Cao, Nguyen T. T., Tien T. T. Lam, Binh L. Cao, Bich T. N. Tran, Thiet M. Trinh, V. V. Dorofeeva, & De V. Tran (2020, January). Factors influencing Vietnamese dentistry students’ autonomy: A Q-methodology study. IC4E 2020: Proceedings of the 2020 11th International Conference on E-Education, E-Business, E-Management, and E-Learning (pp. 37-42). New York: Association for Computing Machinery. (doi: (Link: (Access:

Abstract: Objectives: Students’ self-learning ability is an important factor that directly influences learning outcomes. Studies of students’ self-learning problems have been widely conducted on students in different majors in Vietnam but not on dental students. The purpose of the current study is to explore factors influencing dentistry freshmen’s autonomy in Vietnam by using Q-methodology. Methods: Q-methodology was applied to identify the factors affecting learners’ autonomy. A Q-sample of 47 statements was developed based on the review of the literature and student interviews. The study recruited 29 first-year students from Can Tho University of Medicine and Pharmacy. They were required to sort statements of Q-sample into a Q-distribution grid according to the degree of influence of the factors on their self-learning. The data collected were analyzed using PQMethod software version 2.35. Results: There were two main factors affecting students’ autonomy: Factor 1-autonomy-supportive environment, and Factor 2-smartphone usage, which accounted for 35% of the total variance of study. Conclusions: Lacking of clear teachers’ guidance, assessment on self-learner study and abusing of social apps on smartphone may affect student autonomy. Especially, freshmen do not recognise the important of subjects in basic science with their future job for becoming a doctor. The findings may help students, teachers, and education managers to find the best solutions to improve learner autonomy problems.

Nguyen T T Cao <> is in the Can Tho University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Can Tho City, Vietnam.

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