Education and Information Technologies

, Volume 24, Issue 6, pp 3289–3309 | Cite as

Investigating medical students’ readiness for technology-mediated autonomous learning situations in ESP programs

  • Iman AlizadehEmail author
  • Farideh Ebrahimi


The use of technology and learner autonomy are two key issues in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) programs. This study aimed to investigate Iranian medical students’ readiness to do ESP tasks based on five situations and discover their reasons for choosing each of the situations. Two of the situations (1 and 2) embodied a conventional autonomous learning process, two (3 and 4) represented a technology-mediated autonomous learning process, and one (5) was based on a self-study method. Data were collected by means of a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. The results showed that the students’ choices of the situations in order of priority were situation 2, situation 3, situation 1, situation 5, and situation 4. The themes emerging from the content analysis of the students’ reasons for choosing each of the situations were: Situation 1: concentration, individuality gains, professor, group work problems, and learning gains; Situation 2: professor, information exchange, learning gains, personal contact gains, motivation, confidence, discipline, and Internet problems; Situation 3: professor, information exchange, learning gains, time management, accessibility, face-to-face contact demerits, and discipline; Situation 4: stress free, time and language problems; and Situation 5: concentration, individuality gains, time, and university problems. The study concludes that the majority of the students have a low level of readiness for technology-mediated autonomous learning situations. It suggests that the students’ autonomy be promoted through raising their awareness about, motivation for and confidence in using technology for educational purposes and creating incentives for ESP teachers to foster technology-mediated autonomous learning.


Technology Autonomy ESP E-learning Medical students 



The authors thank all professors and students at Guilan University of Medical Sciences who contributed to the completion of this research project. They specially thank the Deputy for Research and Technology of the university.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Nursing & Midwifery and Paramedical SciencesGuilan University of Medical SciencesRashtIran
  2. 2.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringBabol Noshirvani University of TechnologyBabolIran

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