Self-regulated learning strategies used in surgical clerkship and the relationship with clinical achievement

J Surg Educ. Mar-Apr 2012;69(2):218-25. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2011.09.003. Epub 2011 Oct 22.


Introduction: Self-regulated learning indicates students' skills in controlling their own learning. Self-regulated learning, which a context-specific process, emphasizes autonomy and control. Students gain more autonomy with respect to learning in the clinical years. Examining the self-regulated learning skills of students in this period will provide important clues about the level at which students are ready to use these skills in real-life conditions.

Objectives: The self-regulated learning strategies used by medical students in surgical clerkship were investigated in this study and their relation with clinical achievement was analyzed.

Methods: The study was conducted during the surgery clerkship of medical students. The participation rate was 94% (309 students). Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ), a case-based examination, Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), and tutor evaluations for assessing achievement were used. The relationship between the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire scores of the students and clinical achievement was analyzed with multilinear regression analysis.

Results: The findings showed that students use self-regulated learning skills at medium levels during their surgery clerkship. A relationship between these skills and OSCE scores and tutor evaluations was determined. OSCE scores of the students were observed to increase in conjunction with increased self-efficacy levels. However, as students' beliefs regarding control over learning increased, OSCE scores decreased. No significant relationship was defined between self-regulated learning skills and case-based examination scores.

Conclusions: We observed that a greater self-efficacy for learning resulted in higher OSCE scores. Conversely, students who believe that learning is a result of their own effort had lower OSCE scores.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Clerkship / methods*
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods
  • Educational Measurement
  • Female
  • General Surgery / education*
  • Humans
  • Learning*
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Social Control, Informal
  • Students, Medical / statistics & numerical data
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Turkey
  • Young Adult