Exploring first-year undergraduate medical students' self-directed learning readiness to physiology

Reem Rachel Abraham, Murray Fisher, Asha Kamath, T. Aizan Izzati, Saidatul Nabila, Nik Nur Atikah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Medical students are expected to possess self-directed learning skills to pursue lifelong learning. Previous studies have reported that the readiness for selfdirected learning depends on personal attributes as well as the curriculum followed in institutions. Melaka Manipal Medical College of Manipal University (Karnataka, India) offers a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) twinning program that is of 5yr in duration. Keeping in mind the amount of time that the curriculum has devoted for self-directed learning, we explored the self-directed learning readiness of first-year MBBS students (n = 130) using a selfdirected learning readiness scale (SDLRS) and explored the correlation between SDLRS scores of high achievers, medium achievers, and low achievers with their academic performance in physiology examinations. Students were requested to respond to each item of the SDLRS on a Likert scale. Median scores of the three scales of the SDLRS were compared across the three groups of students using a Kruskall-Wallis test. SDLRS scores of the students (n = 130) were correlated with their marks in theory papers of first, second, and third block-end examinations using Spearmann's correlation coefficient. The mean item score for desire for learning was found to be higher followed by self-control and self-management. Data analyses showed significantly high (P = 0.03) median scores for self-control for high achievers compared with medium and low achievers. Between the groups, high achievers had a higher score for all the three scales of the SDLRS followed by low and medium achievers. SDLRS scores and academic performance of the three groups of students were found to exhibit a weak correlation. This study threw light on the fact that despite having a high desire for learning and ability of self-control, students need to be supported in their self-management skills.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)393-395
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Advances in Physiology Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology


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