Multilevel Structural Equation Modeling of Self-directed Learning of Nursing Students

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Patcharaporn Thabmali
Aphisit Tamsat
Teerut Suksakulwat


The research aimed to study the effect of social support of nursing instructors on learning styles and self-directed learning of nursing students. The sample consisted of 371 nursing students from 21 nursing educational institutions, selected through simple random sampling. A 5-point rating scale questionnaire with 76 items was used in collecting data on 1) learning styles, 2) social support from nursing instructors and 3) self-directed learning. All of the components had high reliability (gif.latex?\alpha > .80). The data analysis employed multilevel structural equation modeling (MSEM).
The research found that the multidimensional structural equation model was consistent with the empirical data ( gif.latex?\chi2(35) = 50.606, p = .048, CFI = .989, TLI = .984, RMSEA = .035, SRMRw = .015 and SRMRb = .115). The model of the nursing student level revealed that the learning styles could explain the variation of self-directed learning at 73.0%. Meanwhile, the model of the nursing instructor level revealed that the learning styles of nursing students and social support from nursing instructors could explain the variation of self-directed learning of nursing students at 80.7%. The results of the effect analysis showed that self-directed learning of nursing students was directly affected by social support of nursing instructors, but not with statistical significance ( gif.latex?\beta= .134, p = .388), while it had indirect effect through learning styles of nursing students ( gif.latex?\beta= -.594, p = .015). Therefore, the development of self-directed learning of nursing students should begin with organizing for learning and teaching in accordance with a learning style in which the nursing instructors give partial support to enable nursing students to develop themselves together effectively.


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