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An investigation into successful learning: Measuring the impact of learning orientation, a primary learner-difference variable, on learning

, Brigham Young University, United States

Brigham Young University . Awarded


As year 2000 nears, one powerful and consistent finding to emerge from educational psychology research over several decades is the realization that how individuals learn is a powerful force in how they manage information, set goals, and accomplish tasks. Truly, one's successful learning ability is a framework that supports future successful learning and performance.

The increasingly rapid technology changes are creating skill shortages and revealing that our learners are not prepared to learn smart, fast, and well enough to manage change successfully or initiate change productively. Preparing successful, lifelong learners for the 21st century has escalated to a national priority.

What are the solutions for successful learning? This study introduces learning orientation as an important learner-difference variable that helps us examine the conative, affective, cognitive, and social influences, a whole-person perspective, on successful learning. The study's primary purpose investigates learning and individual learning differences by measuring the complex interplay between learner orientation, lower-order learning processes, and the learning experience.

As a secondary purpose, the researcher tested the web learning environment, called the System for Intentional Learning and Performance Assessment (SILPA), which delivers a “Discovering the Web” course. The SILPA is an instructional research model that adapts to learning orientation, provides successful learning support, and helps learners improve learning ability. This approach replaces the traditional one-size-fits-all mass solution. As a third purpose, this study collected information to guide future research efforts.

During the course, the experimental group received guidance for using intentional learning resources. The first control group did not receive the guidance. Both of these groups had access to intentional learning resources. A second control group did not receive the guidance or access. Using a 3 x 3 factorial experimental research design and multiple univariate analyses of variance, the researcher measured and examined the effects and interactions on four variables (intentional learning performance, achievement, frustration, and learning efficacy) over three time periods. The researcher produced evidence on using intentional learning orientation to enhance learning performance. The findings revealed statistically significant main effects and interactions among the research groups. Explanations about learning orientation, help educators understand, predict, and support learning in different environments, match instruction and presentation, and adapt solutions and learning environments with greater success.


Martinez, M.A. An investigation into successful learning: Measuring the impact of learning orientation, a primary learner-difference variable, on learning. Ph.D. thesis, Brigham Young University. Retrieved March 23, 2023 from .

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