Driver, Darrell W. (2021, October). Using Q-methodology to understand student learning preferences. Journal of Military Learning, 5(2), 43-60. (Access:

Abstract: The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the utility of Q-Methodology in understanding student learning preferences. Q-Method is a research approach that uses a statement sorting exercise to understand a respondent’s subjective and holistic view of a particular issue. In this case, students from the U.S. Army War College’s Academic Year 2021 were asked to rank order a set of 28 statements related to the recent debate on professional military education (PME) reform that culminated in the release of the 2020 Joint Chiefs of Staff Vision and Guidance for Professional Military Education and Talent Management. The application of principal component analysis to this data revealed the emergence of three different perspectives related to the central topics of curriculum design and instructional preferences. Labeled here as autonomous, classical, and adaptive learners, an explanation of each view is provided and implications for PME are discussed. The Q-Method instrument can be adapted to address other PME-related issues, including toward developing assessment-informed educational experiences.

Darrell Driver <> is director of the Regional Studies Program, U.S. Army War College, Carlisle, PA (USA).