- This randomized controlled trial compared the effectiveness of self-directed learning (SDL) and faculty directed, demonstration-return-demonstration learning (DRD) for psychomotor clinical nursing skills and level of knowledge of second year baccalaureate nursing students. The self-directed learning approach of a university was compared to a community college's approach of tutor demonstration-student return demonstration for students from the University. Data were collected using questionnaires measuring academic outcomes after the students were exposed to the different learning approaches. The data were compared for differences in grades in an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). Findings indicated that students perceived there were differences in the learning process, however there were no differences of interest in most of the academic outcomes. While students did not differ on the total OSCE grade, students using the SDL method received higher grades in only one of the marker stations and students using the DRD method received higher grades in only one marker and one observer station. The group of students receiving the DRD method indicated that they were given enough help from faculty, were allowed sufficient practice time and expected that the SDL method would be more stressful. 30.8% of the students in the SDL group recommended their learning method to future second year students, while 100% of the DRD group recommended the DRD method. Although the outcome appeared not to differ, more students indicated satisfaction with the faculty-directed (DRD) approach.