Developing lifelong learners: The ability of students to successfully self-direct their learning in a clinical environment

Emma Gable, Kathy Dallest, Jill Thistlethwaite

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review

Abstract

1. Introduction/background:
Clinical placements are heavily reliant on opportunistic patient contact, and are therefore relatively unstructured learning environments. Students are required to be self-directed learners and scan new environments to identify learning opportunities and resources. Requiring students to take control of their learning in a clinical environment has the potential to increase motivation and encourage them to become lifelong learners.

2. Purpose/objectives:
University of Queensland (UQ) medical students set self-determined learning objectives (SDLOs) for their elective clinical placement undertaken in Year 4. Students complete an online module on setting learning objectives prior to their placement, after which they self-assess how well they met each learning objective and identify strategies used.

This model has potential to provide medical students with a more structured clinical learning experience and enable them to apply self-directed learning skills developed in Years 1 and 2 (a PBL/CBL curriculum) in a clinical environment. However, students do not always know how to demonstrate they have met their learning objectives unless they are formally assessed. This study investigated the ability of students to direct and measure their learning using this approach.

3. Issues/questions for exploration or ideas for discussion
We are analysing the self-assessment data thematically to help answer the following research questions which form the basis for discussion:
a. Can students develop appropriate and achievable SDLOs?
b. What learning behaviours do students use to meet their SDLOs?
c. What measures do students use to demonstrate they have met their SDLOs?

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationANZAHPE 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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