Conceptualizing Medical Students' Self-directed Learning in the Clinical Setting - A Qualitative Study in Taiwan




Tzu-Hung Liu;Kai-Kuen Leung;Amy Marie Sullivan

Key Words

self-directed learning ; clinical setting ; medical students ; qualitative interviews ; content analysis



Volume or Term/Year and Month of Publication

26卷1期(2022 / 03 / 01)

Page #

46 - 58

Content Language


Chinese Abstract

Clinical teachers have regarded self-directed learning (SDL) as an essential means of enabling students to take responsibility for their learning throughout clinical training. However, SDL in the clinical setting in Taiwan has not yet been described in the literature. Purpose: This study aims to illustrate Taiwanese student experiences of SDL in their clinical training and identify how local socio-cultural contexts differ from our previous study in the U.S. Methods: To conceptualize students' SDL experiences in the clinical setting, we conducted a qualitative study with 15 Taiwanese medical students at National Taiwan University College of Medicine. The semi-structured interviews were recorded and transcribed. Data were analyzed deductively and inductively using the Framework method of content analysis and our existing conceptual SDL model. Results: Our study showed that the essential themes across three SDL dimensions and six major steps in the process dimension in the contexts of Taiwan were compatible with the conceptual SDL model in our previous study in the U.S. While there were many similarities across the Taiwanese and American groups, some consistent differences emerged. When conducting SDL, American students tended to focus more on individual performance. Taiwanese students were strongly oriented to learning in a collaborative team and with their peers but avoided standing out when learning in a group. Conclusions: Our study contributes to the current SDL models with perspectives of the Taiwanese students and supports the applicability of "Person, Process, Context" dimensions of SDL. The findings in each SDL dimension also provide practical implications for clinical faculty and students in Taiwan.

Topic Category 醫藥衛生 > 醫藥總論
社會科學 > 教育學
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