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International Journal of Self-Directed Learning
Learning Projects and Graduate Students: An Update of Tough’s Study (2011)
  • C. Amelia Davis, Georgia Southern University
  • Carrie Bailey, University of Tennessee - Knoxville
  • Mary Nypaver, University of Tennessee - Knoxville
  • Tracy Rees
  • Ralph G Brockett, University of Tennessee - Knoxville

There have been many changes in self-directed adult learning since Tough’s (1971) original study of adults’ learning projects. In an effort to understand the influence of the changes that have taken place over the past four decades, this study’s purpose was to revisit the learning project concept using an updated interview schedule reflecting changes in the area of technology. A pilot study of 40 graduate students was conducted using this updated version of the schedule. Study participants were found to be engaged in a variety of learning projects both within and outside of their academic studies. While the individual learner was the most frequently identified planner, the percentage of self-planned projects was lower than found in previous studies.

Publication Date
Citation Information
Davis, C.A., Bailey, C., Nypaver, M., Rees, T. & Brockett, R.G. (2010, published in 2011). Learning projects and graduate students: An update of Tough’s study. International Journal of Self-Directed Learning, 7(1),14-28.