Self-Directed Learning in Problem-Based Learning and its Relationships with Self-Regulated Learning


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Abstract

This study investigated the role of self-directed learning (SDL) in problem-based learning (PBL) and examined how SDL relates to self-regulated learning (SRL). First, it is explained how SDL is implemented in PBL environments. Similarities between SDL and SRL are highlighted. However, both concepts differ on important aspects. SDL includes an additional premise of giving students a broader role in the selection and evaluation of learning materials. SDL can encompass SRL, but the opposite does not hold. Further, a review of empirical studies on SDL and SRL in PBL was conducted. Results suggested that SDL and SRL are developmental processes, that the “self” aspect is crucial, and that PBL can foster SDL. It is concluded that conceptual clarity of what SDL entails and guidance for both teachers and students can help PBL to bring forth self-directed learners.

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