Published Feb 28, 2020

Longjun Zhou  

Chungang Li


Autonomous learning not only requires students to self-monitor and adjust their cognition, emotions, motivation, behavior, and environment, but also requires the creation of external environments and the provision and support of teaching strategies. Protocol-guided learning is a localized teaching strategy in the mainland of China. This study sampled students from two municipal middle schools in Zhenjiang City, Jiangsu Province as research subjects, and used education experiments to find out the role of students’ autonomous learning in improving student performance, and observed how to promote students’ autonomous learning through protocol-guided learning as well. A total of 612 students from the first grade of two schools in Zhenjiang City, Jiangsu Province, China were selected as the subjects. After excluding extreme values, a total of 196 experimental samples and 201 control samples were obtained. By analyzing the experimental data of the experimental group and the control group, it is concluded that a well-designed protocol-guided learning teaching can become an effective carrier for students’ autonomous learning. By promoting students’ autonomous learning, students’ performance can be effectively improved. At the same time, we further found that in the three subjects of Chinese, Mathematics, and English, students’ autonomous learning has the most obvious effect on Chinese learning.


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Autonomous Learning, Protocol-Guided Learning Teaching, Education Experiment, Effectiveness, Strategy

Supporting Agencies

This study was supported by the project from the China Taoxingzhi Research Association, the project number is: ZTH, 2019JS0037A.

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How to Cite
Zhou, L., & Li, C. (2020). Can Student Self-Directed Learning Improve Their Academic Performance? Experimental Evidence from the Instruction of Protocol-Guided Learning in China’s Elementary and Middle Schools. Science Insights Education Frontiers, 5(1), 469-480. https://doi.org/10.15354/sief.20.ar016
Original Article