Academic journal article Journal of Allied Health

Becoming Lifelong Learners: A Study in Self-Regulated Learning

Academic journal article Journal of Allied Health

Becoming Lifelong Learners: A Study in Self-Regulated Learning

Article excerpt

While health professions educators espouse the need to develop lifelong learning skills in students, little is written about such attempts. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of educational and awareness interventions designed to promote self-regulated learning processes as a means to improve lifelong learning skills. First-year students in respiratory care and radiologic imaging sciences took the Learning and Study Skills Inventory (LASSI) in fall and spring semesters. They made the decision to use or not use educational resources in an online course focused on self-regulated learning skills. All students maintained a journal and responded to prompts about changes in their study skills. Final grades, reported in percentages, from selected required courses for fall and spring semesters were recorded. There were no substantive effects of the intervention (LASSI and online resources) as measured by the LASSI and course averages. Qualitative analysis indicated that students valued the LASSI and the online resources and that they altered their study skills as they perceived the need. Suggestions for future work include continued use of the LASSI, integration of self-regulated learning strategies into courses with role-modeling by faculty, and the use of microanalytic protocols. J Allied Health 2015; 44(3):177-182.

FUTURE HEALTH CARE workers must be lifelong learners to maintain their licensure in competencybased education systems1,2 and achieve employment flexibility.3 Ongoing quality improvement in health care through improved human and technological systems requires a workforce of lifelong learners. Yet, little attention has been paid to the skills of lifelong learning in most health professions curricula.4,5

The skills necessary for lifelong learning, identifying one's learning needs, undertaking appropriate learning methods, and applying what one has learned6 may be developed and enhanced through self-regulated learning.7 Self-regulated learning (SRL) is the "process by which learners personally activate and sustain cognitions, affects, and behaviors that are systematically oriented toward the attainment of learning goals."8 Research into SRL developed from psychological investigations of self-control among adults demonstrates that learners' skills and abilities do not fully explain their achievement.9 The literature provides considerable evidence linking motivation, self-regulation, and academic learning.10-15

Zimmerman's three-phase cyclical model of SRL suggests forethought, self-awareness during performance, and self-reflection as equally important aspects.16 The forethought phase requires the ability to analyze the task to be learned and motivational beliefs of the learner; it includes skills of goal-setting, strategic planning, self-efficacy, outcome expectations, intrinsic interest, and goal orientation. During the performance phase, the student must have self-control and be able to self-observe. These performance abilities include selfinstruction, imagery, attention focusing, task strategies, self-recording, and metacognitive monitoring. In the third phase, self-reflection, the student must make adaptive inferences, gauge self-satisfaction, recognize casual attributions, and self-evaluate effectively.16

Students in allied health must assimilate large amounts of new information and learn to perform new skills quickly. Historically, students have been taught what they need to know to join their profession with little regard to improving their learning skills. Our project team sought to make first-year students aware of SRL strategies by assessing their learning and study skills, providing optional educational resources to improve these skills, and asking students to reflect on changes to their learning and study strategies. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of educational and awareness interventions designed to promote SRL processes.

Methods and Materials

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences institutional review board approved this study as exempt. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.