Self-directed learning : status of final year students and perceptions of faculty leadership in a Nigerian medical school : a mixed analysis study

Nottidge, Timothy Eyo (2014-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Introduction: Self-directed learning (SDL) is the essential mechanism of lifelong learning which, in turn, is required for medical professionals to maintain competency due to advancing technology and constantly evolving disease care and contexts. Yet, Nigerian medical schools do not actively strive to develop self-directed learning skills in medical students, neither is it implemented in the College of Health Sciences, University of Uyo (COHUU). - Aim of study : The aim of this study was to evaluate the status of self-directed learning behaviour amongst final year students, and the perceptions of faculty leadership towards SDL in a Nigerian medical school. - Methodology: A mixed method research method was used for the study. A survey design, in which students completed a self-rating scale for self-directed learning as a means of quantitatively assessing their self-directed learning behaviour, was employed. A focus group discussion involving selected faculty leaders provided the qualitative data for this study. - Results: The medical students displayed moderate self-directed learning behaviour, based on the score on the Self-rating Scale for Self-Directed Learning (SRSSDL). Thematic analysis of the qualitative data revealed that the faculty leadership perceived SDL as essentially self-motivated learning by students in a task-sharing partnership with and guided by, their teachers. Faculty expressed concerns over a possible misunderstanding of what SDL implies for students. They furthermore considered their students’ SDL behaviour to be low. Faculty was willing to implement a COHUU model for achieving SDL. - Conclusion: This study suggests the baseline SDL behaviour of medical students at University of Uyo to be low to moderate, based on both the perceptions of Faculty leadership and the SRSSDL. Faculty are willing to implement a COHUU model for achieving SDL.

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