Self-Directed Learning Improvement through Business Plan Development

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Self-directed learning (SDL) is an important issue for education in the present. SDL can refer to a personality characteristic or to a learning process. As a personality characteristic, it can be improved and endure over time, but there is no empirical study about its improvement. In addition, there is no academic evidence regarding the SDL process integrated with a learning activity in the file of business administration. This study has investigated whether SDL implemented as a learning process leads to improvement of SDL as a personality characteristic in an experimental intervention applying an SDL-based business plan development activity in an undergraduate business admin class. A paired t-test was adopted to compare students’ SDL as a personality characteristic before and after business plan development. The results showed that the business plan significantly improved students’ SDL, but also that one item, students’ self-perceived initiative in learning, which leads to success in school, decreased. This shows the strengths and the weakness of this activity for promoting SDL as a personality characteristic in business admin context; further discussion on these points is also provided.