DO FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS NEED ASSISTANCE IN ADOPTING HIGHER LEVEL OF LEARNING STRATEGIES?
Keywords:medical students, first-year, learning strategies, extent of implementation, MSLQ.
Introduction: This study aimed to estimate the level to which the students at the beginning of medical studies are familiarized with strategies for learning in order to explore where and how to assist at the very beginning of their learning.
Methods: A total of 368 1st to 6th year medical students at Ss. Cyril & Methodius University, Skopje, (North Macedonia) filled out the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire. In this questionnaire-based, cross-sectional, observational study emphasis was given to the first-year students (n=109). Cohort distribution was determined according to scores expressing the level of practicing instruments of each learning strategy. Percentiles and lowest scores were used for tracing the least adopted strategies.
Results: Majority of the first-year students (52.49%) use learning strategies at medium level, 26.60% at high and 20.89% at low level. For three subscale areas the percentile of students practicing at low level is especially high (39.45% for critical thinking, 40.36% for peer learning and 36.69% for help seeking). For these subscales also students’ scores have the lowest values.
Conclusion: Our first-year students use a different level of learning strategies. As 20.89% of students practice less than 55% of the instruments of each learning strategy and critical thinking, peer learning and help seeking (shown to be less adopted) are basic instruments for deeper and effective learning, the need to assist the first-year students in better adopting learning strategies is obvious.
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