There is more than 'I' in self-directed learning: An exploration of self-directed learning in teams of undergraduate students
SourceMedical Teacher, 43, 5, (2021), pp. 590-598
Article / Letter to editor
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Radboudumc Health Academy
SubjectRadboudumc 0: Other Research RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 13: Stress-related disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience
Preparing future professionals for highly dynamic settings require self-directed learning in authentic learning situations. Authentic learning situations imply teamwork. Therefore, designing education for future professionals requires an understanding of how self-directed learning develops in teams. We followed (bio-)medical sciences students (n = 15) during an 8-month period in which they worked on an innovation project in teams of 4-6 students. Template analysis of 39 transcripts of audio-recorded group meetings revealed three mechanisms along which group dynamics influenced self-directed learning behaviour. First, if expressions of emotions were met with an inquisitive response, this resulted in self-monitoring or feelings of responsibility. Second, openness in the group towards creativity or idea exploration stimulated critical thinking. Third, disputational talk frustrated learning, because it adversely affected group cohesion. We conclude that emotions, openness, and relatedness are important drivers of self-directed learning in teams and hence should be given explicit attention in designing collaborative learning for future professionals.
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