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Ann Acad Med Singapore. 2008 Jul;37(7):580-90.

Self-directed learning in health professions education.

Author information

1
Division of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA. Murad.Mohammad@mayo.edu

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Self-directed learning has been recommended as a promising methodology for lifelong learning in medicine. However, the concept of self-directed learning continues to be elusive, with students and educators finding difficulty in defining it and agreeing on its worth.

METHODS:

In this paper we review the literature of self-directed learning in health professions education and present a framework based on Malcolm Knowles' key components of self-directed learning.

RESULTS:

The key components of self-directed learning are: the educator as a facilitator, identification of learning needs, development of learning objectives, identification of appropriate resources, implementation of the process, commitment to a learning contract and evaluation of learning. Several but not all of these components are often described in the published literature.

CONCLUSION:

Although the presented framework provides some consistency for educators interested in applying SDL methods, future studies are needed to standardise self-directed learning curricula and to determine the effectiveness of these components on educational outcomes.

PMID:
18695772
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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