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Original Article

IJMDC. 2023; 7(4): 665-671

Self-directed learning readiness among Saudi undergraduate medical students in the pre-clinical versus clinical years

Eman R. Mohamed, Bashair Khalid Alotaibi, Fatimah Mohammed Alhaddad, Raghad Ibrahim Aljohani, Fatimah Mohammed Alhussain, Sadeem Abdullah Albulaihed, Mohammad ZeeShan, Abdulmohsen Alelq, Sharon C. Orcajo.


Background: This study aimed to assess the self-directed learning readiness (SDLR) level among the pre-clinical versus clinical years and identify the factors influencing this level.
Methods: A validated, cross-sectional questionnaire-based study. SDL Instrument was sent to medical students at Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University using an online survey tool. Participants were asked to rate their learning motivation, planning, implementation, self-monitoring, and interpersonal motivation. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.
Results: The findings demonstrate that more than half of the study participants had an above-average level of SDL. Pre-clinical students (80.1 ± 11.1) reported higher total mean scores compared with clinical students (75.3 ± 12.6). The highest scores were for the learning motivation and planning/implementation domains. Female students scored higher (79.3 ± 11.4) than male students (75.1 ± 12.7). A negative correlation in age was observed; however, the grade point average showed a positive correlation with the mean SDL score.
Conclusion: Undergraduate pre-clinical medical students felt adequately prepared and motivated in planning and implementing SDL. However, a decreased level of SDLR was observed among students in their clinical years. Further longitudinal studies are recommended to assess the causes of deterioration in SDLR levels among clinical students.

Key words: Clinical Years; Medical Students; Pre-clinical; Readiness; Self-Directed Learning

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