Perceptions towards the use of a self-access centre in a university in Northern Thailand

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The promotion of independent and life-long learning practices in the field of adult education in the 1970s established a way of learning that deviates from traditional classroom group instruction. Self-access learning gives adults the freedom and control over their own learning. Universities set up self-access centres to encourage learning environments where this kind of learning could take place. This paper discusses what proponents of self-access learning recognise as best practices and explores the issues experienced in this kind of learning in the context of where this research was conducted. The aim of this research is to identify the perceptions of students and tutors towards the use of the materials, services and facilities at a self-access centre in a university in Northern Thailand. A total of 20 students and 6 tutors participated in the survey questionnaire and among them 6 students and 4 tutors were invited to participate in in-depth follow-up interviews. Qualitative and quantitative data arising from questionnaires and interviews revealed the level of the students’ English skills and the experiences of the users at the centre, both students and tutors. Recommendations derived from the data are given as suggestions for this centre. Finally, implications are listed for further study in this field.
self-access centre, Northern Thailand, learning practices, adult education, English skills