Medical Students in India are not very fond of self-directed learning and the tendency to learn in a self-directed manner falls as they advance in their MBBS courses, a recent study seems to indicate. The Study was performed on medicos at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, and the results have been recently published in Journal BMC Medical Education.
The study rated the tendency of MBBS students towards self-learning as AVERAGE. Self-directed learning (SDL) is defined as learning on one’s own initiative, with the learner having primary responsibility for planning, implementing, and evaluating the effort.
Medical education institutions promote SDL, since physicians need to be self-directed learners to maintain lifelong learning in the ever-changing world of medicine and to obtain essential knowledge for professional growth.
The purpose of the study was to measure the self-directed learning readiness of medical students across the training years, to determine the perceptions of students and faculty on factors that promote and deter SDL and to identify the role of culture and curriculum on SDL at the Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.
For the purose of the study, Guglielmino’s SDL Readiness Scale (SDLRS) was administered in 2015 to six student cohorts (452 students) at admission, end of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year of training, and at the beginning of internship in the undergraduate medicine (MBBS) program.
Analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to compare SDL scores between years of training. 5 student focus groups and 7 interviews with instructors captured perceptions of self-direction. Transcripts were coded and analyzed thematically.
The authors found that the overall mean SDLRS score was 212.91. There was no significant effect of gender and age on SDLR scores. There was a significant drop in SDLRS scores on comparing students at admission with students at subsequent years of training. Qualitative analysis showed the prominent role of culture and curriculum on SDL readiness.
As a conclusion, the authors pointed out that given the importance of SDL in medicine, the current curriculum may require an increase in learning activities that promote SDL. Strategies to change the learning environment that facilitates SDL have to be considered.
You can read the study by clicking on the following link