Self-regulated learning processes of medical students during an academic learning task

Roghayeh Gandomkar, Azim Mirzazadeh*, Mohammad Jalili, Kamran Yazdani, Ladan Fata, John Sandars

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This study was designed to identify the self-regulated learning (SRL) processes of medical students during a biomedical science learning task and to examine the associations of the SRL processes with previous performance in biomedical science examinations and subsequent performance on a learning task. Methods: A sample of 76 Year 1 medical students were recruited based on their performance in biomedical science examinations and stratified into previous high and low performers. Participants were asked to complete a biomedical science learning task. Participants’ SRL processes were assessed before (self-efficacy, goal setting and strategic planning), during (metacognitive monitoring) and after (causal attributions and adaptive inferences) their completion of the task using an SRL microanalytic interview. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse the means and frequencies of SRL processes. Univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the associations of SRL processes with previous examination performance and the learning task performance. Results: Most participants (from 88.2% to 43.4%) reported task-specific processes for SRL measures. Students who exhibited higher self-efficacy (odds ratio [OR] 1.44, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.09–1.90) and reported task-specific processes for metacognitive monitoring (OR 6.61, 95% CI 1.68–25.93) and causal attributions (OR 6.75, 95% CI 2.05–22.25) measures were more likely to be high previous performers. Multiple analysis revealed that similar SRL measures were associated with previous performance. The use of task-specific processes for causal attributions (OR 23.00, 95% CI 4.57–115.76) and adaptive inferences (OR 27.00, 95% CI 3.39–214.95) measures were associated with being a high learning task performer. In multiple analysis, only the causal attributions measure was associated with high learning task performance. Conclusions: Self-efficacy, metacognitive monitoring and causal attributions measures were associated positively with previous performance. Causal attributions and adaptive inferences measures were associated positively with learning task performance. These findings may inform remediation interventions in the early years of medical school training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1065-1074
Number of pages10
JournalMedical Education
Issue number10
Early online date15 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • self regulated learning
  • medical education


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