Self-directed learning in a psychopathology course

J. Douglas Crowder, Deborah A. Miller, John Z. Sadler, Paul C. Mohl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Self-directed learning has been identified as an essential element of professional development. In this approach, students receive in advance a complete set of objectives and didactic knowledge (cognitive) learning materials, are provided opportunities to develop skills with actual or simulated clinical experiences, and adapt a broad and flexible array of educational media to their individual learning styles. In the development of a self-directed psychopathology course for second-year medical students, the authors incorporated four modifications to the traditional lecture and small group (faculty-directed) approach: 1) independent (self-directed) learning with no prescribed study times or sequence to the material, 2) use of student and faculty-directed interviews of patients, 3) greater freedom for selecting teaching methods in small groups, and 4) elimination of formal lectures. The authors describe the educational results with such an approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-110
Number of pages10
JournalAcademic Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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