PAS – Learning Climate

The Learning Climate Questionnaire (LCQ)


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Scale Description

The LCQ has a long form containing 15 items and a short form containing 6 of the items. The questionnaire is typically used with respect to specific learning settings, such as a particular class, at the college or graduate school level. Thus, the questions are sometimes adapted slightly, at least in the instructions, so the wording pertains to the particular situation being studied–an organic chemistry class, for example. In these cases, the questions pertain to the autonomy support of an individual instructor, preceptor, or professor. If, however, it is being used to assess a general learning climate in which each student has several instructors, the questions are stated with respect to the autonomy support of the faculty members in general. Below, you will find the 15-item version of the questionnaire, worded in terms of “my instructor.” If you would like to use the 6-item version, simply reconstitute the questionnaire using only items # 1, 2, 4, 7, 10, and 14.

Scoring: Scores on both the 15-item version and the 6-item version are calculated by averaging the individual item scores. However, for the long version, before averaging the item scores, you must first “reverse” the score of item 13 (i.e., subtract the score on item 13 from 8 and use the result as the item score for this item–for example, the score of 3, when reversed would become 5). Higher average scores represent a higher level of perceived autonomy support.

Articles that have Used the Learning Climate Questionnaire

Black, A. E., & Deci, E. L. (2000). The effects of instructors’ autonomy support and students’ autonomous motivation on learning organic chemistry: A self-determination theory perspective. Science Education, 84, 740-756.
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Williams, G. C., Saizow, R., Ross, L., & Deci, E. L. (1997). Motivation underlying career choice for internal medicine and surgery. Social Science and Medicine, 45, 1705-1713.
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Williams, G. C., & Deci, E. L. (1996). Internalization of biopsychosocial values by medical students: A test of self-determination theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 767-779.

Williams, G. C., Wiener, M. W., Markakis, K. M., Reeve, J., & Deci, E. L. (1994). Medical student motivation for internal medicine. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 9, 327-333.

The LCQ as a rating device

The LCQ was designed to be used by students to report their perceptions of their instructors. However, it can also be used for having trained observers rate the autonomy supportiveness of an instructor or teacher, based on listening to tape recorded interactions between an instructor and students, for example, during a class session. This approach has not been used with the LCQ, but it has been used with the HCCQ. A description of its use can be found on the HCCQ page, and can be easily adapted if you would like to use the LCQ in this way.

Learning Climate Questionnaire