BACKGROUND: Self-directed learning is an educational concept that has received increasing attention. The recent workplace literature, however, reports problems with the facilitation of self-directed learning in clinical practice. We developed the Midwifery Assessment and Feedback Instrument (MAFI) as a framework to facilitate self-directed learning. In the present study, we sought clinical supervisors' perceptions of the usefulness of MAFI.
METHODS: Interviews with fifteen clinical supervisors were audio taped, transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically using Atlas-Ti software for qualitative data analysis.
RESULTS: Four themes emerged from the analysis. (1) The competency-based educational structure promotes the setting of realistic learning outcomes and a focus on competency development, (2) instructing students to write reflections facilitates student-centred supervision, (3) creating a feedback culture is necessary to achieve continuity in supervision and (4) integrating feedback and assessment might facilitate competency development under the condition that evidence is discussed during assessment meetings. Supervisors stressed the need for direct observation, and instruction how to facilitate a self-directed learning process.
CONCLUSION: The MAFI appears to be a useful framework to promote self-directed learning in clinical practice. The effect can be advanced by creating a feedback and assessment culture where learners and supervisors share the responsibility for developing self-directed learning.
- Competency development
- Midwifery education
- Self-directed learning