Type of Article:  Original Research

Volume 10; Issue 1 (March 2022)

Page No.: 8301-8311

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.16965/ijar.2021.213

Introduction of SDL in Department of Anatomy: Evaluation of Learning and SDL Readiness

Kanika Sachdeva *1, Anupama Mahajan 2.

*1 Professor Anatomy, SGRDIMSAR, Amritsar, Amritsar, Punjab, India. https://orcid.org/0000-0001- 7516-6572

2 Professor & Head, Department of Anatomy, SGRDIMSAR, Amritsar, Punjab, India.

Corresponding Author: Dr Kanika Sahdeva, Professor, Department of Anatomy, SGRDIMSR Amritsar, 143501, Punjab, India. E-Mail: kanikadr.sarang@yahoo.com   


Background: Self-directed learning (SDL) is a process in which individuals assume the responsibility of identifying their learning needs, setting goals, locating sources, developing and implementing proper strategies, and evaluating the outcomes of learning both individually and collectively. The advantages of SDL include, but not limited to, gaining more autonomy in learning, having higher motivation for it, acquiring lifelong learning skills, and developing greater self-control, self-confidence, and self-management. SDL has become popular in medical curricula and has been advocated as an effective learning strategy for medical students to develop competence in knowledge acquisition.

Aim and Objectives: To introduce self directed learning in the Department of Anatomy, to encourage faculty members to accept SDL as a Teaching Learning method and encouraging students to develop an attitude of self directed learning & to become lifelong learners.

Methodology: After proper sensitization of the faculty & students regarding SDL, two sessions were conducted during the Anatomy Dissection Hall timings of the First Year students. The performance of the students, in the SDL topics was assessed using the MCQ & SAQ tests. Feedback regarding the SDL methodology was taken both from the students as well as the faculty. Also the Questionnaires were given to students applying Fischer’s Self Directed Learning Readiness Scale (SDLRS) & Jefferson Scale of Life Long learning –Health Profession Version (JeffSLL-HSP) & the results were statistically analyzed.

Results: A total of 126 MBBS students of the first semester participated in SDL session. Most students scored more than mean score in the tests after SDL sessions and there was a fourfold increase in the number of students scoring more than 80% in the two SDL tests. Also participating students showed high readiness towards SDL and were oriented to become Life Long Learners.

Conclusions:  SDL can be effectively implemented in the Department of Anatomy and it motivates students to become life long learners.

KEY WORDS: Self-directed learning (SDL), Teaching Learning method. Life long learners, MCQ, SEQ, Fischer’s Self Directed Learning Readiness Scale (SDLRS).


[1]. Knowles M. Self-directed Learning: A Guide for Learners and Teachers. New York: Associated Press, 1975.
[2]. Brookfield S. The contribution of Eduard Lindeman to the development of theory and philosophy in adult education. Adult Education 1984; 34: 185-196.
[3]. Harvey BJ, Rothman AI & Frecker RC. Effect of an undergraduate medical curriculum on students’ self-directed learning. Acad Med 2003; 78(12): 1259-65.
[4]. Ramnarayan K and Hande S .Thoughts on Self-Directed Learning in Medical Schools: Making Students More Responsible. New Horizons for Learning. http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/lifelonglearning/higher-education/medical-schools/
[5]. Mann KV & Gelula MH. How to facilitate self-directed learning. In: Davis DA, Barnes BE, Fox RD, editors. The Continuing Professional Development of Physicians: From Research to Practice. USA: American Medical Association, 2003:121-43.
[6]. Fisher M, King J and Tague G. Development of self-directed learning readiness scale for nursing education”. Nurse Educ Today 2001; 21: 526-516.
[7]. Knowles MS. The Modern Practice of Adult Education. Andragogy versus Pedagogy. New York: Association Press, 1970.
[8]. Fox RD & West RF. Developing medical student competence in lifelong learning: the contract learning approach. Med Educ 1983; 17:247-53.
[9]. Parboosingh J. Learning portfolios: potential to assist health professionals with self-directed learning. J Cont Educ Health Prof.1996; 16:75-81.
[10]. Cazan AM & Schiopca BA. Self-directed Learning, Personality Traits and Academic Achievement. Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2014; 27: 640-644.
[11]. Wiley K. Effects of a self-directed learning project and preference for structure on self-directed learning readiness. Nursing Research 1983; 32(3): 181-185.
[12]. Regulations on Graduate Medical Education, 2012, Medical Council of India [Internet]. http://psgimsr.ac.in/faculty%20‑2/REGULATIONSON%20GRADUATE%20MEDICAL%20 EDUCATION‑%202012.pdf
[13]. Hojat M, Nasca TJ, Erdmann JB, Frisby AJ, Veloski JJ and Gonnella JS. An operational measure of physician lifelong learning: its development, components, and preliminary psychometric data. Med Teacher 2003; 25: 433–7.
[14]. Nayak MK and Bella VS. Various Methods of Self-Directed Learning in Medical Education. MediSys J Med Sci 2020;1 (1): 15-22
[15]. Guglielmino LM. Development of Self Directed Learning Readiness scale. Journal of Humanisic Psychology 1978; 20(2): 41-56.
[16]. Torabi N, Aslani G & Bahrami A. A study on self-directed learning among preliminary school teachers in Esfahan. Procedia Soc Behav Sci 2013; 83: 219 – 223.
[17]. Fisher M & King J. The self-directed learning readiness scale for nursing education revisited: A confirmatory factor analysis. Nurse Educ Today 2010; 30: 44-48.
[18]. Yousefy A & Gordanshekan M. A review on development of self-directed learning. Iranian Journal of Medical Education 2011; 10(51): 776-783.
[19]. Malekian M, Ghiyasvandian S, Cheraghi MA & Hassanzadeh A. Iranian Clinical Nurses’ Readiness for Self-Directed Learning. Global Journal of Health Science 2016; 8(1): 157-164
[20]. Novak M. Critical Synthesis Package: Jefferson Scale of Physician Lifelong Learning (JeffSPLL). MedEdPORTAL Publications; 2013. https://www.mededportal.org/publication/9493 http://dx.doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9493
[21]. Kaufman DM. ABC of learning and teaching in medicine: Applying educational theory in practice. BMJ 2003; 326: 213-16.
[22]. Williamson SN. Development of a self-rating scale of self-directed learning. Nurse Res 2007;14(2): 66-83
[23]. Shokar GS, Shokar NK, Romero CM and Bulik RJ. Self-directed learning: looking at outcomes with medical students. Family Medicine 2003; 35(6):445-6
[24]. Kar SS, Premarajan KC, Ramalingam A, Iswarya S, Sujiv A and Subitha L. Self-directed learning readiness among fifth semester MBBS students in a teaching institution of South India. Educ Health 2014; 27:289-92.
[25]. Soliman M, Al-Shaikh G. Readiness for self-directed learning among First Year Saudi Medical students: A descriptive study. Pak J MedSci 2015;31(4):799-802.

Cite this article: Kanika Sachdeva, Anupama Mahajan. Introduction of SDL in Department of Anatomy: Evaluation of Learning and SDL Readiness. Int J Anat Res 2022;10(1):8301-8311. DOI: 10.16965/ijar.2021.213