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Dynamics of study strategies and teacher regulation in virtual patient learning activities: a cross sectional survey
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Division of Community Medicine. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
2016 (English)In: BMC Medical Education, ISSN 1472-6920, E-ISSN 1472-6920, Vol. 16, no 1, 122- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


Students’ self-regulated learning becomes essential with increased use of exploratory web-based activities such as virtual patients (VPs). The purpose was to investigate the interplay between students’ self-regulated learning strategies and perceived benefit in VP learning activities.


A cross-sectional study (n = 150) comparing students’ study strategies and perceived benefit of a virtual patient learning activity in a clinical clerkship preparatory course. Teacher regulation varied among three settings and was classified from shared to strong. These settings were compared regarding their respective relations between regulation strategies and perceived benefit of the virtual patient activity.


Self-regulation learning strategy was generally associated with perceived benefit of the VP activities (rho 0.27, p < 0.001), but was not true in all settings. The association was higher in the two strongly regulated settings. The external regulation strategy did generally associate weakly with perceived benefit (rho 0.17, p < 0.05) with large variations between settings.


The flexible student-autonomous appeal of virtual patients should not lead to the dismissal of guidance and related course activities. External teacher and peer regulation seem to be productive for increasing learners’ perceived benefit. Awareness of the interplay among teacher regulation (external) and various study strategies can increase the value of flexible web-based learning resources to students.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2016. Vol. 16, no 1, 122- p.
Keyword [en]
Study strategies, Self-regulation, Teacher guidance, Virtual patients
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-127531DOI: 10.1186/s12909-016-0644-yISI: 000374743800002PubMedID: 27108089OAI: diva2:925619
Available from: 2016-05-02 Created: 2016-05-02 Last updated: 2016-06-10

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