Self-rating on Self-directed Learning: A Cross- Sectional Survey on a Cohort of Medical Undergraduates from Nepal.

Keywords: Medical education, Nepal, Problem based learning (PBL), Self-directed learning (SDL)


Introduction: As medicine is an ever-changing field, it necessitates medical students to develop independent  learning skills for continuous learning process. Self-directed learning (SDL) is a learning strategy where students take the initiative to learn on their own. It is basically an independent study where the students use available resources and learn independently of the subject. Methods: This self-administered questionnaire study assessed five domains of SDL consisting of 60 items. The responses were made on a five-point Likert scale: from 5 = always to 1 = never. The level of self-directed learning was categorized as high, moderate and low if the scoring range was between 221-300, 141-220 or 60-140 respectively. Any student scoring in the range between 221 and 300 was considered an effective self- directed learner. Results: The present study found three out of four the students (74.7%, n=56) were active self-directed learners. However, one out of four students were half-way in becoming self-directed learners. Conclusion: SDL skill is crucial not only for the students but also for the clinicians in a complex learning process for continuous advancement of knowledge in medical profession. The findings of the present study showed that majority of the students were effective self-directed learners. The effectiveness of SDL process can be accomplished if the students are encouraged and motivated during Problem Based Learning (PBL) sessions. Identifying the factors that spark interest amongst the students to learn on their own can be achieved by active feedback sessions.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Alok Atreya, Lumbini Medical College and Teaching Hospital

Assistant Professor,

Department of Forensic Medicine.

Samata Nepal, Lumbini Medical College and Teaching Hospital


Department of Community Medicine.

Jenash Acharya, Kathmandu Medical College Teaching Hospital

Assistant Professor,

Department of Forensic Medicine.


Dixit H, Marahatta SB. Medical education and training in Nepal: SWOT analysis. Kathmandu Univ Med J (KUMJ).2008;6(23):412-420. PMID: 20071831 DOI:

Dixit H. Development of medical education in Nepal. Kathmandu Univ Med J (KUMJ).2009;7(25):8-10. PMID: 19483445 DOI:

Wolff M, Stojan J, Buckler S, Cranford J, Whitman L, Gruppen L, et al. Coaching to improve self-directed learning. Clin Teach.2019; [Epub ahead of print]. PMID: 31749307 DOI:

Loyens SM, Magda J, Rikers RMJ. Self-directed learning in problem-based learning and its relationships with self-regulated learning. Educ Psychol Rev.2008;20(4):411-427. DOI:

Knowles MS. Self-directed Learning: A Guide for Learners and Teachers. Cambridge Adult Education; 1975. DOI:

Barrows HS, Tamblyn RM. Problem-based learning: An approach to medical education. Springer Publishing Company; 1980. esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

Mansur DI, Kayastha SR, Makaju R, Dongol M. Problem based learning in medical education. Kathmandu Univ Med J (KUMJ).2012;10(40):78- 82.PMID: 23575059DOI:

Pradhan B, Ranjit E, Ghimire M, Dixit H. History of problem based learning in Nepal and experiences at Kathmandu Medical College. Journal of Kathmandu Medical College. 2012;1(1):37-44.

KC A, Karki S. Reflection on Peer Assisted Learning at PAHS. Journal of Patan Academy of Health Sciences. 2015;1(1):54-6. DOI:

Williamson SN. Development of a self-rating scale of self-directed learning. Nurse Res.2007;14(2):66-83. PMID: 17315780 DOI:

Ge X, Chua BL. The Role of Self-Directed Learning in PBL. In: The Wiley Handbook of Problem‐Based Learning.(eds M. Moallem, W. Hung, N. Dabbagh), 2020;367-388. DOI:

Shokar GS, Shokar NK, Romero CM, Bulik RJ. Self-directed learning: looking at outcomes with medical students. Fam Med.2002;34(3):197- 200. PMID: 11922535

Magar A. Need of medical education system reform in Nepal. JNMA J Nepal Med Assoc.2013;52(191):I-II. PMID: 24907969

Adhikari B, Mishra SR. Urgent need for reform in Nepal’s medical education. Lancet.2016;388(10061):2739-2740.

Paudel S, Acharya BM, Pun KM, Paudel S, KC KB, Arjyal A. Evidence-based practice at Patan Academy of Health Sciences, Nepal: knowledge, attitude, behavior and barriers.Journal of Patan Academy of Health Sciences. 2018;5(1):82-89. DOI:

Shimizu I, Nakazawa H, Sato Y, Wolfhagen IHAP, Könings KD. Does blended problem-based learning make Asian medical students active learners?: a prospective comparative study. BMC Med Educ. 2019;19(1):147. PMID: 31092243DOI:

Ansari M. Quality of medical education in Nepal. Educ Health (Abingdon).2012;25(2):130. DOI:

Mehanni S, Wong L, Acharya B, Agrawal P, Aryal A, Basnet M, et al. Transition to active learning in rural Nepal: an adaptable and scalable curriculum development model. BMC Med Educ. 2019;19(1):61.PMID: 30786884 DOI:

How to Cite
Atreya A, Nepal S, Acharya J. Self-rating on Self-directed Learning: A Cross- Sectional Survey on a Cohort of Medical Undergraduates from Nepal. J Lumbini Med Coll [Internet]. 11Jun.2020 [cited 10Jul.2020];8(1):5 pages. Available from:
Original Research Article