Concurrent validity of self-rating scale of self-directed learning and self-directed learning instrument among Italian nursing students

Lucia Cadorin, Su Fen Cheng, Alvisa Palese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Self-Directed Learning develops when students take the initiative for their learning, recognising needs, formulating goals, identifying resources, implementing appropriate strategies and evaluating learning outcomes. This should be seen as a collaborative process between the nurse educator and the learner. At the international level, various instruments have been used to measure Self-Directed Learning abilities (SDL), both in original and in culturally-adapted versions. However, few instruments have been subjected to full validation, and no gold standard reference has been established to date. In addition, few researchers have adopted the established tools to assess the concurrent validity of the emerging new tools. Therefore, the aim of this study was to measure the concurrent validity between the Self-Rating Scale of Self-Directed Learning (SRSSDL_Ita) - Italian version and the Self-Directed Learning Instruments (SDLI) in undergraduate nursing students. Methods: A concurrent validity study design was conducted in a Bachelor level nursing degree programme located in Italy. All nursing students attending the first, second or third year (n = 428) were the target sample. The SRSSDL_Ita, and the SDLI were used. The Pearson correlation was used to determine the concurrent validity between the instruments; the confidence of intervals (CI 95 %) bias-corrected and accelerated bootstrap (BCa), were also calculated. Results: The majority of participants were students attending their first year (47.9 %), and were predominately female (78.5 %). Their average age was 22.5 ± 4.1. The SDL abilities scores, as measured with the SRSSDL_Ita (min 40, max 200), were, on average, 160.79 (95 % CI 159.10-162.57; median 160); while with the SDLI (min 20, max 100), they were on average 82.57 (95 % CI 81.79-83.38; median 83). The Pearson correlation between the SRSSDL_Ita and SDLI instruments was 0.815 (CI BCa 95 % 0.774-0.848), (p = 0.000). Conclusions: The findings confirm the concurrent validity of the SRSSDL_Ita with the SDLI. The SRSSDL_Ita instrument can be useful in the process of identifying Self-Directed Learning abilities, which are essential for students to achieve the expected learning goals and become lifelong learners.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20
JournalBMC Nursing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Concurrent validity
  • Learning evaluation
  • Nursing students
  • Self directed learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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