Background: Reflection on learning is an essential component of effective learning. Deconstructing the components of reflection on learning using a self-regulated learning (SRL) framework, allows the assessment of students' ability to reflect on their learning. The aim of this study was to validate an instrument to measure medical students' reflection on their learning. Methods: A systematic search was conducted to identify the most suitable instrument to measure students' reflection on their learning based on the theoretical framework of SRL. The search identified the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) which contained five subscales: internal goal orientation, self-efficacy, critical thinking, metacognitive/self-regulation, help seeking and peer learning. Using the original MSLQ as the foundation, we carried out three phases of a research program to develop a useful set of items: an expert panel's review of items, a substantial pilot study, and a factor analysis of ratings of a modified set of items by preclinical and final year medical students. Results: The factor analysis of the Modified MSLQ extracted four subscales with reasonable internal consistency: self-orientation, critical thinking, self-regulation and feedback-seeking. Each subscale correlates highly with the Modified MSLQ score, with modest inter-correlations between the subscales suggesting that they are measuring different components of the total score. Conclusion: Medical students and their educators need to be able to monitor their learning in their complex academic and clinical environments. The Modified MSLQ provides a means of investigating and tracking individual medical students' reflections on their learning.
- Medical students
- Reflection on learning