students were given a pre-study to assess
their knowledge and factors influencing self-directed learning before the
instructional period.
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Then, the problem-based hybrid teaching method was implemented, utilizing the
problem-based learning as outlined in the learning management plan. The
instruction was delivered through a combination of face-to-face teaching in the
classroom via video conference (due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation) and
online learning. Upon completion of the experimental period, students were given
a post-test to measure their learning outcomes and assess their self-directed
learning abilities. The collected data were statistically analyzed using commonly
used statistical techniques, including measures such as mean, standard deviation
(SD), and a dependent t-test.
4. Results
4.1 Self-directed learning (SDL) abilities of the students
The findings revealed that the overall self-directed learning abilities of the
students were at a high level. Setting learning goals had the highest average score
of 3.87, followed by learning planning and the search for learning resources with
an average score of 3.70. The lowest average score of 3.22 was observed in the area
of analyzing and determining one’s learning needs, as shown in Table 1.
Table 1: Analysis results for self-directed learning abilities
Assessment List Mean SD
Abilities
Level
Analysis and Determination of Personal Learning
Needs
3.22 0.93 Moderate
Setting Learning Goals 3.87 0.77 High
Planning and Seeking Learning Resources 3.70 0.82 High
Learning 3.51 0.97 High
Self-assessment of Learning Outcomes 3.58 0.91 High
Overall 3.58 0.88 High
4.2 Factors influencing students’ SDL
Upon studying the relationships among all of the variables, it was found that all
factors possessed a significant positive correlation with self-directed learning.
Specifically, the factor related to information technology (IT) has the highest
correlation with self-directed learning (r = 0.487), followed by problem-solving
experience (PS) (r = 0.365) and nurturing (NR) (r = 0.346), as shown in Table 2.
Table 2: Analysis of the relationship between various factors and self-directed
learning abilities
Factors Nurturing
(NR)
Problem-
solving
experience
(PS)
Usage of
Information
Technology
(IT)
Self-
directed
learning
(SDL)
Self-directed learning (SDL) 0.346** 0.365** 0.487** 1
Remark ** Statistically significant at.01 significance level.
After conducting a prognostic study, the factors influencing students’ self-
directed learning abilities were examined. The independent variables collectively
accounted for 34% of the variance in self-directed learning abilities. Furthermore,
a multiple regression analysis revealed that all variables significantly contributed
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to explaining self-directed learning abilities at a statistical significance level of
0.01. The variable that had the highest explanatory power was the use of
information technology, as represented in the prognostic equation: Y
̂ = 1.542
+0.115X1+0.088X2+0.303X3. As shown in Table 3.
Table 3: Analysis of Factors Affecting Students' Self-Directed Learning Abilities
Variable B SE Beta t-value
P
value
Nurturing (x1) 0.115 0.027 0.214 4.303 .000
Problem-solving experience (x2) 0.088 0.025 0.175 3.449 .001
Usage of Information Technology (x3) 0.303 0.035 0.411 8.755 .000
Constant 1.542 9.505 .000
R = .582 R2 = .338 SEE = .333 F = 54.682*
* Statistically significant at the 0.01 significance level.
The results of the prognostic analysis indicated that all factors significantly
contributed to the prediction of self-directed learning abilities. Particularly, the
variable related to IT usage had the highest significance in predicting such
abilities.
4.3 Effects of hybrid teaching using problem-based learning on students’ self-
directed learning abilities
Regarding the effects of the hybrid teaching approach using problems as a
foundation to promote self-directed learning abilities, the findings are shown in
the following tables and figures.
Table 4 shows the pre- and post-instructional assessments of students’ self-
directed learning abilities under a traditional teaching approach. It was found that
students had a moderate level of self-directed learning abilities before being
exposed to hybrid teaching with an average score of 3.31 out of 5.00. After the
exposure to the treatment, which was the hybrid teaching using PBL approach, it
was found that students’ self-directed learning abilities improved to a moderate
level, with an average score of 3.49. The detailed results are shown in Table 4.
Table 4: Analysis results of pre- and post-experimental self-directed learning abilities
under a traditional teaching approach
Assessment List
Pre- experiment Post- experiment
Mean SD
Level of
proficiency
Mean SD
Level of
proficiency
Analysis and determination
of personal learning needs
3.35 0.30 Moderate 3.53 0.37 High
Setting learning goals 3.29 0.33 Moderate 3.47 0.34 Moderate
Planning and seeking
learning resources
3.26 0.24
Moderate
3.46 0.35
Moderate
Learning 3.33 0.26 Moderate 3.52 0.31 High
Self-assessment of
learning outcomes
3.29 0.20
Moderate
3.45 0.30
Moderate
Overall 3.31 0.21 Moderate 3.49 0.33 Moderate
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Table 5 shows the results of the self-directed learning abilities of students during
pre- and post-experiment of hybrid teaching using PBL as a foundation. Findings
revealed that students demonstrated higher levels of self-directed learning
abilities overall and in specific aspects after the experiment. The post-experiment
scores were higher on average compared to the pre-experiment scores. The aspect
with the highest average score was the analysis and determination of personal
learning needs, with an average score of 4.37. This was followed by setting
learning goals with an average score of 4.35. Planning and seeking learning
resources and learning had the same average score (mean = 4.20). The aspect with
the lowest average score was self-assessment of learning outcomes, with an
average score of 4.07. These comparisons are shown in Table 5 and Figure 5.
Table 5: Analysis results of pre- and post-experimental self-directed learning abilities
using a hybrid teaching approach
Assessment List
Pre-experiment Post-experiment
Mean SD
Level of
proficiency
Mean SD
Level of
proficiency
Analysis and
determination of personal
learning needs
3.53 0.37 High 4.37 0..31 High
Setting learning goals 3.47 0.34 Moderate 4.35 0.28 High
Planning and seeking
learning resources
3.46 0.35 Moderate 4.20 0.29 High
Learning 3.52 0.31 High 4.20 0.22 High
Self-assessment of
learning outcomes
3.45 0.30 Moderate 4.07 0.20 High
Overall 3.49 0.33 Moderate 4.24 0.15 High
The results of the comparison of pre- and post-experimental self-directed learning
abilities using hybrid teaching approach are shown as a bar graph in Figure 5.
Figure 5: Comparison of pre- and post-experimental self-directed learning abilities
using a hybrid teaching approach.
Analysis
and
Determi
nation of
Personal
Learning
Needs
Setting
Learning
Goals
Planning
and
Seeking
Learning
Resourc
es
Learning
Self-
assessm
ent of
Learning
Outcom
es
Overall
Pre-Study (traditional teaching) 3.35 3.29 3.26 3.33 3.29 3.31
Post-study (traditional teaching) 3.53 3.47 3.46 3.52 3.45 3.49
Pre-Study (hybrid teaching) 3.53 3.47 3.46 3.52 3.45 3.49
Post-study (hybrid teaching) 4.37 4.35 4.20 4.20 4.07 4.24
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
Average
of
Self-directed
learning
abilities
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Table 6 shows the results of the comparative analysis of self-directed learning
abilities before and after learning. The results indicate that there is no statistically
significant difference in overall and specific abilities when comparing the self-
directed learning abilities of students before and after traditional teaching.
However, when comparing the abilities of students who learned through hybrid
teaching using problem-based learning before and after the experiment, a
statistically significant difference was found.
Table 6: Comparative analysis of self-directed learning abilities before and after
the experiment through traditional teaching and hybrid teaching.
Assessment list
Comparison
group
N
Traditional teaching Hybrid teaching
Mean SD t Sig. Mean SD t Sig.
Analysis and
determination of
personal
learning needs
Pre-study 17 3.35 0.30 0.918 0.37 3..53 0.44 6.752 .000*
Post-study 17 3.53 0.21 4.37 0.31
Setting learning
goals
Pre-study 17 3.29 0.33 1.414 0.17 3.47 0.29 8.998 .000*
Post-study 17 3.47 0.29 4.35 0.27
Planning and
seeking learning
resources
Pre-study 17 3.26 0.24 1.412 0.18 3.46 0.41 6.614 .000*
Post-study 17 3.46 0.41 4.20 0.20
Learning Pre-study 17 3.33 0.25 0.999 0.332 3.52 0.38 7.436 .000*
Post-study 17 3.52 0.38 4.20 0.22
Self-assessment
of learning
outcomes
Pre-study 17 3.29 0.20 1.074 0.299 3.45 0.30 9.524 .000*
Post-study 17 3.45 0.30 4.07 0.20
Overall of self-
directed
learning
Pre-study 17 3.31 0.29 1.979 0.065 3.49 0..33 10.081 0.000*
Post-study 17 3.49 0.33 4.24 0.15
* Statistically significant at the 0.01level.
Table 7 present the comparative analysis results of the pre-test and post-test scores
of students who were taught through traditional teaching, and then taught with
hybrid teaching. Findings revealed a statistically significant increase in academic
performance after the experiment at a significance level of 0.01. Similarly, the
study found a statistically significant improvement in post-test scores compared
to pre-test scores for students who learned through hybrid teaching using PBL,
also at a significance level of 0.00. These findings are shown in Table 7.
Table 7: Comparative results of achievement of learning between traditional and
hybrid teaching models (within subject design)
Achievement of
learning
Sample
group
Traditional teaching Hybrid teaching
Mean SD t-test Sig. Mean SD t-test Sig.
Pre-test 17 7.18 1.29 22.287 .000* 11.23 2.70 16.571 .000*
Post-test 17 13.94 2.14 21.94 3.78
*Statistically significant at the 0.01level
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The results of the comparison of pre- and post-test achievement scores of
traditional and hybrid teaching are shown as a line graph in Figure 6.
Figure 6: The comparison of pre- and post-test scores of traditional teaching and
hybrid teaching formats.
Figure 7 shows the students perceptions toward hybrid teaching using PBL.
Overall, students expressed a high level of satisfaction with the hybrid teaching
format using PBL, with an average rating of 4.05. In terms of instructional
organization, the system’s ease of use and accessibility received the highest
average rating of 4.29. Following closely behind is the effectiveness and suitability
of online and classroom learning assessment formats, with an average rating of
4.24., as illustrated in Figure 7.
Figure 7: Students’ perceptions toward the hybrid teaching format using PBL.
5. Discussion
The findings of the study generally indicated that the students possess a high level
of self-directed learning capabilities. The aspect with the highest average score
was setting learning goals, which aligns with the fundamental principles of
humanistic psychology theory, emphasizing autonomy, self-concept, and the
ability to explore alternatives and possess unlimited self-development potential
5
7 8
6 7 8 9 8 9
7 8
5 6 7 6 7
9
10
15 14
12
15 14
18 17
15 14 13
11 12 13 13 14
17
10
12 12
10 9
11 12
10
18
13
5
10 11 12 11
15
10
16
26 25
14
23
21
24
21
26 25
15
21 21
23 24
26
22
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 0 1 1 1 2 1 3 1 4 1 5 1 6 1 7
Pre-test (traditional teaching) Post-test (traditional teaching)
Pre-test (hybrid teaching) Post-test (hybrid teaching)
4.29
3.94
4.18
3.94
3.94
4.06
3.94
4.06
3.94
3.94
4.24
4.18
4.06
1. The management of the teaching and learning process is…
2. The teaching format enhances students' self-directed…
3. The teaching format promotes the application of knowledge…
4. The teaching format incorporates a variety of learning…
5. The teaching format encourages students to take more…
6. The teaching format fosters a greater sense of enthusiasm…
7. The teaching format promotes increased collaboration and…
8. The content presentation format is structured, easily…
9. The activities in the online learning management system are…
10. The measurement of students' learning efficacy before and…
11. The online and classroom learning assessment formats are…
12. The learning materials, resources, and instructional…
13. The duration of each learning activity is appropriate.
Score
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while taking responsibility for oneself and others (Elias & Merriam, 1980).
Regarding the factors influencing self-directed learning capabilities, the study
revealed that nurturing, problem-solving experiences, and the use of IT were the
three variables that significantly explained self-directed learning abilities, which
accounted for over 34% with a statistical significance level of 0.01. Among these
explanatory variable predictors, the ability to use IT, followed by nurturing and
problem-solving experiences, have the highest to the least predictive power for
students’ self-directed learning abilities, respectively.
These findings indicate that students who possess high proficiency in utilizing
information technology are more likely to exhibit higher self-directed learning
capabilities. Recognizing the benefits of technology for learning and perceiving
the compatibility between technology use and learning expectations play crucial
roles in determining the effective utilization of technology, which, in turn,
influences students’ learning outcomes (Lai, 2013). Successful learning outcomes
are derived from the ability to employ tools for exploration and knowledge
acquisition, which are integral components of self-directed learning.
Information technology facilitates rapid and efficient access to knowledge,
enabling learners to fully utilize their abilities for learning and make informed
decisions regarding suitable learning pathways. This autonomy in choosing
learning sources enhances the efficiency of learning, allowing learners to acquire
knowledge anytime and anywhere, think critically, solve problems
independently, develop confidence, and continually enhance their self-directed
learning capabilities. These findings are consistent with the research conducted
by Lai (2013), which demonstrated that students’ motivation for learning
increases when they realize the value and benefits of computer technology and
comprehend the alignment between technology and their learning expectations,
leading to higher levels of self-directed learning behavior. Similarly, Geng et al.
(2019) found that technological readiness positively influences motivation for
learning, which, in turn, guides learners in utilizing online learning strategies and
achieving learning goals more effectively.
The data analysis results, depicted in Figure 5 and Table 5, indicate that students
instructed using the hybrid teaching format exhibited significantly higher levels
of self-directed learning abilities compared to those instructed through
conventional methods across all dimensions. The dimension with the highest
average score is analysis and determination of personal learning needs compared
to having the lowest average score in Phase 1. Thus, it is evident that a hybrid
teaching design using the problem-based approach is a teaching format that
fosters self-directed learning. This approach emphasizes activities that develop
learners’ ability to plan and evaluate their learning progress, starting from setting
learning goals, seeking support, accessing educational resources, and assessing
their own learning outcomes. Therefore, it is essential to enable learners to
improve their learning because they are motivated to learn, have the opportunity
to work at their own level and pace, and can choose content and set learning goals
based on their experiences and needs (Donald, 1995). Learners can schedule their
learning, which characterizes asynchronous learning (Finol, 2020). Online
learning enhances learning efficiency by breaking the confine of a single location.
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It promotes understanding among learners (Fitrianaa et al., 2021) and involves
PBL, an open-ended problem-solving approach (Phungsuk et al., 2017). PBL
activities stimulate motivation and develop learners’ self-directed learning skills,
encouraging the application of acquired knowledge in problem-solving
situations. It fosters learners’ critical thinking, reasoning, analysis, and acceptance
of others’ opinions through collaborative group work. The instructional design
process follows PBL guidelines (Hmelo & Lin, 2000; Tan & Marincovich, 2003;
Weir, 1974) and self-directed learning steps (Knowles, 1978). Learners’ self-
directed learning abilities were stronger when compared to traditional teaching
methods. These findings align with previous studies conducted by Suksathid
(2007), Tepsumetanon and Pasittunyakit (2010), Charoenchim (2012), Phupay
(2015), and Sahapiboonchai (2016).
This study investigated the academic performance outcomes of students (within-
subject design). The same sample group was taught through traditional teaching
methods in first half and hybrid teaching methods using PBL in second half. The
results revealed that students exhibited significantly higher post-learning
academic performance compared to pre-learning performance, in both
conventional and hybrid teaching formats; however, there was a clear distinction
in the mean values, indicating that the hybrid teaching approach had a higher
percentage increase in average performance compared to the traditional teaching
approach. Consequently, it can be concluded that the designed hybrid teaching
format proved to be an efficient instructional management approach. This
approach motivates students to learn, work at their own proficiency levels, and
make progress. Moreover, it enables them to select content and set learning goals
based on their experiences and personal aspirations (Donald, 1995). Additionally,
it provides opportunities for constant lesson reviews, leading to increased
effectiveness in student academic performance (Wulandari et al., 2018). The
observed post-learning outcomes were higher than pre-learning outcomes,
aligning with previous research findings by various scholars, such as
Waithongkam (2015), Khlaisri (2017), Pakaworakun et al. (2017), Wongcharoen
(2018), and Bangpoophamorn and Wiriyanon (2019).
The overall feedback of the hybrid teaching using PBL approach was highly
positive. This can be attributed to the alignment between the instructional design,
learning content, learning objectives, and stimulating learning activities. The
collaborative nature of the learning activities by PBL, allowing peers to work
together in groups, think critically, and solve problems. That created an enjoyable
and challenging learning environment. They engaged in discussions and
effectively expressed their thoughts in various activities. Additionally, students
demonstrated self-directed learning, as they successfully tackled problem-solving
tasks assigned within the hybrid teaching framework. This approach fostered
effective problem-solving skills and self-directed learning. The learning format
resulted in high levels of student satisfaction, consistent with the research
conducted by Waithongkam (2015), Yimyam et al. (2015), Horak and Galluzzo
(2017), Wongcharoen (2018), and Bangpoophamorn and Wiriyanon (2019).
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6. Conclusions
Amidst the Covid pandemic, traditional classroom learning transitioned
primarily to an online format. Nevertheless, this shift faced challenges and did
not entirely succeed due to technological constraints and varying internet
availability and accessibility in certain regions. As a result, hybrid learning
emerged as a more viable and promising alternative. Furthermore, students must
also possess the ability on self-directed learning to ensure their academic success
for online learning. This study endeavored to address the issue by integrating
hybrid learning and problem-solving as a potential solution. The findings
revealed that students who engaged in this teaching approach exhibited higher
levels of self-directed learning abilities, which were accompanied by improved
post-learning academic performance. These results highlight the effectiveness of
the instructional design in facilitating collaborative group work, stimulating idea
exchange and collective problem-solving, and providing avenues for information
search and online learning support. Moreover, the user-friendly and systematic
nature of the online learning platform contributed to the overall efficacy of the
learning experience. The innovative teaching concept of hybrid teaching using
problem-based learning will shed light on the path for future instructional
paradigms.
7. Implications
According to the study, the following considerations should be taken into account
for an improvement of self-directed learning classroom conduct:
1) Prior to commencing hybrid teaching, instructors need to adequately arrange
and set up the classroom environment.
2) Both instructors and students need to be equipped with the abilities and
competencies in utilizing technology. This also includes the provision of
technology and internet availability and accessibility.
3) It is important to cultivate a positive mind-set on self-directed learning and an
acceptance of technology integration in a classroom environment to both
instructors and students.
8. Limitation
This research had a limited number of participants on account of the remote
location of the campus, and the small number of student admission. Internet
coverage and IT facilities were the major problems, found during the experiment.
However, the participants attempted to sort out the problems by moving the
study sites or spots and sharing some equipment together from time to time.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0
International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).
International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research
Vol. 22, No. 8, pp. 23-38, August 2023
https://doi.org/10.26803/ijlter.22.8.2
Received Apr 23, 2023; Revised Aug 1, 2023; Accepted Aug 9, 2023
Social Justice Leadership Capabilities for Pre-
Service Teachers in Contemporary Times:
An Education Policy Perspective
Emma Priscilla Barnett
University of the Free State
Bloemfontein, South Africa
Edwin Darrell de Klerk*
North-West University, Mahikeng Campus
Mahikeng, South Africa
Abstract. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, social justice
leadership (SJL) has become more imperative for pre-service teachers in
higher education institutions (HEIs). Significantly, HEIs face a serious
need for change that encourages the advancement of SJL with the aim to
develop knowledge, equitability, accessibility, and connectivity. The
problem is that pre-service teachers still find it challenging to assert
themselves without rejection, fear, or prejudice, whilst they are uncertain
of how to enact SJL during their studies in HEIs. As such, this conceptual
paper aims to explore social justice leadership (SJL) capabilities for pre-
service teachers in contemporary times from an education policy
perspective. An emphasis on SJL capabilities can be directive in terms of
pre-service teachers’ capacity regarding a leadership style that
encourages engagement in school leadership practices. Having employed
social justice leadership theory and a conceptual research design,
stipulations in the Revised Policy on Minimum Requirements for Teacher
Education Qualifications (MRTEQ) were analyzed by means of
interpretive policy analysis. The significance of policy analysis of this
kind is that it can contribute to the empowerment of pre-service teachers
on how to enact SJL in HEIs. The findings showed that SJL is vital because
it can assist pre-service teachers in constantly questioning if social justice
is actively applied in teaching and learning environments. Also, a socially
just environment in HEIs can contribute to an awakening of pre-service
teachers’ SJL abilities, and an application of transformation reflection can
assist pre-service teachers to enact SJL. This paper offers a social justice
leadership capabilities framework (SJLCF) that recommends that HEIs
should advance their understanding of policy options, create dialogue
spaces and promote transformative activism so that pre-service teachers
can be in a position to enhance social justice practices.
*
Corresponding author: Edwin Darrell de Klerk; Darrell.DeKlerk@nwu.ac.za
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Keywords: capabilities; contemporary times; education policy; pre-
service teachers; social justice leadership
1. Introduction
Social justice leadership (SJL) presupposes an engagement in independent, wide-
ranging, and transformative practices to create a just and equal educational
environment (Wang, 2018). The expectation is that individuals such as pre-service
teachers should act autonomously, and show a critical understanding,
knowledge, and leadership skills during and after their years of study in higher
education institutions (HEIs) (Caliskan, 2020). This expectation implies that HEIs
should promote equity and equal opportunities concerning learning, teaching,
and student involvement in decision-making (Jappie, 2021). However, addressing
practices related to SJL in HEIs can, unfortunately, be indicated as easier said than
done. For instance, a remaining issue seems to be that limited attention is paid to
transformation efforts, social justice, and human rights in academic endeavours.
Tjabane and Pillay (2011) contend that the pursuit of social justice is critical in the
milieu of the narrowing of the policy agenda, the shifting of policy associations,
and uncertainties. This is because debates and conversations regarding social
justice in policy statements have been slow and leadership outcomes are regarded
as unsatisfactory (Jappie, 2021). We, therefore, contend that it is crucial that HEIs
consider reimagining what SJL could be, whilst making provision for enacting
social justice in contexts where uncomfortable questions are asked with the aim
of transforming current unjust practices. We are of the opinion that SJL
capabilities can drive meaningful change in HEIs that not only improves pre-
service teachers’ leadership experiences but may assist them to be active agents of
change in their current educational environments and that of the future to come,
where there may be injustice and inequity.
From an education policy point of view, we argue that HEIs should imagine new
pathways regarding SJL for pre-service teachers. The significance of a policy
perspective on SJL can never be overestimated. We hold the view that policies
should be regarded as fundamental in the pursuit of the social justice agenda to
communicate ideas that may shape the perceptions of pre-service teachers. As the
literature about SJL has illuminated, increased attention is being paid to leaders’
diverse mindsets and understandings, and a developmental lens remains largely
missing from these explorations, as well as the broader social justice literature
(Drago-Severson & Blum-DeStefano, 2019). In an attempt to contribute to a
renewal of thoughts, the purpose of this paper is to explore how stipulations in
education policy can provide innovative capabilities that can be applied by HEIs
to equip pre-service teachers with knowledge and skills to enact SJL. We,
therefore, ask the following research question: How can an analysis of stipulations in
the Revised Policy on Minimum Requirements for Teacher Education Qualifications
(MRTEQ) provide innovative capabilities that can be applied by higher education
institutions to equip pre-service teachers to enact social justice leadership in contemporary
times?
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2. Literature review
To deepen our understanding of the research topic, we consulted literature that
described theoretical perspectives regarding SJL capabilities for pre-service
teachers in contemporary times from an education policy perspective. The
literature review will cover aspects such as: why social justice leadership should be
regarded as significant; the preparation of pre-service teachers and education policy and
social justice leadership development.
Social justice leaders are individuals for whom the persistent search for greater
fairness in educational admission; opportunity; and consequences, are essential
principles of their work (Angelle et al., 2016). Such pursuit relates to social justice
as praxis, implying that social justice leaders should be willing “to look back and
into the future to reflect and act on social justice matters” (Brown, 2004, p. 96).
Such actions should not be regarded as externally motivated but necessitate
individuals to seriously apply knowledge, whilst examining and deconstructing
the taken-for-granted acknowledgment of their personal opinions (Rizvi &
Lingard, 2010). As such, SJL should be geared toward a leadership style that
encourages engagement in leaders’ practices to convert educational settings into
spaces where everybody thrives amidst conditions that may be regarded as
despairing (Eastern Michigan University, 2021). Social justice leaders should,
therefore, use knowledge to fight against intolerance, whilst portraying a
willingness to unlearn intolerance and challenge assumptions so that they can
become warriors for social justice (Slater et al., 2014). In this regard, an application
of SJL requires individuals to use intelligence to identify, accept, and tolerate
differences so that, when employed during leadership enactment, they would
experience a sense of self-care in terms of leadership empowerment (Kowalchuk,
2017). Social justice leaders should thus have the required understanding and
knowledge of the ethos of social justice and the ability to critically reflect on social
justice practices. Firstly, an ethos of social justice holds a reference to the
empowerment of individuals and systems that demolish obstacles to well-being
(Marshall-Lee & Watson-Singleton, 2022). Secondly, critical reflection requires
that individuals identify, question, and assess their deeply-held assumptions
(Niesche, 2017) about what they know about social justice. The significance of SJL
should, therefore, be observed as a deliberate effort to act so that individuals (also
pre-service teachers) are empowered through knowledge, an ethos of social
justice, and critical reflection. Aligned with the purpose of this paper, the
significance of SJL from a policy perspective may contribute to pre-service
teachers becoming the “prophetic voice in critique, encouragement, hope,
possibility and vision” (Purpel, as cited in Skousen, 2022, p. 2).
Education policy can be considered as an action by the government, through
legislation, that the implementation of any policy should hold benefits for a
country and its citizens (Hartshorne, 1999). Considering the aforementioned view,
indications such as “action” and “hold benefits” (Hartshorne, 1999) call for the
implementation of possible policy options. In the case of this paper, possible
policy options regarding innovative capabilities were identified that can be
applied by HEIs to equip pre-service teachers with capabilities to enact SJL. In
higher education, policy perspectives about SJL may assist pre-service teachers to
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apply socially just pedagogies within their instruction practices that will support
knowledge acquisition, whilst they may obtain an understanding of what it means
to undo prevailing oppressive actions and contribute to all-encompassing and
socially just learning settings (Case, 2017). Furthermore, policy perspectives may
also be used to prepare pre-service teachers on how to become self-governing
individuals who may have a sense of personal agency, social answerability, and a
desire to be effective implementers of social justice in society (Subreenduth, 2013).
Significantly, policy reflects the intentions and strategies for the implementation
of its focus (Ohajunwa, 2022). Aligned with this paper, policy intentions and
strategies can be regarded as representative of capabilities that can be applied by
HEIs to prepare pre-service teachers on how to enact SJL.
Pre-service teachers are individuals who are registered in a teacher education
program with an aspiration to obtain a qualification that will enable them to teach
in public schools or private sectors nationally or globally (Van der Merwe,
2022). The professional preparation of teachers should, therefore, be regarded as
vital for the qualitative development of education and should be treated as a key
area in educational advancement (Mahato, 2022). According to UNESCO
(2021), Pakistan used distance training through television and radio in the 1970s
to accomplish higher numbers of proficient elementary school teachers, whereas
pre-service teachers in Brazil are required to follow an extremely organized
curriculum that they implement directly in primary schools. In the South African
context, the Norms and Standards for Educators (NSE) (South Africa, 2000) was
the primary official policy relating to academic qualifications for teachers. The
policy designates the responsibilities, their related set of practical capabilities
(standards), and experiences (ethics) for the development of educators (South
Africa, 2000). The NSE (South Africa, 2000) has since been replaced by the Revised
Policy on Minimum Requirements for Teacher Education Qualifications (MRTEQ)
(South Africa, 2011) and more recently a revised version of the 2011 document,
MRTEQ (South Africa, 2015), was promulgated. Significantly, MRTEQ (South
Africa, 2015) requires,
all teacher education programs to address the critical challenges facing
education in South Africa today - especially the poor content and
conceptual knowledge found amongst teachers, as well as the legacies of
apartheid, by incorporating situational and contextual elements that
assist teachers in developing competences that enable them to deal with
diversity and transformation… (pp. 8–9).
The use of “diversity” and “transformation” in the above stipulation (South
Africa, 2015), can be regarded as an illustration of a search for SJL in terms of the
preparation of pre-service teachers. By preparing pre-service teachers to become
perceptive participants in a democratic society, and especially if the development
of critical thinking is encouraged, they may be equipped to be active champions
of social justice in their contexts (Eidson, 2015). Thus, when scrutinizing education
policy to ascertain how SJL might be articulated, it is critical to deliberate how
policy ideas could offer indications that social justice is not restricted to singular
denotations. Rather, education policy stipulations contain discursive foundations
which permit analysts to interpret the meanings of texts so that the creation of
advanced viewpoints (Larrabee & Morehead, 2010) regarding SJL can be possible.
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3. Looking through the lens of social justice leadership theory
There is no doubt that the world is complex and ever-changing. With particular
reference to SJL and concomitant changes in how to think about social justice in
HEIs, this paper employed social justice leadership theory (SJLT). According to
Cochran-Smith (2010), SJLT is important for teacher preparation and should be
understood as more than a process, curricular approach, or singular performance.
Significantly, SJL should be thought of as multi-perspectival, uniting, significant,
and autonomous viewpoints with commitments to honor the empowerment
possibilities that can be found in policy documents. One of the functions of
education policy is to produce new knowledge geared toward social justice.
Therefore, the implementation of policies should explicitly advance the social
justice agenda to ensure that all individuals (also pre-service teachers) are
accommodated in a new schooling landscape (Juan et al., 2021). Also, SJL implies
that individuals can be empowered in terms of ongoing leadership actions,
leadership skills, and competencies that are continually being created, questioned,
and refined. Furthermore, the enactment of SJL should be geared toward an
awareness that information about pre-service teachers’ leadership abilities is not
stagnant and that the route toward justice is an enduring obligation of further
interrogation and action (Kumashiro, 2015). Thus, research on SJL enactment by
pre-service teachers should be geared toward them (pre-service teachers) working
for change in their schools, and sustaining the momentum for reform in their own
teaching practices.
3.1 Social justice leadership capabilities for pre-service teachers
Aligned with SJLT as indicated above, pre-service teachers should be made aware
of the reality that SJL should include a combination of knowledge, an ethos of
social justice, and critical reflection. In this regard, HEIs should be cognizant that
pre-service teachers should be capacitated with a renewed sense of critical
thinking, collaboration, reflection, and practical skills so that they can be able to
enact SJL (Caliskan, 2020). A further explanation is that pre-service teachers
should be prepared to have a sense of what social justice “looks like, feels like,
and sounds like in teacher education, specifically, and community life, broadly”
(Bondy et al., 2017, p. 5). Such knowledge is imperative for pre-service teachers
because it may be capacitated so that they will be cognizant of how to be empathic
and compassionate, show cultural competence, and are capable of nurturing
relationships and building trust with diverse groups of people (Bondy et al., 2017).
4. Research design and methodology
In this conceptual paper, we employ a qualitative methodology that encompasses
the collection and analysis of non-numerical data such as texts in documents and
policies (Bhandari, 2020). In this paper, texts in the MRTEQ (South Africa, 2015)
were analyzed to determine innovative capabilities that can be applied by HEIs to
equip pre-service teachers to enact SJL. In the case of conceptual papers, opinions
are not resulting from facts in the conventional sense but comprise the integration
and grouping of information relevant to previously developed ideas and
philosophies (Hirschheim, 2008). This implies that conceptual papers are not
without practical understandings but rather elaborate on concepts and theories
that are advanced and verified through experimental inquiry (Jaakkola, 2020). In
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this paper, we regard a conceptual research design (CRD) as applicable because it
is generally referred to as research related to concepts and ideas about a
phenomenon under study to solve real-world problems (Hirschheim, 2008). In
policy studies, an application of CRD may assist researchers to analyze policy
content, enabling them to excavate possible policy solutions to address particular
issues (Farrell & Coburn, 2016). In this study, a CRD was useful because it enabled
us to explore how stipulations in education policy can provide innovative
capabilities that can be applied by HEIs to equip pre-service teachers with
capabilities to enact SJL. Furthermore, conceptual research can be useful to go
beyond existing ideas in stimulating ways, connect information across fields of
specialization, provide innovative understandings, and widen the space of
individual thinking (Gilson & Goldberg 2015). In so doing, we believe that
knowledge of SJL can no longer be understood, explained, communicated,
illustrated, grouped, and told in the same way (Foucault, 1973). We take this view
to mean that a CRD assisted us to reject grand narratives about SJL and identifying
potential policy options that could address issues of SJL, comparing those options,
and then choosing the most effective, efficient, and feasible option to be
implemented.
5. Data collection
Stipulations from the MRTEQ (South Africa, 2015) were purposively selected to
interpret how they can provide innovative capabilities that can be applied by HEIs
to equip pre-service teachers to enact SJL. There were no set rules for deciding on
the sample number concerning the total stipulations that were analyzed (Patton,
2002). However, we were cognizant that the number of stipulations would be
sufficient to make meaning about the enactment of SJL. We used data saturation
as a guiding principle (Polit & Beck, 2014), implying that we analyzed stipulations
to the point at which we recognized no new information regarding perspectives
about SJL from an education policy perspective. Education policies should be
viewed as informal methods, a gathering of objects, actions, practices, and texts
that express particular meanings about teaching and leadership (Ball, 2015). As
such, understanding education policy texts demands a discussion on the meaning
that may be hidden in policy texts (De Klerk & Barnett, 2020). Ball (1993) asserts
that policy text is accompanied by a thought of policy as discourse, mainly to
explicate what policy text comprises concerning “what can be said, and thought,
but also who can speak, where and with what authority” (Ball, 1993, p. 14). To
explain what can be said about SJL, we analyzed stipulations in the MRTEQ
(South Africa, 2015) through an application of interpretive policy analysis (IPA).
6. Data analysis: Interpretive policy analysis
IPA was applied to analyze stipulations in the MRTEQ (South Africa, 2015) to
provide innovative capabilities that can be applied by HEIs to equip pre-service
teachers to enact SJL. IPA aims to interpret meanings that can be found in policy
discourse to share information and skills to address difficulties that may be
experienced by individuals (Yanow 2007). Interpreting education policy discourse
is difficult because it is not merely about considering its informative frameworks
nor reading it as the announcements of policymakers, but also a consideration that
the informal foundations they comprise, await interpretation (Olssen et al., 2004).
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ILJTER.ORG Volume 22 Number 08 August 2023

  • 1. International Journal of Learning, Teaching And Educational Research p-ISSN: 1694-2493 e-ISSN: 1694-2116 IJLTER.ORG Vol.22 No.8
  • 2. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research (IJLTER) Vol. 22, No. 8 (August 2023) Print version: 1694-2493 Online version: 1694-2116 IJLTER International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research (IJLTER) Vol. 22, No. 8 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are reserved by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically those of translation, reprinting, re-use of illustrations, broadcasting, reproduction by photocopying machines or similar means, and storage in data banks. Society for Research and Knowledge Management
  • 3. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research The International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research is a peer-reviewed open-access journal which has been established for the dissemination of state-of-the-art knowledge in the fields of learning, teaching and educational research. Aims and Objectives The main objective of this journal is to provide a platform for educators, teachers, trainers, academicians, scientists and researchers from over the world to present the results of their research activities in the following fields: innovative methodologies in learning, teaching and assessment; multimedia in digital learning; e-learning; m-learning; e-education; knowledge management; infrastructure support for online learning; virtual learning environments; open education; ICT and education; digital classrooms; blended learning; social networks and education; e- tutoring: learning management systems; educational portals, classroom management issues, educational case studies, etc. Indexing and Abstracting The International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research is indexed in Scopus since 2018. The Journal is also indexed in Google Scholar and CNKI. All articles published in IJLTER are assigned a unique DOI number.
  • 4. Foreword We are very happy to publish this issue of the International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research. The International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research is a peer-reviewed open-access journal committed to publishing high-quality articles in the field of education. Submissions may include full-length articles, case studies and innovative solutions to problems faced by students, educators and directors of educational organisations. To learn more about this journal, please visit the website http://www.ijlter.org. We are grateful to the editor-in-chief, members of the Editorial Board and the reviewers for accepting only high quality articles in this issue. We seize this opportunity to thank them for their great collaboration. The Editorial Board is composed of renowned people from across the world. Each paper is reviewed by at least two blind reviewers. We will endeavour to ensure the reputation and quality of this journal with this issue. Editors of the August 2023 Issue
  • 5. VOLUME 22 NUMBER 8 August 2023 Table of Contents Hybrid Teaching Using Problem-Based Learning to Promote Self-Directed Learning Abilities of Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic.......................................................................................................................................................... 1 Wilaiporn Chaiyasit, Komkrit Chomsuwan, Sumalee Chanchalor Social Justice Leadership Capabilities for Pre-Service Teachers in Contemporary Times: An Education Policy Perspective................................................................................................................................................................................23 Emma Priscilla Barnett, Edwin Darrell De Klerk Distance Learning Barriers and Bottlenecks: A Phenomenological Inquiry on the Conduct of English Language Arts (ELA) Standard Assessments........................................................................................................................................39 Jesselle M. Garbo, Jaypee R. Lopres, Melissa P. Novenario, Cara Elijah G. Esternon, Gleiza Marie P. Pilapil, Bernadette L. Gomez, Mary Faith B. Silva, Rachel M. Anjao Physical Sciences Teacher’s Epistemic Cognition on Electric Circuits and their Science Teaching Practice.............66 Taurayi Willard Chinaka, Aviwe Sondlo Undergraduate Students’ Experiences with Electronic Learning Platforms During the Covid 19 Pandemic at a Rural-Based Tertiary Institution in South Africa................................................................................................................83 Andani Sadiki, Rendani Tshifhumulo, Vanesa Mpatlanyana, Ekene Kingsley Amaechi The Effectiveness of Classroom Activities in EFL Elementary-Level Courses from Adult Learners’ Perspectives .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 104 Stanislava Jonáková, Jana Rozsypálková, Magdalena Veselá AI Language Models as Educational Allies: Enhancing Instructional Support in Higher Education......................120 Ramiz Zekaj Challenges Faced by Economics Teachers who did not Receive Specialised Training in the Subject......................135 Thandile Williams, Xolani Khalo Open-book-based Assessment during COVID-19: Challenges and Opportunities.....................................................146 Moza Al Malki, Sharifa Al’Adawi, Nagham Al-Azzawi, Khalid Al-Abri Implementing Active Reading Strategies in Virtual Settings: High School Students’ Experience During Remote Learning.................................................................................................................................................................................. 169 Ana Quinonez-Beltran, Paola Cabrera-Solano, Luz Castillo-Cuesta Developing through Merits and Demerits: A Literature Review of Online Classroom, Teaching Motivation and Teaching Methods in China Primary School.....................................................................................................................183 Yi Zhao, Sanitah Mohd Yusof, Mingyu Hou Relationship between Student Engagement and Academic Achievement in College English Education for Non- English Majors in China....................................................................................................................................................... 203 Mengjie Liu, Nooreen Noordin, Lilliati Ismail, Nur Aira Abdrahim
  • 6. Effectiveness of Dialogical Reading Literacy Programs in Improving Language Skills and Literacy of Early Students...................................................................................................................................................................................233 Syarif Hidayatullah, Yeti Mulyati, Vismaia S. Damaianti, Tedi Permadi The Role of Narrative Ability on Emergent Literacy Skills and Early Word Reading of Early Childhood Students .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 253 Nur Aini Puspitasari, Vismaia S. Damaianti, Syihabuddin Syihabuddin, Sumiyadi Sumiyadi Preserving the Mother Tongue of Ethnic Minority Students through Experiential Activities in Primary Schools: An Exploratory Study in the Northern Mountainous Region of Vietnam....................................................................272 Huyen Thanh Thi Nguyen, Hue Thanh Thi Le, Linh Kim Thi Ha Concept Mapping for Improving Reading Comprehension in Second Language Education: A Systematic Review .................................................................................................................................................................................................. 287 Na Ta, Abu Bakar Razali Factors Influencing Ethnic Minority Students’ Programme Development Capacity: Case Study at Pedagogical Universities in Vietnam........................................................................................................................................................ 301 Nguyen Quang Linh, Cao Tien Khoa, Phung Viet Hai, Le Thi Thu Huong, Nguyen Van Quyet, Nguyen Thi Bich Exploring Socio-Variational Patterns in Indian Adolescents’ Lexical Diversity: Insights for Education.................325 Aruna Parandhama, Kishore Selva Babu Status of Memory Strategies Use among Medical English Students............................................................................. 358 Hongmei Cui, Naginder Kaur Design Thinking and Project-Based Learning (DT-PBL): A Review of the Literature................................................376 Li Jia, Nur Atiqah Jalaludin, Mohamad Sattar Rasul School-Based Teacher Professional Development Framework (SBTPDF): A Blueprint for School Principals in Nigeria.....................................................................................................................................................................................391 Oluwasola Babatunde Sasere, Sekitla Daniel Makhasane TVET Lecturer Work-Integrated Learning: Opportunities and Challenges.................................................................415 Joseph Mesuwini, Sello P. Mokoena Innovative Strategies for Integrating Technology into Agricultural Programmes at Technical and Vocational Colleges...................................................................................................................................................................................441 Ramongwane Daniel Sephokgole, Moses Makgato, Sammy Khoza Factors Affecting Faculty Members’ Readiness to Integrate Artificial Intelligence into Their Teaching Practices: A Study from the Saudi Higher Education Context.............................................................................................................465 Badiah N. M. Alnasib
  • 7. 1 ©Authors This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research Vol. 22, No. 8, pp. 1-22, August 2023 https://doi.org/10.26803/ijlter.22.8.1 Received May 29, 2023; Revised Aug 1, 2023; Accepted Aug 13, 2023 Hybrid Teaching Using Problem-Based Learning to Promote Self-Directed Learning Abilities of Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic Wilaiporn Chaiyasit* , Komkrit Chomsuwan and Sumalee Chanchalor King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi Bangkok, Thailand Abstract. This study aims to 1) investigate the self-directed learning (SDL) abilities and factors influencing SDL among undergraduate students, and 2) examine the effects of hybrid teaching using problem-based learning in promoting self-directed learning abilities. The study is divided into two phases. The first phase involves analyzing self-directed learning abilities and factors influencing SDL among students in Thailand Universities, with a sample group of 326 individuals. The research tool in Phase 1 was a Self-Directed Learning evaluation form. The findings reveal that students possess high levels of self-directed learning abilities in all aspects. Furthermore, all factors significantly impacted SDL, with the highest influence in the utilization of information technology. The statistical regression model is represented by Y ̂ = 1.542 +0.115X1+0.088X2+0.303X3, indicating that the model can predict the dependent variable with an accuracy of 34%. In the second phase, the effects of the approach in promoting self-directed learning abilities were explored out with an experimental sample group of 17 students, enrolled in the Database Systems for Technology and Computer Innovation course. The main research tools for Phase 2 included (1) a Self-Directed Learning evaluation form, (2) an achievement test, and (3) a questionnaire. The findings revealed the highest level in all aspects, and students who learned through the approach demonstrated higher self- directed learning abilities after the course. Additionally, their post-course learning outcomes were significantly higher than their pre-course outcomes, with statistical significance at the 0.01 level. Students expressed a favorable perception toward the learning approach. Keywords: COVID-19 Pandemic; Hybrid Teaching; Problem-Based Learning; Self-Directed Learning * Corresponding author: Wilaiporn Chaiyasit, wilaiporncha@mcru.ac.th
  • 8. 2 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter 1. Introduction The recent COVID-19 crisis has had significant and ongoing impact on the activities and learning systems of undergraduate students. It has necessitated a shift to online learning in some cases and traditional classroom learning in others. One of the challenges encountered by students in online learning is the lack of direct supervision and facilitation of learning, as compared to learning in a physical classroom. Students are unable to effectively control their own learning, as observed through their learning behaviors and academic performance, which has resulted in a learning loss (Equitable Education Research Institute [EEFI], 2022). Therefore, creating an effective learning environment and the cultivation of lifelong learning skills are part of self-directed learning, which is an essential soft skill in the present day. In addition, hybrid learning is taken into account as an effective new normal approach during the Covid pandemic in educational management, combining classroom-based learning (with physical distancing) and online learning. The approach is gaining popularity as it aims to provide students with an appropriate learning environment and achieve the highest educational outcomes through the utilization of modern tools and multimedia. Tsoi and Goh (2008) discussed the four components of hybrid learning: (1) transformation involves changing the traditional general teaching and learning methods to ones that emphasize experiential learning; (2) experience creation is a crucial component that focuses on enabling learners to observe, analyze, and learn independently; (3) practice is an important element that bridges experience creation and integration, emphasizing the development of ideas derived from learners’ own learning experiences; and (4) integration emphasizes the application of concepts according to learners’ needs (Tsoi & Goh, 2008). Designing hybrid learning activities involves integrating online learning, where students have the flexibility to access learning materials anytime and anywhere, and online classroom teaching, where students and teachers interact through video conference applications like Google Meet, resembling synchronous learning activities in a virtual environment (MicroTek, 2017; Scheiderer, 2021; Tungchityuengyong, 2022). Hybrid teaching can cater to students with different learning styles, provide opportunities for self-directed learning based on their preferred time, location, and convenience, facilitate easy connectivity and coordination, engage and stimulate students’ interest, and enhance the effectiveness of their learning outcomes. Self-directed learning (SDL), as stated in Mingsiritham (2009), naturally arises from voluntary learning without coercion, thus discipline and responsibility are essential in order to bring about meaningful learning experiences and cultivate a lifelong learning culture. Effective and sustainable learning is achieved through self-directed learning, as it enhances learners’ motivation, enables them to work at their own ability and pace, and allows them to choose learning content and set goals based on their experiences and personal needs (PPTV, 2022). Consequently, learners experience continuous learning development. This concept aligns with lifelong learning (Donald, 1995). Self-directed learning empowers individuals to
  • 9. 3 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter control their own learning, comprehend textbook content independently, and facilitate the synthesis of key concepts. Moreover, it enables learners to solve problems, reason critically, and engage in learning activities. Larisey (1997, as cited in Phodong & Jarujit, 2022) and Borich (2000) emphasize the increasing importance of self-directed learning, as learners will be required to take greater responsibility for their learning in the future. Thus, it becomes essential to cultivate learners’ self-directed learning abilities and assess their readiness for learning to enhance their self-responsibility in the learning process. Problem-based learning (PBL) is an instructional approach that aims to create direct learning experiences by emphasizing hands-on activities, critical thinking development, problem-solving situations, learning planning, and directed learning. PBL also motivates learners and places them at the center of the learning process. In the PBL teaching model, learners engage with the content by attempting to find open-ended solutions to problems (Phungsuk et al., 2017). This approach fosters motivation and enhances self-directed inquiry skills, problem- solving abilities, and clear communication skills. Additionally, it facilitates teamwork and the evaluation of research resources and promotes lifelong learning (Duch et al., 2001) as well as helping to promote the acceptance of different opinions by incorporating collaborative group work and a learner- centered approach. It is a learning method that stimulates learners to think, analyze, search, and integrate new knowledge relevant to real-life situations (Haryani et al., 2018). Moreover, PBL stimulates students’ interest in learning within a new environment (Susanti et al., 2020), wherein learners may not necessarily need prior knowledge or a foundational understanding of the subject matter. Barrows (2000) and Evensen and Hmelo (2000) have stated that PBL is related to constructivist learning, which is rooted in the learning theories of Piaget and Vygotsky. Constructivism views learning as an intellectual developmental process in which learners actively construct knowledge. This process of occurs through learners’ interactions with the environment and their assimilation and accommodation of new experiences, ultimately resulting in the adaptation of intellectual structures to fit new experiences. During the Covid pandemic, online learning was a new alternative for classroom instruction in Thailand. However, internet coverage was not accessible in all rural areas. The idea of hybrid learning is, therefore, seemingly an appropriate choice for Thai education to bridge the gap (Ruangsri et al., 2021). Since the online learning part was reliable heavily on students’ own learning control, incorporation of self-directed learning also serves as a support tool for fulfilling successful learning setting. The aforementioned teaching and learning format have been adjusted to align with the current global situation. Universities have implemented a hybrid teaching approach that incorporates online instruction; however, instructors face challenges in maintaining students’ focus and the lack of self-directed learning to acquire additional knowledge. As these questions are directed at teaching, the first research question is on how students can gain self-directed learning and its influential factors and second question on how to develop a problem-based
  • 10. 4 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter hybrid teaching with the by-product of self-directed skill enhancement. Therefore, the study has the aims of (1) the investigation on to what extent the students can promote their self-directed learning and the influential factors, (2) the examination of the effectiveness of hybrid teaching using problem-based learning. As for a reason, teaching through PBL is one of the plausible approaches enabling learners to acquire self-directed learning. Employing problem-solving methods as a foundation, the design and development of a hybrid teaching model can be enhanced to foster self-directed learning in the Information Technology and Digital Innovation course. Through experimentation and instructional management, it is essential to examine whether this approach can effectively enhance students’ ability to engage in self-directed learning. 2. Literature Review 2.1 Hybrid Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the traditional teaching approach proved inadequate to meet the educational demands of the current situation. As a result, new teaching approaches have emerged, leveraging technology to facilitate the teaching and learning processes. Examples include online classes with consideration on fostering analytical thinking skills, communication skills, adoption of modern technology, and self-directed learning in order to bring about effective learning and new knowledge. Hybrid learning is a versatile and adaptable teaching format that combines various learning methods through integration of both offline and online learning methods (MicroTek, 2017). It involves simultaneous learning activities conducted both in real-time, such as live-streamed classes, and recorded online class together with onsite classrooms, thereby exemplifying synchronous learning (Finol, 2020). The hybrid learning experience resembles authentic classroom activities but in a simulated environment (Scheiderer, 2021). Additionally, through flexible and easily accessible platforms such as smartphones, online learning is accessible from anywhere, which characterizes asynchronous learning (Finol, 2020). Learners have the freedom to schedule their learning activities and access resources at their own pace, even retrospectively (Tungchityuengyong, 2022). Hybrid learning combines the strengths and beneficial aspects of various learning modalities, encompassing both classroom-based and online learning through internet-based technologies (Driesen, 2016; Garnham & Kaleta, 2002; Ossiannilsson, 2017). This instructional approach fosters challenging and personalized learning experiences, catering to individual learners’ needs and enabling the enhancement of their self- directed learning abilities (Carman, 2002). Hybrid learning systems emphasize interactivity and align with the objective of enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of teaching and learning processes (Yaso, 2013). Hybrid learning, as a teaching approach, leverages the advantages of communication technology, enabling learners to engage in more convenient interactions and discussions with instructors. Online classes allow learners and teachers to participate from any location without the need to physically be present at the school every day. This reduces travel time and expenses, while also promoting social distancing and reducing congestion within educational
  • 11. 5 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter institutions, which are important measures in preventing the spread of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Simultaneously, this learning format provides opportunities for learners to meet and engage in collaborative learning activities in the classroom. Although the in-class learning time may be reduced, the focus is placed on interactive learning activities, skill development, and summarizing lessons to enhance learners’ understanding (Funchian, 2021). Hybrid learning is a learner-centric instructional approach that enhances the effectiveness of teaching and learning. It is a blended learning format that leverages the advantages of both online teaching and offline examinations. This allows for diverse learner access and aligns with the evolving circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic or unforeseen future situations. Therefore, instructors should be prepared to adapt to unexpected scenarios while keeping up with the fast-evolving technological landscape. Furthermore, the integration of various learning management strategies and their alignment with different learning contexts should be considered to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of teaching and learning. Thus, a well-designed hybrid learning approach should cater to the diverse learning styles of learners, capturing and stimulating their interests in learning, while providing them with the flexibility to learn at their own convenience, time, and preferred locations, thus responding to the demands of the new normal lifestyle. 2.2 Problem-Based Learning as a Promoter of Self-Directed Learning PBL is an instructional approach that emphasizes self-directed learning, utilizing problems as stimuli to ignite learners’ desire to explore and seek knowledge (Barrows, 2000). It involves the learners themselves in the process of problem- solving (Duch et al., 2001). The use of problem situations stimulates learners to seek knowledge in order to solve those problems (Office of the Education Council [OEC], 2007). This approach fosters collaborative group work, facilitating knowledge exchange and emphasizing the development of various skills, which can be applied to real problem-solving scenarios. PBL encourages learners to acquire skills in researching information from various learning sources, working collaboratively in teams, and learning to be effective leaders and followers. Learners also have the opportunity to exchange experiences and deepen their understanding by sharing their thoughts and opinions (Imchit, 2013). The focus is on developing learning skills rather than simply acquiring knowledge, resulting in learners engaging with the content and developing problem-solving skills on their own (Edens, 2000). The process of PBL, based on the use of problems, typically consists of five steps (Hmelo & Lin, 2000; OFC, 2007; Tan & Marincovich, 2003; Weir, 1974) as follows: step 1: problem identification, which refers to investigation and identification of the problems; step 2: problem analysis, which refers to analysis of the causes and sources of the problems; step 3: planning and conducting research which refers to a plan of how to conduct the research; step 4: selecting problem-solving approaches which refers to the experimental teaching approach; and step 5: evaluating learning which refers to the measurement of the success of the learning outcomes. To recap, PBL is an instructional approach in which learners engage with content by actively seeking solutions to open-ended problems (Phungsuk et
  • 12. 6 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter al., 2017). It enhances motivation for learning and develops self-directed inquiry skills and also fosters problem-solving skills and encourages learners to apply knowledge gained from their studies to solve real-world problems, thereby promoting critical thinking, reasoning, analysis, and accepting others’ perspectives. By utilizing collaborative group work processes, PBL improves learning efficiency and cultivates a learning environment where learners take charge of their own learning (self-directed learning). 2.3 Self-directed Learning Self-directed learning is a pathway that aims to develop learners who possess the knowledge and readiness to continuously develop themselves. It is a crucial soft skill for learners to maximize their learning effectiveness. It is a personalized learning process that empowers individuals to have the ability to plan their actions and evaluate their learning outcomes. It begins with setting learning goals, seeking support, identifying sources of knowledge, utilizing educational materials, and assessing one’s own learning progress. Therefore, it is essential to enable learners to enhance their learning capabilities, as they are able to plan, execute, and evaluate their learning independently. This leads to a continuous learning process, even beyond the confines of the traditional classroom or formal education, and equips learners with lifelong learning skills. Hence, educational management should focus on fostering learners’ self-directed learning skills, nurturing their ability to seek knowledge and stay informed about various events and cultivating a love for learning. This will serve as a foundation for their higher- level education. Knowles (1975) and Starfish Academy (2022) mentioned that self- directed learning is a skill that every child should possess for future success, as it enables them to utilize the knowledge available to them effectively. The more proficient learners become in self-directed learning, the greater their chances of achieving success. To elaborate further, self-directed learning has four key benefits:(1) serving learners’ needs and satisfaction, (2) promoting learning engagement, freedom, and independence, (3) exhibiting flexibility and learning autonomy, and (4) enabling a lifelong learning. According to Borich (2000), self-directed learning is crucial as it enables learners to take control of their own learning, understand textbook content independently, and summarize the key concepts. It also helps learners develop problem-solving skills, reasoning abilities, and critical thinking in the learning process. Additionally, Knowles (1975) emphasized the importance of self-directed learning by stating that learners who engage in such an approach achieve better learning outcomes compared to those who rely solely on instructors for knowledge. Self-directed learners approach learning with intentionality, motivation, and the ability to effectively utilize the benefits of learning. Furthermore, learners’ development aligns with principles of psychology and natural processes, as they transition from dependency to increased self-reliance and responsibility. Self-directed learners also enhance their learning abilities to adapt to new systems and thrive in a society characterized by constant change. Therefore, self-directed learning is crucial and necessary for individuals to prepare for and adapt to current and future changes. For instance, the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of self-directed learning as a
  • 13. 7 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter foundation for acquiring enduring skills. In brief, self-directed learning empowers learners to take control of their learning, seek relevant knowledge, and navigate challenges sustainably. The design of teaching and learning that focuses on promoting self-directed learning is crucial. According to Brockett and Hiemstra (2018), the learning process is the responsibility of learners, who need to engage in planning, executing learning activities, and evaluating their learning processes. Garrison (1997, as cited in Kuawnamchum et al., 2017) stated that self-directed teaching and learning require self-management in order to utilize learning resources, self- monitor, and possess learning motivation. These three aspects are interrelated, with the learning process aiming to enable learners to understand learning strategies. In this process, instructors play the role as facilitators, providing guidance and creating a conducive learning environment (Bolhuis & Voeten, 2001). Currently, instructors can integrate technology into self-directed learning, allowing learners to utilize technology for their learning (Teo et al., 2010; Väljataga & Fiedler, 2009). Teo et al. (2010) summarized the self-directed learning process into three components: goal setting and task analysis, following the planned activities, and evaluating the self-directed learning process. Knowles (1975) described self-directed learning as an approach where learners must organize their learning processes, including diagnosing their learning needs, setting learning objectives, designing learning plans, engaging in learning activities from various sources, and evaluating outcomes. The concept of self-directed learning management involves customizing individual requirements, growing a sense of self-responsibility, stimulating collaborative learning, and encouraging individual and collaborative assessment. It is expected to become a significant educational paradigm in the future. The management of self-directed learning consists of the five following stages (Knowles, 1975): (1) Self-learning needs analysis, which refers to the perception and ability to analyze one’s own learning needs and clearly identify the content or subjects required; (2) Goal setting in learning, which refers to the explicit identification of objectives or targets in learning, characterized by knowledge or activities that can be achieved and measured; (3) Planning and seeking learning resources, which entail developing a personal learning plan that aligns with the identified learning needs and goals; (4) Learning that entails designing learning activities and selecting learning methods that are efficient and align with individual aptitudes and abilities; and (5) Self-assessment of learning, which refers to evaluating one’s own learning progress, where the assessment must be in line with the set learning objectives and should determine whether the intended learning goals have been achieved. 2.4 Prevalent Factors toward Self-directed Learning Skills According to related previous studies, it is conclusive that three significant factors play role as the key to promote self-directed learning skills. The first is information technology (IT), which helps students to be able to find multiple sources of knowledge where they can rely on their own learning and escalate their learning motivation (Lai & Mingyue, 2011). The second factor is problem-solving experience (PS). This is the setting of a learning environment to direct the students
  • 14. 8 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter toward their learning goals. It promotes their thought to be more critical and systematic as well as maintains endurance toward their learning achievement (Wisetdonwai, 2022). The last factor is nurturing (NR), which is also one of the prevalent factors. There are many ways for parents to raise their children. The best way to promote self-directed learning is to allow the children to be more free- minded so that they will have more confidence to explore learning on their own. However, the parents also need to provide them proper guidance to lead them to their goals (Hurlock, 1984). Applying these concepts to classroom instruction during the Covid epidemic is worthwhile for a study. 2.5 Context in Thailand during the Covid Pandemic During the Covid pandemic, the Ministry of Thailand Education established five different teaching approaches to accommodate the unique requirements of each region in the country as they were preparing for the semester's opening. In response to the situation, Thienthong (2021), the Minister of Education, emphasized the need for adaptable instructions and the ministry then devised classroom instructional designs into the following five approaches: 1) On-site learning: this format was suitable for schools with a small number of students, enabling them to maintain strict distancing and adhere to public health measures by wearing face masks. The classroom arrangement allowed for a safe learning environment. 2) On-Air learning: this was implemented through the Distance Learning Foundation System or DLTV. This approach enabled students to participate in classes remotely, accessing educational content through broadcasting. 3) On-Line learning: in this approach, teachers conducted lessons through online platforms, making it possible for students to engage in learning from their own devices. 4) On-demand learning: students could access learning content through applications, allowing them to study at their own pace and convenience. 5) On-hand learning: teachers personally delivered worksheets and learning materials to students at their homes, ensuring continued learning even when physical attendance was not possible. Throughout this period in Thailand, online learning was implemented and rolled out in classrooms due to the school context suitability. However, the abrupt change to online learning relied heavily on internet access or coverage. Unfortunately, in certain rural areas, weak internet signals posed challenges for some students who faced difficulties learning solely through online means. The concept of conducting an entirely virtual classroom online appeared impractical in the given contexts. Therefore, a viable alternative for the cases was hybrid learning which emerged as a feasible solution, allowing students to engage in both face-to-face and online study (Ruangsri et al., 2021). The students had to rely mainly on taking responsibility in learning for themselves, so facilitating their self-directed learning appeared to be crucial. 3. Research Methodology The research is a quasi-experimental design. In this section, the details pertaining to research objectives, sample selection, instrumentation, the conceptual
  • 15. 9 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter framework, data collection, and data analysis procedures are presented. To begin with, the research objectives are outlined as follows: (1) to examine the presence and prevalence of self-directed learning among students in Thailand and explore the various influential factors that may affect its development; (2) assess the level of students' self-directed learning abilities after conducting an experimental intervention; and (3) to investigate the effectiveness of hybrid teaching using a problem-based learning approach in enhancing students' learning achievement. Two sampling methods include simple random sampling in Phase 1 and purposive sampling in Phase Two. In Phase One, the researchers applied simple random sampling to select a representative sample from the entire population under investigation, which was applied in the study. In Phase 2, the samples were limited to individuals who had enrolled in the Database Systems for Technology and Computer Innovation course. For a comprehensive overview, the conceptual framework is presented in Figure 1. Figure 1: Research Conceptual Framework Data collection consisted of two phases as mentioned above. Phase 1 involved an investigation of the presence and prevalence of self-directed learning among students in Thailand and explored the various influential factors that may affect its development. Data were collected from a sample group, drawn from simple random sampling, comprised of 326 undergraduate students from four Rajabhat Universities in the western region of Thailand. The sample size was determined and collected using the formula developed by Yamane (1973), out of the total population of 1,747 students who were currently enrolled in the IT relevant programs, from western universities in Thailand. The research instrument employed in this phase was a Self-Directed Learning evaluation form, incorporating a rating scale to assess various potential factors.
  • 16. 10 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter It consists of three parts. Part 1 captures general background information of the respondents. Part 2 assesses the factors influencing self-directed learning, consisting of three dimensions: (1) nurturing, (2) problem-solving experiences, and (3) technological competence. These dimensions are measured using a 5-point rating scale. Part 3 measures self-directed learning abilities and consists of five stages: (1) analyzing and determining personal learning needs, (2) setting learning goals, (3) planning and seeking learning resources, (4) learning activities, and (5) self-assessment of learning outcomes. There is a total of 22 factors that will be measured using a five-point rating scale. The measurement for self-directed learning ability was based on the mean value (Best, 1981). Details are as follows: 4.50–5.00 the highest level 3.50–4.49 high level 2.50–3.49 moderate level 1.50–2.49 low level 1.00–1.49 the lowest level The validity of this measurement instrument was assessed by a panel of seven experts with the IOC of 1.00. Then, it was carried out for a trial with a small group of homogenous 30 students, which resulted in the overall confidence level of 0.93. The relationship assessment between the factors influencing self-directed learning and the levels of self-directed learning were analyzed by using multiple linear regression processed on the correlation levels of each category. Data were collected through an online questionnaire and by the researcher from four Rajabhat Universities in the western region of Thailand. The survey results are categorized and presented in percentage values based on gender, academic year, and educational institutions including Muban Chombueng Rajabhat University (MCRU), Nakhon Pathom Rajabhat University (NPU), Kanchanaburi Rajabhat University (KRU), Phetchaburi Rajabhat University (PRU), as illustrated in Figure 2. Figure 2: Analysis results shown in percentage values within categorized sample groups based on gender, academic year, and educational institution. In Phase 1, the data analysis involved employing several statistical measures, including percentage, mean, standard deviation, Pearson's product-moment correlation coefficient, and multiple linear regression. Phase 2 involved the assessment of the level of the students' self-directed learning abilities after conducting an experimental intervention, and the investigation of the effectiveness of hybrid teaching using a problem-based learning approach in enhancing students' learning achievement. Purposive sampling was employed in
  • 17. 11 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter T1 X 1 T 2 X2 T3 this phase, specifically focusing on a targeted group of the individuals who had enrolled in the Database Systems for Technology and Computer Innovation course. The experiment was conducted with a sample group consisting of 17 students majoring in Technology and Computer Innovation. This group of students was the group who were fully equipped with IT skills and readiness for partaking in an online course. The research utilized the following tools: (1) a problem-based hybrid teaching plan; (2) a Self-Directed Learning evaluation form, utilizing a rating scale; (3) online teaching media; (4) a performance measurement for learning achievement; and (5) a questionnaire to gather student feedback on the problem-based hybrid teaching approach. In this phase, the statistics encompassed the measures including mean, standard deviation, Pearson's product-moment correlation coefficient, multiple linear regression, and dependent t-tests. The experiment was conducted in two parts as outlined below: The notation used to represent the different phases is as follows: T1 refers to the pre-test conducted using a traditional teaching method X1 refers to the traditional teaching method T2 refers to the post-test administered after the traditional teaching method has taken place, as well as the pre-test conducted before the implementation of the problem-based hybrid teaching method X2 refers to the problem-based hybrid teaching method. T3 refers to the post-test after the implementation of the problem- based hybrid teaching method. During Phase 1, a six-week experiment used a traditional teaching method with the sample group of 17 students, taking place in order to compare it with the developed teaching approach. It began with student orientation sessions to explain course details. Students were given a pre-study to assess their knowledge and factors influencing self-directed learning. Then, the traditional teaching method was conducted through video conference sessions according to the instructional design outlined in the learning management plan. Once the planned instructional period was completed, students were given a post-test to measure their learning outcomes and assess their self-directed learning abilities. The collected data were statistically analyzed using commonly used statistical techniques, including measures such as percentage, mean, standard deviation, Pearson’s product-moment correlation coefficient, and multiple linear regression. Phase 2 involved an eight-week experimental implementation of the problem- based hybrid teaching method with the same participants group of 17 students. In the five steps teaching, the third step was designed for the students to incorporate self-directed learning skills as to solve the lesson problem. The phase commenced with a detailed explanation of the instructional design for the students. Following the orientation, students were given a pre-study to assess their knowledge and factors influencing self-directed learning before the instructional period.
  • 18. 12 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Then, the problem-based hybrid teaching method was implemented, utilizing the problem-based learning as outlined in the learning management plan. The instruction was delivered through a combination of face-to-face teaching in the classroom via video conference (due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation) and online learning. Upon completion of the experimental period, students were given a post-test to measure their learning outcomes and assess their self-directed learning abilities. The collected data were statistically analyzed using commonly used statistical techniques, including measures such as mean, standard deviation (SD), and a dependent t-test. 4. Results 4.1 Self-directed learning (SDL) abilities of the students The findings revealed that the overall self-directed learning abilities of the students were at a high level. Setting learning goals had the highest average score of 3.87, followed by learning planning and the search for learning resources with an average score of 3.70. The lowest average score of 3.22 was observed in the area of analyzing and determining one’s learning needs, as shown in Table 1. Table 1: Analysis results for self-directed learning abilities Assessment List Mean SD Abilities Level Analysis and Determination of Personal Learning Needs 3.22 0.93 Moderate Setting Learning Goals 3.87 0.77 High Planning and Seeking Learning Resources 3.70 0.82 High Learning 3.51 0.97 High Self-assessment of Learning Outcomes 3.58 0.91 High Overall 3.58 0.88 High 4.2 Factors influencing students’ SDL Upon studying the relationships among all of the variables, it was found that all factors possessed a significant positive correlation with self-directed learning. Specifically, the factor related to information technology (IT) has the highest correlation with self-directed learning (r = 0.487), followed by problem-solving experience (PS) (r = 0.365) and nurturing (NR) (r = 0.346), as shown in Table 2. Table 2: Analysis of the relationship between various factors and self-directed learning abilities Factors Nurturing (NR) Problem- solving experience (PS) Usage of Information Technology (IT) Self- directed learning (SDL) Self-directed learning (SDL) 0.346** 0.365** 0.487** 1 Remark ** Statistically significant at.01 significance level. After conducting a prognostic study, the factors influencing students’ self- directed learning abilities were examined. The independent variables collectively accounted for 34% of the variance in self-directed learning abilities. Furthermore, a multiple regression analysis revealed that all variables significantly contributed
  • 19. 13 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter to explaining self-directed learning abilities at a statistical significance level of 0.01. The variable that had the highest explanatory power was the use of information technology, as represented in the prognostic equation: Y ̂ = 1.542 +0.115X1+0.088X2+0.303X3. As shown in Table 3. Table 3: Analysis of Factors Affecting Students' Self-Directed Learning Abilities Variable B SE Beta t-value P value Nurturing (x1) 0.115 0.027 0.214 4.303 .000 Problem-solving experience (x2) 0.088 0.025 0.175 3.449 .001 Usage of Information Technology (x3) 0.303 0.035 0.411 8.755 .000 Constant 1.542 9.505 .000 R = .582 R2 = .338 SEE = .333 F = 54.682* * Statistically significant at the 0.01 significance level. The results of the prognostic analysis indicated that all factors significantly contributed to the prediction of self-directed learning abilities. Particularly, the variable related to IT usage had the highest significance in predicting such abilities. 4.3 Effects of hybrid teaching using problem-based learning on students’ self- directed learning abilities Regarding the effects of the hybrid teaching approach using problems as a foundation to promote self-directed learning abilities, the findings are shown in the following tables and figures. Table 4 shows the pre- and post-instructional assessments of students’ self- directed learning abilities under a traditional teaching approach. It was found that students had a moderate level of self-directed learning abilities before being exposed to hybrid teaching with an average score of 3.31 out of 5.00. After the exposure to the treatment, which was the hybrid teaching using PBL approach, it was found that students’ self-directed learning abilities improved to a moderate level, with an average score of 3.49. The detailed results are shown in Table 4. Table 4: Analysis results of pre- and post-experimental self-directed learning abilities under a traditional teaching approach Assessment List Pre- experiment Post- experiment Mean SD Level of proficiency Mean SD Level of proficiency Analysis and determination of personal learning needs 3.35 0.30 Moderate 3.53 0.37 High Setting learning goals 3.29 0.33 Moderate 3.47 0.34 Moderate Planning and seeking learning resources 3.26 0.24 Moderate 3.46 0.35 Moderate Learning 3.33 0.26 Moderate 3.52 0.31 High Self-assessment of learning outcomes 3.29 0.20 Moderate 3.45 0.30 Moderate Overall 3.31 0.21 Moderate 3.49 0.33 Moderate
  • 20. 14 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Table 5 shows the results of the self-directed learning abilities of students during pre- and post-experiment of hybrid teaching using PBL as a foundation. Findings revealed that students demonstrated higher levels of self-directed learning abilities overall and in specific aspects after the experiment. The post-experiment scores were higher on average compared to the pre-experiment scores. The aspect with the highest average score was the analysis and determination of personal learning needs, with an average score of 4.37. This was followed by setting learning goals with an average score of 4.35. Planning and seeking learning resources and learning had the same average score (mean = 4.20). The aspect with the lowest average score was self-assessment of learning outcomes, with an average score of 4.07. These comparisons are shown in Table 5 and Figure 5. Table 5: Analysis results of pre- and post-experimental self-directed learning abilities using a hybrid teaching approach Assessment List Pre-experiment Post-experiment Mean SD Level of proficiency Mean SD Level of proficiency Analysis and determination of personal learning needs 3.53 0.37 High 4.37 0..31 High Setting learning goals 3.47 0.34 Moderate 4.35 0.28 High Planning and seeking learning resources 3.46 0.35 Moderate 4.20 0.29 High Learning 3.52 0.31 High 4.20 0.22 High Self-assessment of learning outcomes 3.45 0.30 Moderate 4.07 0.20 High Overall 3.49 0.33 Moderate 4.24 0.15 High The results of the comparison of pre- and post-experimental self-directed learning abilities using hybrid teaching approach are shown as a bar graph in Figure 5. Figure 5: Comparison of pre- and post-experimental self-directed learning abilities using a hybrid teaching approach. Analysis and Determi nation of Personal Learning Needs Setting Learning Goals Planning and Seeking Learning Resourc es Learning Self- assessm ent of Learning Outcom es Overall Pre-Study (traditional teaching) 3.35 3.29 3.26 3.33 3.29 3.31 Post-study (traditional teaching) 3.53 3.47 3.46 3.52 3.45 3.49 Pre-Study (hybrid teaching) 3.53 3.47 3.46 3.52 3.45 3.49 Post-study (hybrid teaching) 4.37 4.35 4.20 4.20 4.07 4.24 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 Average of Self-directed learning abilities
  • 21. 15 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Table 6 shows the results of the comparative analysis of self-directed learning abilities before and after learning. The results indicate that there is no statistically significant difference in overall and specific abilities when comparing the self- directed learning abilities of students before and after traditional teaching. However, when comparing the abilities of students who learned through hybrid teaching using problem-based learning before and after the experiment, a statistically significant difference was found. Table 6: Comparative analysis of self-directed learning abilities before and after the experiment through traditional teaching and hybrid teaching. Assessment list Comparison group N Traditional teaching Hybrid teaching Mean SD t Sig. Mean SD t Sig. Analysis and determination of personal learning needs Pre-study 17 3.35 0.30 0.918 0.37 3..53 0.44 6.752 .000* Post-study 17 3.53 0.21 4.37 0.31 Setting learning goals Pre-study 17 3.29 0.33 1.414 0.17 3.47 0.29 8.998 .000* Post-study 17 3.47 0.29 4.35 0.27 Planning and seeking learning resources Pre-study 17 3.26 0.24 1.412 0.18 3.46 0.41 6.614 .000* Post-study 17 3.46 0.41 4.20 0.20 Learning Pre-study 17 3.33 0.25 0.999 0.332 3.52 0.38 7.436 .000* Post-study 17 3.52 0.38 4.20 0.22 Self-assessment of learning outcomes Pre-study 17 3.29 0.20 1.074 0.299 3.45 0.30 9.524 .000* Post-study 17 3.45 0.30 4.07 0.20 Overall of self- directed learning Pre-study 17 3.31 0.29 1.979 0.065 3.49 0..33 10.081 0.000* Post-study 17 3.49 0.33 4.24 0.15 * Statistically significant at the 0.01level. Table 7 present the comparative analysis results of the pre-test and post-test scores of students who were taught through traditional teaching, and then taught with hybrid teaching. Findings revealed a statistically significant increase in academic performance after the experiment at a significance level of 0.01. Similarly, the study found a statistically significant improvement in post-test scores compared to pre-test scores for students who learned through hybrid teaching using PBL, also at a significance level of 0.00. These findings are shown in Table 7. Table 7: Comparative results of achievement of learning between traditional and hybrid teaching models (within subject design) Achievement of learning Sample group Traditional teaching Hybrid teaching Mean SD t-test Sig. Mean SD t-test Sig. Pre-test 17 7.18 1.29 22.287 .000* 11.23 2.70 16.571 .000* Post-test 17 13.94 2.14 21.94 3.78 *Statistically significant at the 0.01level
  • 22. 16 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter The results of the comparison of pre- and post-test achievement scores of traditional and hybrid teaching are shown as a line graph in Figure 6. Figure 6: The comparison of pre- and post-test scores of traditional teaching and hybrid teaching formats. Figure 7 shows the students perceptions toward hybrid teaching using PBL. Overall, students expressed a high level of satisfaction with the hybrid teaching format using PBL, with an average rating of 4.05. In terms of instructional organization, the system’s ease of use and accessibility received the highest average rating of 4.29. Following closely behind is the effectiveness and suitability of online and classroom learning assessment formats, with an average rating of 4.24., as illustrated in Figure 7. Figure 7: Students’ perceptions toward the hybrid teaching format using PBL. 5. Discussion The findings of the study generally indicated that the students possess a high level of self-directed learning capabilities. The aspect with the highest average score was setting learning goals, which aligns with the fundamental principles of humanistic psychology theory, emphasizing autonomy, self-concept, and the ability to explore alternatives and possess unlimited self-development potential 5 7 8 6 7 8 9 8 9 7 8 5 6 7 6 7 9 10 15 14 12 15 14 18 17 15 14 13 11 12 13 13 14 17 10 12 12 10 9 11 12 10 18 13 5 10 11 12 11 15 10 16 26 25 14 23 21 24 21 26 25 15 21 21 23 24 26 22 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 0 1 1 1 2 1 3 1 4 1 5 1 6 1 7 Pre-test (traditional teaching) Post-test (traditional teaching) Pre-test (hybrid teaching) Post-test (hybrid teaching) 4.29 3.94 4.18 3.94 3.94 4.06 3.94 4.06 3.94 3.94 4.24 4.18 4.06 1. The management of the teaching and learning process is… 2. The teaching format enhances students' self-directed… 3. The teaching format promotes the application of knowledge… 4. The teaching format incorporates a variety of learning… 5. The teaching format encourages students to take more… 6. The teaching format fosters a greater sense of enthusiasm… 7. The teaching format promotes increased collaboration and… 8. The content presentation format is structured, easily… 9. The activities in the online learning management system are… 10. The measurement of students' learning efficacy before and… 11. The online and classroom learning assessment formats are… 12. The learning materials, resources, and instructional… 13. The duration of each learning activity is appropriate. Score
  • 23. 17 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter while taking responsibility for oneself and others (Elias & Merriam, 1980). Regarding the factors influencing self-directed learning capabilities, the study revealed that nurturing, problem-solving experiences, and the use of IT were the three variables that significantly explained self-directed learning abilities, which accounted for over 34% with a statistical significance level of 0.01. Among these explanatory variable predictors, the ability to use IT, followed by nurturing and problem-solving experiences, have the highest to the least predictive power for students’ self-directed learning abilities, respectively. These findings indicate that students who possess high proficiency in utilizing information technology are more likely to exhibit higher self-directed learning capabilities. Recognizing the benefits of technology for learning and perceiving the compatibility between technology use and learning expectations play crucial roles in determining the effective utilization of technology, which, in turn, influences students’ learning outcomes (Lai, 2013). Successful learning outcomes are derived from the ability to employ tools for exploration and knowledge acquisition, which are integral components of self-directed learning. Information technology facilitates rapid and efficient access to knowledge, enabling learners to fully utilize their abilities for learning and make informed decisions regarding suitable learning pathways. This autonomy in choosing learning sources enhances the efficiency of learning, allowing learners to acquire knowledge anytime and anywhere, think critically, solve problems independently, develop confidence, and continually enhance their self-directed learning capabilities. These findings are consistent with the research conducted by Lai (2013), which demonstrated that students’ motivation for learning increases when they realize the value and benefits of computer technology and comprehend the alignment between technology and their learning expectations, leading to higher levels of self-directed learning behavior. Similarly, Geng et al. (2019) found that technological readiness positively influences motivation for learning, which, in turn, guides learners in utilizing online learning strategies and achieving learning goals more effectively. The data analysis results, depicted in Figure 5 and Table 5, indicate that students instructed using the hybrid teaching format exhibited significantly higher levels of self-directed learning abilities compared to those instructed through conventional methods across all dimensions. The dimension with the highest average score is analysis and determination of personal learning needs compared to having the lowest average score in Phase 1. Thus, it is evident that a hybrid teaching design using the problem-based approach is a teaching format that fosters self-directed learning. This approach emphasizes activities that develop learners’ ability to plan and evaluate their learning progress, starting from setting learning goals, seeking support, accessing educational resources, and assessing their own learning outcomes. Therefore, it is essential to enable learners to improve their learning because they are motivated to learn, have the opportunity to work at their own level and pace, and can choose content and set learning goals based on their experiences and needs (Donald, 1995). Learners can schedule their learning, which characterizes asynchronous learning (Finol, 2020). Online learning enhances learning efficiency by breaking the confine of a single location.
  • 24. 18 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter It promotes understanding among learners (Fitrianaa et al., 2021) and involves PBL, an open-ended problem-solving approach (Phungsuk et al., 2017). PBL activities stimulate motivation and develop learners’ self-directed learning skills, encouraging the application of acquired knowledge in problem-solving situations. It fosters learners’ critical thinking, reasoning, analysis, and acceptance of others’ opinions through collaborative group work. The instructional design process follows PBL guidelines (Hmelo & Lin, 2000; Tan & Marincovich, 2003; Weir, 1974) and self-directed learning steps (Knowles, 1978). Learners’ self- directed learning abilities were stronger when compared to traditional teaching methods. These findings align with previous studies conducted by Suksathid (2007), Tepsumetanon and Pasittunyakit (2010), Charoenchim (2012), Phupay (2015), and Sahapiboonchai (2016). This study investigated the academic performance outcomes of students (within- subject design). The same sample group was taught through traditional teaching methods in first half and hybrid teaching methods using PBL in second half. The results revealed that students exhibited significantly higher post-learning academic performance compared to pre-learning performance, in both conventional and hybrid teaching formats; however, there was a clear distinction in the mean values, indicating that the hybrid teaching approach had a higher percentage increase in average performance compared to the traditional teaching approach. Consequently, it can be concluded that the designed hybrid teaching format proved to be an efficient instructional management approach. This approach motivates students to learn, work at their own proficiency levels, and make progress. Moreover, it enables them to select content and set learning goals based on their experiences and personal aspirations (Donald, 1995). Additionally, it provides opportunities for constant lesson reviews, leading to increased effectiveness in student academic performance (Wulandari et al., 2018). The observed post-learning outcomes were higher than pre-learning outcomes, aligning with previous research findings by various scholars, such as Waithongkam (2015), Khlaisri (2017), Pakaworakun et al. (2017), Wongcharoen (2018), and Bangpoophamorn and Wiriyanon (2019). The overall feedback of the hybrid teaching using PBL approach was highly positive. This can be attributed to the alignment between the instructional design, learning content, learning objectives, and stimulating learning activities. The collaborative nature of the learning activities by PBL, allowing peers to work together in groups, think critically, and solve problems. That created an enjoyable and challenging learning environment. They engaged in discussions and effectively expressed their thoughts in various activities. Additionally, students demonstrated self-directed learning, as they successfully tackled problem-solving tasks assigned within the hybrid teaching framework. This approach fostered effective problem-solving skills and self-directed learning. The learning format resulted in high levels of student satisfaction, consistent with the research conducted by Waithongkam (2015), Yimyam et al. (2015), Horak and Galluzzo (2017), Wongcharoen (2018), and Bangpoophamorn and Wiriyanon (2019).
  • 25. 19 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter 6. Conclusions Amidst the Covid pandemic, traditional classroom learning transitioned primarily to an online format. Nevertheless, this shift faced challenges and did not entirely succeed due to technological constraints and varying internet availability and accessibility in certain regions. As a result, hybrid learning emerged as a more viable and promising alternative. Furthermore, students must also possess the ability on self-directed learning to ensure their academic success for online learning. This study endeavored to address the issue by integrating hybrid learning and problem-solving as a potential solution. The findings revealed that students who engaged in this teaching approach exhibited higher levels of self-directed learning abilities, which were accompanied by improved post-learning academic performance. These results highlight the effectiveness of the instructional design in facilitating collaborative group work, stimulating idea exchange and collective problem-solving, and providing avenues for information search and online learning support. Moreover, the user-friendly and systematic nature of the online learning platform contributed to the overall efficacy of the learning experience. The innovative teaching concept of hybrid teaching using problem-based learning will shed light on the path for future instructional paradigms. 7. Implications According to the study, the following considerations should be taken into account for an improvement of self-directed learning classroom conduct: 1) Prior to commencing hybrid teaching, instructors need to adequately arrange and set up the classroom environment. 2) Both instructors and students need to be equipped with the abilities and competencies in utilizing technology. This also includes the provision of technology and internet availability and accessibility. 3) It is important to cultivate a positive mind-set on self-directed learning and an acceptance of technology integration in a classroom environment to both instructors and students. 8. Limitation This research had a limited number of participants on account of the remote location of the campus, and the small number of student admission. Internet coverage and IT facilities were the major problems, found during the experiment. However, the participants attempted to sort out the problems by moving the study sites or spots and sharing some equipment together from time to time. 9. References Agustiani, I.W.D. (2019) Maximizing teacher roles in shaping self-directed learners, English Community Journal, 3(1), 289. Bangpoophamorn, K., & Wiriyanon, T. (2019). The development of flipped classroom model with self-directed learning to enhance critical thinking in an undergraduate course. Technical Education Journal, 10(2), 41–50. Barrows, H.S. (2000). Problem based learning applied to medical education. Springfield IL: Southern Illinois University Press. Best, J.W. (1981). Research in Education. New Jersey: Prentice – Hall.
  • 26. 20 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Bolhuis, S. (2003). Towards process-oriented teaching for self-directed lifelong learning: A multidimensional perspective. Learning and Instruction, 13(3), 327-347. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0959-4752(02)00008-7 Bolhuis, S., & Voeten, M. J. M. (2001). Toward self-directed learning in secondary schools: What do teachers do?. Teaching and Teacher Education, 17(7), 837–855. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0742-051X(01)00034-8 Borich, G.D. (2000). Effective Teaching Methods (4th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Brockett, R. G., & Hiemstra, R. (Ed.) (2018). Self-Direction in Adult Learning: Perspectives on Theory, Research, and Practice http://taylorandfrancis.com Carman, J. M. (2002, October). Blended learning design: Five key ingredients. http://blended2010.pbworks.com/f/Carman.pdf Charoenchim, S. (2012). Self-directed learning ability of preservice teachers. Bangkok: Kasetsart University Press. Donald, M. M. (Ed.) (1995). Teach writing as a process not product (5th ed.). Boynton. Driesen, G. (2016, January 8). The difference between blended and hybrid learning. https://www.anewspring.com/blended-and-hybrid-learning Duch, B. J., Groh, S. E., & Allen, D. E. (2001). The power of problem-based learning. Stylus Publishing. Edens, K. (2000). Preparing problem solvers for the 21st century through problem-based learning. College Teaching, 48(2), 55–61. Elias, J. L., & Merriam, S. (1980). Philosophical Foundations of Adult Education. Huntington. New York: Robert E. Krieger Publishing Company. Equitable Education Research Institute [EEFI]. (2022, May 2). Learning Loss. https://research.eef.or.th/learning-loss-recession/ Evensen, D. H., & Hmelo, C. E. (2000). Problem-based learning: A research perspective on learning interactions. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Finol, M.O. (2020, March 26). Asynchronous vs. synchronous learning: A quick overview. https://www.brynmawr.edu/news/asynchronous-vs- synchronous-learning-quick-overview Fitrianaa, N., Widayanti, F. D., & Firmanto, B. (2021). Problem-based learning virtually in blended learning model for chemistry lessons during the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal Pendidikan Sain, 9(1), 14–25. Funchian, N. (2021, June 22). Hybrid Learning, the Solution to Modern Education. https://www.trueplookpanya.com/education/content/89235 Garnham, C., & Kaleta, R .(2002). Introduction to Hybrid Courses. https://hccelearning.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/introduction-to-hybrid- course1.pdf Geng, S., Law, K. M. Y., & Niu, B. (2019). Investigating self-directed learning and technology readiness in blending learning environment. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, 16(17), 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1186/s41239-019-0147-0 Haryani, S., Masfufah, Wijayati, N., & Kurniawan, C. (2018). Improvement of metacognitive skills and students’ reasoning ability through problem-based learning. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 983(1), 1-5. https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/983/1/012174 Hmelo, C. E., & Lin, X. (2000). Becoming self-directed learners: Strategy development in problem-based learning. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Horak, A. K., & Galluzzo, G. R. (2017). Gifted Middle School Students’ Achievement and Perceptions of Science Classroom Quality During Problem-Based Learning. Journal of Advanced Academics, 28(1), 28–50. https://doi.org/10.1177/1932202X16683424 Hurlock, E.B. (1984). Child Development. New York: McGraw Hill Book Company.Imchit, P. (2013). A comparative study of ethical and analytical thinking of grade 3
  • 27. 21 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter students between learning through socioscientific-based instruction and problem-based instruction. Journal of Education, 7(3), 50–58. Kuawnamchum, C., Anusasananan S., & Wong-Ngam, P. (2017).Theoretical Models and Researches Involving Causal Factors of Self - directed Learning. Journal of HR Intelligence, 12(1), 125-140. Khlaisri, P. (2017). Development of the instructional model using blended learning and metacognition for faculty of education students in Rajabhat University in the Northeastern (Doctoral dissertation). Curriculum and Instruction, Dhurakij Pundit University, Thailand. Knowles, M.S. (Ed.). (1978). The adult learner: A neglected species (2nd ed.). Gulf Publishing. Knowles, M.S. (1975). Self-directed learning: A guide for learner and teacher. Association Press. Lai, C. (2013). A framework for developing self-directed technology use for language learning. Language Learning & Technology, 17(2), 100–122. Lai, C. & Mingyue, G. (2011). Self-regulated out-of-class language learningwith technology. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 24(4), 317-335. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09588221.2011.568417 MicroTek. (2017, February). What is hybrid learning? How do hybrid and blended learning differ?. https://blog.mclabs.com/t-tof-what-is-hybrid-Learning Mingsiritham, K. (2009). Self-directed learning on web-based learning. Journal of Education, 32(1), 6–13. Office of the Education Council [OEC]. (2007). Problem-based learning. Sor Kor Sor, Thailand. Ossiannilsson, E. (2017, April 15). Let the learners take the lead for their lifelong learning journey. https://www.igi-global.com/chapter/let-the-learners-take-the-lead-for- their-lifelong-learning-journey/163492 Pakaworakun, C., Hoksuwan, S., & Chompulong, N. (2017). A development of instructional system with hybrid learning for undergraduate students at Rajabhat University. Journal of Educational Measurement, 23(16), 66–77. Phungsuk, R., Viriyavejakul, C., & Ratanaolarn, T. (2017). Development of a problem- based learning model via a virtual learning environment. Kasetsart Journal of Social Sciences, 38(1), 297–306. Phodong, A., & Jarujit, N. (2022). The Model Development Competency Learning Designers to Teacher by Integrating Active Learning. Journal of Social Science and Buddhistic Anthropology, 7(8), 373-388. Phupay, S. (2015). Development of the learning process based on the self-directed learning concept for promotion of responsibility of pre-service teachers (Doctoral dissertation). Curriculum and Instruction, Rajabhat Mahasarakham University, Thailand. Piroj, K. (2017, December 10). Taro Yamane’s formula: Defining Sample Size. https://greedisgoods.com/taro-yamane/ PPTV. (2022, August 27). “Lifelong Learning” Educational Evolution amidst Social Transformation. https://www.pptvhd36.com/news/สังคม/179244 Ruangsri, B., Wisetkan, A., Noonsakun, S., & Rungrangsee, W. (2021). teaching and learning in the New Normal Covid-19 era using the format On-site teaching and learning. Journal of Human Society, the faculty of Humanities and social sciences, Nakhon si Thammarat Rajabhat University, 11(2), 29-45. Sahapiboonchai, S. (2016). The influence of emotional quotient and adversity quotient toward self-directed learning characteristics of non-formal and informal education students in Bangkok Metropolitan (Master’s thesis). Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. Scheiderer, J. (2021, February 10). What's the difference between asynchronous and synchronous learning?. https://online.osu.edu/resources/learn/ whats-difference-between-asynchronous-and-synchronous-learning
  • 28. 22 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Starfish Academy. (2022, August 15). Self-directed Learning, Fostering Self Learning Abilities [Blog post]. https://www.starfishlabz.com/blog/928-self-directed-learning. Suksathid, W. (2007). Self-directed learning for adult learners by web-based learning (Doctoral Dissertation). Adult Education, Srinakharinwirot University, Thailand. Susanti, N., Juandi, D., & Tamur, M. (2020). The effect of problem-based learning (PBL) model on mathematical communication skills of junior high school students - A meta-analysis study. Jurnal Teori dan Aplikasi Matematika, 4(2), 145–154. Tan, O. S., & Marincovich, M. (2003). Problem-based learning innovation: using problems to power learning in the 21st century. Thomson. Teo, T., Tan, S. C., Lee, C. B., Chai, C., Koh, J., Li, C., & Cheah, H. (2010). The self- /directed learning with technology scale (SDLTS) for young students: An initial development and validation. Computers & Education, 55(4), 1764-1771. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.compedu.2010.08.001 Tepsumetanon, P., & Pasittunyakit, S. (2010). Self-directed learning of the Department of Educational Foundation students. Ramkhamhaeng University, Thailand. Thienthong, T. (2021, May 17). Five instructional approaches tailored for diverse regions across the country by the Ministry of Education. zttps://www.prd.go.th/th/content/category/detail/id/9/iid/19133 Tsoi, M. F., & Goh, N. K. (2008). Addressing cognitive processes in e-learning: TSOI hybrid learning model. US-China Education Review, 5(8), 29–35. Tungchityuengyong, D. (2022, March 18). New classroom design with hybrid learning [Blog post]. https://avl.co.th/blogs/hybrid-learning Väljataga, T., & Fiedler, S. (2009). Supporting students to self-directed intentional learning projects with social media. Educational Technology & Society, 12(3), 58-69. Waithongkam, Y. (2015). Development of the blended instructional model with a web-based self-directed learning approach (Doctoral dissertation). Education Technology, Ramkhamhaeng University, Thailand. Weir, J. J. (1974). Problem solving is everybody’s problem. The Science Teacher, 41(4), 16– 18. http://www.jstor.org/stable/24123495 Wisetdonwai, J. (2022). Self-Directed Learning in Post-Covid Pandemic: Instructional Settings of Global Exploration. https://www.educathai.com/knowledge/articles/535 Wongcharoen, W. (2018). Learning provision using problem-based learning with augmented reality technology to develop analytical and problem-solving thinking skills for Mathayom Suksa IV students (Master’s thesis). Curriculum and Instruction, Dhurakij Pundit University, Thailand. Wulandari, N. I., Wijayanti, A., & Budhi, W. (2018). Effectivity of learning model problem-based learning toward science learning outcomes observed from students’ communication skills. Journal Pijar MIPA, 13(1), 51–55. Yamane, T. (1973). Statistics: An Introductory Analysis (3rd ed). New York: Harper and Row. Yaso, M. (2013, July 20). 21st century learning. http://www.gotoknow.org/posts/542974 Yimyam, S., Charuwatcharapaniskul, M., Chareonsan, J., Na Ayutthaya, A. I., Xuto, P., & Chaloumsu, N. (2015). Developing blended learning for the 21st century learning skills. Nursing Journal, 42 (Supplement), 129–140.
  • 29. 39 ©Authors This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research Vol. 22, No. 8, pp. 23-38, August 2023 https://doi.org/10.26803/ijlter.22.8.2 Received Apr 23, 2023; Revised Aug 1, 2023; Accepted Aug 9, 2023 Social Justice Leadership Capabilities for Pre- Service Teachers in Contemporary Times: An Education Policy Perspective Emma Priscilla Barnett University of the Free State Bloemfontein, South Africa Edwin Darrell de Klerk* North-West University, Mahikeng Campus Mahikeng, South Africa Abstract. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, social justice leadership (SJL) has become more imperative for pre-service teachers in higher education institutions (HEIs). Significantly, HEIs face a serious need for change that encourages the advancement of SJL with the aim to develop knowledge, equitability, accessibility, and connectivity. The problem is that pre-service teachers still find it challenging to assert themselves without rejection, fear, or prejudice, whilst they are uncertain of how to enact SJL during their studies in HEIs. As such, this conceptual paper aims to explore social justice leadership (SJL) capabilities for pre- service teachers in contemporary times from an education policy perspective. An emphasis on SJL capabilities can be directive in terms of pre-service teachers’ capacity regarding a leadership style that encourages engagement in school leadership practices. Having employed social justice leadership theory and a conceptual research design, stipulations in the Revised Policy on Minimum Requirements for Teacher Education Qualifications (MRTEQ) were analyzed by means of interpretive policy analysis. The significance of policy analysis of this kind is that it can contribute to the empowerment of pre-service teachers on how to enact SJL in HEIs. The findings showed that SJL is vital because it can assist pre-service teachers in constantly questioning if social justice is actively applied in teaching and learning environments. Also, a socially just environment in HEIs can contribute to an awakening of pre-service teachers’ SJL abilities, and an application of transformation reflection can assist pre-service teachers to enact SJL. This paper offers a social justice leadership capabilities framework (SJLCF) that recommends that HEIs should advance their understanding of policy options, create dialogue spaces and promote transformative activism so that pre-service teachers can be in a position to enhance social justice practices. * Corresponding author: Edwin Darrell de Klerk; Darrell.DeKlerk@nwu.ac.za
  • 30. 40 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter Keywords: capabilities; contemporary times; education policy; pre- service teachers; social justice leadership 1. Introduction Social justice leadership (SJL) presupposes an engagement in independent, wide- ranging, and transformative practices to create a just and equal educational environment (Wang, 2018). The expectation is that individuals such as pre-service teachers should act autonomously, and show a critical understanding, knowledge, and leadership skills during and after their years of study in higher education institutions (HEIs) (Caliskan, 2020). This expectation implies that HEIs should promote equity and equal opportunities concerning learning, teaching, and student involvement in decision-making (Jappie, 2021). However, addressing practices related to SJL in HEIs can, unfortunately, be indicated as easier said than done. For instance, a remaining issue seems to be that limited attention is paid to transformation efforts, social justice, and human rights in academic endeavours. Tjabane and Pillay (2011) contend that the pursuit of social justice is critical in the milieu of the narrowing of the policy agenda, the shifting of policy associations, and uncertainties. This is because debates and conversations regarding social justice in policy statements have been slow and leadership outcomes are regarded as unsatisfactory (Jappie, 2021). We, therefore, contend that it is crucial that HEIs consider reimagining what SJL could be, whilst making provision for enacting social justice in contexts where uncomfortable questions are asked with the aim of transforming current unjust practices. We are of the opinion that SJL capabilities can drive meaningful change in HEIs that not only improves pre- service teachers’ leadership experiences but may assist them to be active agents of change in their current educational environments and that of the future to come, where there may be injustice and inequity. From an education policy point of view, we argue that HEIs should imagine new pathways regarding SJL for pre-service teachers. The significance of a policy perspective on SJL can never be overestimated. We hold the view that policies should be regarded as fundamental in the pursuit of the social justice agenda to communicate ideas that may shape the perceptions of pre-service teachers. As the literature about SJL has illuminated, increased attention is being paid to leaders’ diverse mindsets and understandings, and a developmental lens remains largely missing from these explorations, as well as the broader social justice literature (Drago-Severson & Blum-DeStefano, 2019). In an attempt to contribute to a renewal of thoughts, the purpose of this paper is to explore how stipulations in education policy can provide innovative capabilities that can be applied by HEIs to equip pre-service teachers with knowledge and skills to enact SJL. We, therefore, ask the following research question: How can an analysis of stipulations in the Revised Policy on Minimum Requirements for Teacher Education Qualifications (MRTEQ) provide innovative capabilities that can be applied by higher education institutions to equip pre-service teachers to enact social justice leadership in contemporary times?
  • 31. 41 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter 2. Literature review To deepen our understanding of the research topic, we consulted literature that described theoretical perspectives regarding SJL capabilities for pre-service teachers in contemporary times from an education policy perspective. The literature review will cover aspects such as: why social justice leadership should be regarded as significant; the preparation of pre-service teachers and education policy and social justice leadership development. Social justice leaders are individuals for whom the persistent search for greater fairness in educational admission; opportunity; and consequences, are essential principles of their work (Angelle et al., 2016). Such pursuit relates to social justice as praxis, implying that social justice leaders should be willing “to look back and into the future to reflect and act on social justice matters” (Brown, 2004, p. 96). Such actions should not be regarded as externally motivated but necessitate individuals to seriously apply knowledge, whilst examining and deconstructing the taken-for-granted acknowledgment of their personal opinions (Rizvi & Lingard, 2010). As such, SJL should be geared toward a leadership style that encourages engagement in leaders’ practices to convert educational settings into spaces where everybody thrives amidst conditions that may be regarded as despairing (Eastern Michigan University, 2021). Social justice leaders should, therefore, use knowledge to fight against intolerance, whilst portraying a willingness to unlearn intolerance and challenge assumptions so that they can become warriors for social justice (Slater et al., 2014). In this regard, an application of SJL requires individuals to use intelligence to identify, accept, and tolerate differences so that, when employed during leadership enactment, they would experience a sense of self-care in terms of leadership empowerment (Kowalchuk, 2017). Social justice leaders should thus have the required understanding and knowledge of the ethos of social justice and the ability to critically reflect on social justice practices. Firstly, an ethos of social justice holds a reference to the empowerment of individuals and systems that demolish obstacles to well-being (Marshall-Lee & Watson-Singleton, 2022). Secondly, critical reflection requires that individuals identify, question, and assess their deeply-held assumptions (Niesche, 2017) about what they know about social justice. The significance of SJL should, therefore, be observed as a deliberate effort to act so that individuals (also pre-service teachers) are empowered through knowledge, an ethos of social justice, and critical reflection. Aligned with the purpose of this paper, the significance of SJL from a policy perspective may contribute to pre-service teachers becoming the “prophetic voice in critique, encouragement, hope, possibility and vision” (Purpel, as cited in Skousen, 2022, p. 2). Education policy can be considered as an action by the government, through legislation, that the implementation of any policy should hold benefits for a country and its citizens (Hartshorne, 1999). Considering the aforementioned view, indications such as “action” and “hold benefits” (Hartshorne, 1999) call for the implementation of possible policy options. In the case of this paper, possible policy options regarding innovative capabilities were identified that can be applied by HEIs to equip pre-service teachers with capabilities to enact SJL. In higher education, policy perspectives about SJL may assist pre-service teachers to
  • 32. 42 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter apply socially just pedagogies within their instruction practices that will support knowledge acquisition, whilst they may obtain an understanding of what it means to undo prevailing oppressive actions and contribute to all-encompassing and socially just learning settings (Case, 2017). Furthermore, policy perspectives may also be used to prepare pre-service teachers on how to become self-governing individuals who may have a sense of personal agency, social answerability, and a desire to be effective implementers of social justice in society (Subreenduth, 2013). Significantly, policy reflects the intentions and strategies for the implementation of its focus (Ohajunwa, 2022). Aligned with this paper, policy intentions and strategies can be regarded as representative of capabilities that can be applied by HEIs to prepare pre-service teachers on how to enact SJL. Pre-service teachers are individuals who are registered in a teacher education program with an aspiration to obtain a qualification that will enable them to teach in public schools or private sectors nationally or globally (Van der Merwe, 2022). The professional preparation of teachers should, therefore, be regarded as vital for the qualitative development of education and should be treated as a key area in educational advancement (Mahato, 2022). According to UNESCO (2021), Pakistan used distance training through television and radio in the 1970s to accomplish higher numbers of proficient elementary school teachers, whereas pre-service teachers in Brazil are required to follow an extremely organized curriculum that they implement directly in primary schools. In the South African context, the Norms and Standards for Educators (NSE) (South Africa, 2000) was the primary official policy relating to academic qualifications for teachers. The policy designates the responsibilities, their related set of practical capabilities (standards), and experiences (ethics) for the development of educators (South Africa, 2000). The NSE (South Africa, 2000) has since been replaced by the Revised Policy on Minimum Requirements for Teacher Education Qualifications (MRTEQ) (South Africa, 2011) and more recently a revised version of the 2011 document, MRTEQ (South Africa, 2015), was promulgated. Significantly, MRTEQ (South Africa, 2015) requires, all teacher education programs to address the critical challenges facing education in South Africa today - especially the poor content and conceptual knowledge found amongst teachers, as well as the legacies of apartheid, by incorporating situational and contextual elements that assist teachers in developing competences that enable them to deal with diversity and transformation… (pp. 8–9). The use of “diversity” and “transformation” in the above stipulation (South Africa, 2015), can be regarded as an illustration of a search for SJL in terms of the preparation of pre-service teachers. By preparing pre-service teachers to become perceptive participants in a democratic society, and especially if the development of critical thinking is encouraged, they may be equipped to be active champions of social justice in their contexts (Eidson, 2015). Thus, when scrutinizing education policy to ascertain how SJL might be articulated, it is critical to deliberate how policy ideas could offer indications that social justice is not restricted to singular denotations. Rather, education policy stipulations contain discursive foundations which permit analysts to interpret the meanings of texts so that the creation of advanced viewpoints (Larrabee & Morehead, 2010) regarding SJL can be possible.
  • 33. 43 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter 3. Looking through the lens of social justice leadership theory There is no doubt that the world is complex and ever-changing. With particular reference to SJL and concomitant changes in how to think about social justice in HEIs, this paper employed social justice leadership theory (SJLT). According to Cochran-Smith (2010), SJLT is important for teacher preparation and should be understood as more than a process, curricular approach, or singular performance. Significantly, SJL should be thought of as multi-perspectival, uniting, significant, and autonomous viewpoints with commitments to honor the empowerment possibilities that can be found in policy documents. One of the functions of education policy is to produce new knowledge geared toward social justice. Therefore, the implementation of policies should explicitly advance the social justice agenda to ensure that all individuals (also pre-service teachers) are accommodated in a new schooling landscape (Juan et al., 2021). Also, SJL implies that individuals can be empowered in terms of ongoing leadership actions, leadership skills, and competencies that are continually being created, questioned, and refined. Furthermore, the enactment of SJL should be geared toward an awareness that information about pre-service teachers’ leadership abilities is not stagnant and that the route toward justice is an enduring obligation of further interrogation and action (Kumashiro, 2015). Thus, research on SJL enactment by pre-service teachers should be geared toward them (pre-service teachers) working for change in their schools, and sustaining the momentum for reform in their own teaching practices. 3.1 Social justice leadership capabilities for pre-service teachers Aligned with SJLT as indicated above, pre-service teachers should be made aware of the reality that SJL should include a combination of knowledge, an ethos of social justice, and critical reflection. In this regard, HEIs should be cognizant that pre-service teachers should be capacitated with a renewed sense of critical thinking, collaboration, reflection, and practical skills so that they can be able to enact SJL (Caliskan, 2020). A further explanation is that pre-service teachers should be prepared to have a sense of what social justice “looks like, feels like, and sounds like in teacher education, specifically, and community life, broadly” (Bondy et al., 2017, p. 5). Such knowledge is imperative for pre-service teachers because it may be capacitated so that they will be cognizant of how to be empathic and compassionate, show cultural competence, and are capable of nurturing relationships and building trust with diverse groups of people (Bondy et al., 2017). 4. Research design and methodology In this conceptual paper, we employ a qualitative methodology that encompasses the collection and analysis of non-numerical data such as texts in documents and policies (Bhandari, 2020). In this paper, texts in the MRTEQ (South Africa, 2015) were analyzed to determine innovative capabilities that can be applied by HEIs to equip pre-service teachers to enact SJL. In the case of conceptual papers, opinions are not resulting from facts in the conventional sense but comprise the integration and grouping of information relevant to previously developed ideas and philosophies (Hirschheim, 2008). This implies that conceptual papers are not without practical understandings but rather elaborate on concepts and theories that are advanced and verified through experimental inquiry (Jaakkola, 2020). In
  • 34. 44 http://ijlter.org/index.php/ijlter this paper, we regard a conceptual research design (CRD) as applicable because it is generally referred to as research related to concepts and ideas about a phenomenon under study to solve real-world problems (Hirschheim, 2008). In policy studies, an application of CRD may assist researchers to analyze policy content, enabling them to excavate possible policy solutions to address particular issues (Farrell & Coburn, 2016). In this study, a CRD was useful because it enabled us to explore how stipulations in education policy can provide innovative capabilities that can be applied by HEIs to equip pre-service teachers with capabilities to enact SJL. Furthermore, conceptual research can be useful to go beyond existing ideas in stimulating ways, connect information across fields of specialization, provide innovative understandings, and widen the space of individual thinking (Gilson & Goldberg 2015). In so doing, we believe that knowledge of SJL can no longer be understood, explained, communicated, illustrated, grouped, and told in the same way (Foucault, 1973). We take this view to mean that a CRD assisted us to reject grand narratives about SJL and identifying potential policy options that could address issues of SJL, comparing those options, and then choosing the most effective, efficient, and feasible option to be implemented. 5. Data collection Stipulations from the MRTEQ (South Africa, 2015) were purposively selected to interpret how they can provide innovative capabilities that can be applied by HEIs to equip pre-service teachers to enact SJL. There were no set rules for deciding on the sample number concerning the total stipulations that were analyzed (Patton, 2002). However, we were cognizant that the number of stipulations would be sufficient to make meaning about the enactment of SJL. We used data saturation as a guiding principle (Polit & Beck, 2014), implying that we analyzed stipulations to the point at which we recognized no new information regarding perspectives about SJL from an education policy perspective. Education policies should be viewed as informal methods, a gathering of objects, actions, practices, and texts that express particular meanings about teaching and leadership (Ball, 2015). As such, understanding education policy texts demands a discussion on the meaning that may be hidden in policy texts (De Klerk & Barnett, 2020). Ball (1993) asserts that policy text is accompanied by a thought of policy as discourse, mainly to explicate what policy text comprises concerning “what can be said, and thought, but also who can speak, where and with what authority” (Ball, 1993, p. 14). To explain what can be said about SJL, we analyzed stipulations in the MRTEQ (South Africa, 2015) through an application of interpretive policy analysis (IPA). 6. Data analysis: Interpretive policy analysis IPA was applied to analyze stipulations in the MRTEQ (South Africa, 2015) to provide innovative capabilities that can be applied by HEIs to equip pre-service teachers to enact SJL. IPA aims to interpret meanings that can be found in policy discourse to share information and skills to address difficulties that may be experienced by individuals (Yanow 2007). Interpreting education policy discourse is difficult because it is not merely about considering its informative frameworks nor reading it as the announcements of policymakers, but also a consideration that the informal foundations they comprise, await interpretation (Olssen et al., 2004).