Study guides: effective tools to improve self-directed learning skills of medical students.
AbstractIn medicine, there is a rapid development of a knowledge base. Medical professionals need to sustain and advance their competence to practice in response to these varieties. So, there is increased interest in self-directed learning methods. Study guides can make a major contribution to self-directed learning. This study was carried out to evaluate the effect of study guides on improving self-learning skills of medical students in the Iran University of Medical Sciences (IUMS). In this quasi-experimental study, 46 medical students were randomly assigned into two groups; the intervention group and the control group. Both groups participated in a diagnostic test at the beginning of the course (pre-test). The same test was taken at the end of the course (post-test). The intervention group was provided with study guides on thyroid disorders and diabetes. Meanwhile, they continued their routine clinical training. The control group was only involved in the conventional training program. Students in the intervention group were also asked to complete a designed questionnaire in regard to their attitude toward the study guides. At enrollment, there was no statistically significant difference between the two groups. The mean scores of the pre-test for the control group and the intervention group were 6.18 and 6.13 respectively (P=0.9). In the post-test, the mean score of the students in the intervention group was considerably higher: 9.25 vs. 12 (P=0.002). The students in the intervention group found the study guides useful. The study guides were potentially effective in motivating self-learning in this group of medical students and had a remarkable effect on their final score.
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