Does Autonomy Improve Satisfaction and Performance? A Case on Learner Choice


  • Clay Hurdle University of Missouri
  • Laura Greenhaw University of Florida
  • Rachel Biderman University of Florida



agricultural leadership, film, learner-centered teaching, teamwork, group development


Autonomy has been identified as an essential attribute of learner-centered teaching. Allowing learners some choice regarding their learning can positively impact motivation and performance. Some concepts can be illustrated more clearly through film, including agricultural leadership concepts such as the stages of small group development. In this study, we examined differences between learners given autonomy to choose a film for an analysis essay assignment and learners not given a choice. Learners in two sections of an agricultural leadership course focusing on teams and group development were taught the stages of group development. Learners analyzed the development of a team in film. Additionally, learners responded to questions regarding their satisfaction with and perceptions of the assignment. Findings revealed that learners in both sections perceived the assignment as enjoyable. Learners in both groups indicated a preference for their respective treatment in future similar assignments. Both groups performed well on the assignment. Recommendations include replicating this study with an additional measure of motivation, a standardized measure for student satisfaction with learning, and a larger sample size. Given that both groups of learners indicated satisfaction with learning, we recommend instructors consider incorporating films or other media when possible and appropriate. 


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How to Cite

Hurdle, C., Greenhaw, L., & Biderman, R. (2024). Does Autonomy Improve Satisfaction and Performance? A Case on Learner Choice . NACTA Journal, 68(1).