Background: Self-directed learning (SDL) is very crucial for continuous professional development for all health-care professionals.
Objectives: This study aims to measure the SDL readiness of the first clinical year medical students and its relation with their academic achievement. In addition, to examine the reliability and validity of SDL rating scales.
Materials and Methods: This is a quantitative cross-sectional study involving the 3rd year medical students at a Saudi medical school. The level of SDL readiness was measured by a validated Fisher’s scale which includes three subscales: Self-control (SC), self-management (SM), and desire for learning (DL), and student’s academic achievement by their grade point average (GPA). The data were collected through a self-administered questionnaire and were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences.
Results: High SDL scores were found to have a positive relationship with students’ academic achievement. The overall mean score of Fisher’s scale was 156.73 ± 15.85. The mean score of SC was 61.2 ± 6.4 followed by the DL 48.4 ± 5.6 and SM skills 47.1 ± 6.6. Factor analysis revealed that all three-factor models and individual subscales have an average to poor fit.
Conclusion: The study results showed that the high SDL readiness score is directly proportional to students’ academic achievement. The students were highly self-directed learners, but the study could not confirm that the current SDL model had a strong level of reliability and validity when tested with undergraduate level medical student’s achievement by the GPA. Although the study confirmed that our students are self-directed learners, their time management skills need to be improved.
Academic Performance; Medical Students; Self-Directed Learning; Self-Directed Learning Readiness Scale; Undergraduate
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