Motivation and emotion/Book/2018/Self-regulated learning
What is self-regulated learning, how can it be fostered, and what are its impacts on educational outcomes?
Can't focus on your assignments? Are you getting easily distracted? Can't get motivated to study for those upcoming exams? You may be lacking in the skills necessary for self-regulated learning. But don't worry, we can fix that.
This chapter examines self-regulated learning, including how self-regulated learning can be fostered and what its uses and impacts are on educational outcomes. Different models of self-regulated learning will be examined, and the motivational properties and the emotional properties of self-regulated learning will be discussed. Additionally, the case study of Steve is explored to depict a real-life example of how someone can adopt self-regulated learning using different models to achieve optimal educational outcomes.
Self-regulated learning offers an important perspective on academic learning in current research in educational psychology (Pintrich & De Groot, 1990). There are several models derived from a many different theoretical perspectives, but most models agree that self-regulated learning is the students' use of various cognitive and metacognitive strategies to control and regulate their learning, one of which being motivation (Pintrich, 1999). Pintrich (2004) defines four general assumptions of self-regulated learning: learners are viewed as active participants in their own learning; learners are able to control, regulate, and monitor their own cognitions; regulation assumes there is a goal to which comparisons can be made, and; an individuals regulation is mediated by their relations between the person, context, and eventual achievement.
Zimmerman's cyclic model of self-regulated learning
From a social cognitive perspective, Zimmerman (2000) explains that self-regulatory processes and accompanying beliefs fall into three cyclical phases: forethought, performance or volitional control, and self-reflection processes.
Forethought is made up of two subprocesses, which are:
- Task analysis - which is comprised of goal setting and strategic planning, and;
- Self-motivation beliefs - which is comprised of self-efficacy, outcome expectations, intrinsic interest, and goal orientation.
Performance control is made up of two subprocess, which are:
- Self-control - which is comprised of self-instruction, imagery, attention focusing, and task strategies, and;
- Self-observation - which is comprised of self-recording and self-experimentation.
Self-reflection is also made up of two subprocesses, which are:
- Self-judgement - which is comprised of self-evaluation and causal attribution, and;
- Self-reaction - which is comprised of self-satisfaction and adaptive-defensive mechanisms.
Forethought is the influential processes that precede the efforts to act. Performance control is the processes that occur during motoric efforts and affect attention and action. Self-reflection involves the processes that occur after performance efforts and influence a person's response to that experience. These self-reflections, in turn, influence forethought regarding subsequent motoric efforts, thus completing a self-regulatory cycle.
|Steve's Case Study:|
Steve has four assignments due at the end of the semester.
Boekaerts' three-layered self-regulated learning model
In Boekaerts' hierarchical model of self-regulated learning, there are three key aspects - or layers - that dictate self-regulated learning (Boekaerts, 1996).
The first key aspect, and the innermost layer, is the regulation of processing modes. The capacity to use and to regulate one's cognitive processes that are directly related to learning outcomes is the core ability upon which more generalized competencies are based (Boekaerts, 1996). It is described as the information gained about the typical way students learn. In this layer, the regulation of processes is factored upon the choice of cognitive strategies the student decides to makes use of (Boekaerts, 1996).
The second key aspect, and the middle layer, of self-regulation is the students' ability to direct their own learning through the use of metacognitive knowledge and specific skills to direct one's own learning (Boekaerts, 1996). This layer includes learning strategies such as planning to achieve specific learning goals, and monitoring, which happens throughout the learning process and involves observing one's progress toward learning goals as well as identifying problems along the way (Boekaerts, 1996).
The third key aspect, and outermost layer, of self-regulated learning is related to the regulation of the self, and is described by one's overall learning-related motivation (Boekaerts, 1996). This includes their ability to define ongoing and upcoming activities in the light of their own wishes, needs, and expectancies, and their ability to protect their own goals from conflicting alternatives (Boekaerts, 1996).
The three self-regulatory layers depicted in the model are very closely interrelated. Self-regulated learning can only succeed when students have acquired competency in strategies from all three layers, and are able to use them in combination with each other (Boekaerts, 1996).
|Steve's Case Study:|
Steve has a book chapter due in two weeks time and is really stressed about it.
Winne's four stage model of self-regulated learning
The four-stage model of self-regulated learning presented by Winne and colleagues (Winne & Hadwin, 1998) describes self-regulated learning as an event. Self-regulated learning is defined as metacognitively guided behaviour enabling students to adaptively regulate their use of cognitive tactics and strategies in the face of a task (Winne, 1996). According to this model (Winne & Hadwin, 1998), self-regulated learning includes four distinct stages:
- Task definition is characterised by the perceptions that students generate about the task.
- Goal setting and planning.
- Enacting tactics and strategies planned in stage two.
- Metacognitively adapting studying techniques for future needs, by which students critically examine their own behaviours in the preceding stages, in the light of their meta-level knowledge (Winne & Hadwin, 1998).
|Steve's Case Study:|
Steve needs good grades for the rest of his semester so he can apply for his Honours degree, but he's feeling very overwhelmed with all of the work.
According to Winne's model of self-regulated learning, to achieve self-regulated learning, Steve must first define each of his study requirements,this means assessing the time needed to complete each requirement. He must then set goals and plan his time for each of his assessment requirements. Cognitive strategies must then be made by Steve to promote motivation and reduce distractors so he is able to enact on the strategies he previously made. Finally, after he completes his semester, Steve must examine his experiences with his assessment, and supplement effective strategies for his Honours degree.
Adopting self-regulated learning strategies
There are various ways in which self-regulated learning can be promoted (Hall, & Goetz, 2013). It will be discussed how motivation, emotion, and metacognition can be altered into increasing one's self-regulating behaviour. The role of each of these strategies has been shown to be effective in helping students adopt self-regulated learning (see Nicol & Macfarlane‐Dick, 2006; Pajares, 2002; Pintrich, 1999; Pintrich, 2004; Pintrich & De Groot, 1990; Wolters, 1998; Zimmerman, 1990)
Academic motivation is characterised as a student's willingness or desire to be engaged and commit effort to completing a task, and is indicated by a student's choice to engage in a particular activity and the intensity of his or her effort and persistence for that activity (Pintrich & Schrauben, 1992). The regulation of motivation attempts to regulate various motivational beliefs which includes goal orientation, self-efficacy, perceptions of task difficulty, task value beliefs, and personal interest in the task. Self-regulatory strategies include the use of positive self-talk (Bandura, 1997), increasing their extrinsic motivation for the task by promising themselves extrinsic rewards or making certain positive activities contingent on completing an academic task (Wolters, 1998) . Wolters (1998) found that college students intentionally try to evoke extrinsic goals such as getting good grades to help them maintain their motivation. Students also can try to increase their intrinsic motivation for a task by trying to make it more interesting or to maintain a more mastery-oriented focus on learning (Wolters, 1998).
In Wolter's study of studentsmotivational strategies of self-regulated learning, it was found that six strategies were used in students to increase their own motivation, which include:
- The creation of performance goals where students would think about, refer to, consider, or remind themselves about their desire to do well:
- Providing extrinsic rewards suggesting that students would rely on an externally provided reward to sustain motivation;
- Increasing task value for the material or task presented;
- Making the material or the task more enjoyable or personally interesting;
- Invoking mastery learning goals in order to complete the task;
- Influencing their own self-efficacy was a strategy used to change how competent they felt about successfully completing the task.
Besides these important motivational beliefs, students can attempt to control their affect and emotions through the use of various coping strategies that help them deal with negative affect and regulate emotional aspects of completing tasks, and thereby help increase their ability to self-regulate (Wolters, 1998).
Knowing that one’s coping abilities cannot handle an event’s perceived demands conjures up thoughts of disaster, emotional arousal, and feelings of distress and anxiety (Bandura, 1982). As self-efficacy increases, fear and anxiety slip away. Bandura (1983) states that the root cause of anxiety is low self-efficacy. Therefore, an increase in self-efficacy means a decrease in anxiety. According to Bandura (1997), self-efficacy beliefs can arise from: one’s personal history in trying to execute that particular behaviour; observations of similar others who also try to execute that behaviour; verbal persuasions from others, and; physiological states. Self-talk strategies have also been shown to control negative affect and anxiety (Zeidner, 1998).
Students may also invoke negative affects such as shame or guilt to motivate them to persist at a task (Wolters, 1998). Defensive pessimism is another strategy that students can use to harness negative affect and anxiety about doing poorly in order to motivate them to increase their effort and perform better (Garcia & Pintrich, 1994). It has been shown that the attributions of a students success or failure can lead to the experience of more complicated emotions like pride, anger, shame, and guilt (Weiner, 1986). As students reflect on the reasons for their performance, both the quality of the attributions and the quality of the emotions experienced are important outcomes of the self-regulation process. Individuals can actively control the types of attributions they make in order to protect their self-worth and motivation for future tasks (Weiner, 1986).
Most models of metacognitive control or self-regulating strategies include three general types of strategies: planning, monitoring, and regulating (Pintrich, 1999). Planning activities include setting goals for studying, skimming a text before reading, generating questions before reading a text, and doing a task analysis of the problem (Pintrich, 1999). These activities help the learner plan their use of cognitive strategies and also activate relevant aspects of prior knowledge, making the organization and comprehension of the material much easier (Pintrich, 1999).
Monitoring of one's thinking and academic behavior is an essential aspect of self-regulated learning. Monitoring activities include attempting online quizzes about the material, tracking of attention while reading a textbook, monitoring comprehension of a lecture, and using test-taking strategies in an examination situation (Pintrich, 1999). These monitoring strategies alert the learner to breakdowns in attention that can then be repaired using regulation strategies.
Regulation strategies are processes that bring monitored behavior back in line with the goal or bring behaviour closer to the criterion (Pintrich, 1999). Examples include rereading material that isn’t completely understood, slowing the pace of reading when confronted with less familiar text, and during an exam, skipping questions and then coming back to them is also considered to be a regulation strategy (Pintrich, 1999). All these strategies improve learning by helping students correct their studying behavior and allow for a fuller use of cognitive strategies. (Pintrich 1999).
In Wolter’s study (1998) cognitive strategies of self-regulation included: reading all the textbook summaries; making flashcards for concepts and vocabulary; taking notes while reading the textbook, and; breaking down the material into smaller chunks easier for problem solving a planning. Help seeking, efforts to change the environment to make it more study appropriate, attentional strategies, and self-control were further mentioned to help foster self-regulated learning. Wolter's study also found a positive relation between intrinsic motivation and greater cognitive and metacognitive strategy use (see Deci, 1975).
Implementing self-regulated learning in academic scenarios
Paris and Paris (2001) argue that that every student constructs his or her own theory of self-regulated learning, and that these theories can be naïve and ill-informed or elaborate and appropriate, and further argues that a student's self-regulated learning can be enhanced in a number of ways.
Seven aspects of classroom instruction and teacher-student interactions are assumed to play a crucial role in fostering self-regulated learning in students. The specific aspect of self-regulated learning being encouraged in each intervention component below is indicated in parentheses (Götz, Nett, & Hall, 2013).
- Help students set challenging yet realistic goals and standards [Goal Setting].
- Have students observe and record their own behavior [Monitoring].
- Teach students instructions they can give themselves to remind them of what they need to do [Planning].
- Encourage students to evaluate their own achievement [Evaluation].
- Teach students to reinforce themselves for appropriate behaviour [Motivation].
- Give students opportunities to practice learning with little to no help from their teachers [Degrees of Freedom].
- Provide strategies that students can use to solve interpersonal problems [Regulation] .
Götz and colleagues (2013) further discuss ways of implementing self-regulated learning, one of them being intervention strategies. Interventions include:
- Providing materials/instruments to assist students in self-evaluation, providing insight into critical aspects of students' self-regulated learning competencies, including knowledge about themselves as learners, different academic tasks, specific learning strategies, and the learning environment.
- Students are taught declarative, procedural, and conditional knowledge concerning three learning strategies related to knowledge acquisition: rehearsal, elaboration, and organization.
- Principles of self-regulation are taught: setting goals, being aware of the task and personal resources, developing a plan, how to choose strategies, how to use strategies, monitoring and evaluation concerning strategy use and learning progress, when to change strategies or the way in which a strategy is used, and final evaluation of results to determine whether the selected strategies should be modified for future learning endeavours.
- Basic elements of information processing theory are presented to show learners why the learning strategies being encouraged are more efficient than alternate approaches.
- During the semester, provide students with opportunities to use these strategies while completing actual learning tasks. The use of learning strategies in different domains increases metacognition as well as the generalisability of the strategies learned in various future learning situations.
Personal learning environments
A personal learning environment (PLE) is a new construct premised on social media and is considered to be an effective platform for student learning (Dabbagh & Kitsantas, 2012). PLE'sare an outcome of the tools that social media has provided learners enabling them to create, organize, and share content. A PLE can be entirely controlled or adapted by a student according to his or her formal and informal learning needs.
Dabbagh and Kitsantas (2012) developed a three level framework for social media use, which are:
- Personal information management - At level 1 instructors should encourage students to use social media such as blogs and wikis to create a PLE that enables them to engage in self-regulated learning processes by self-generating content and managing this content for personal use (Dabbagh & Kitsantas, 2012).
- Social interaction and collaboration - At level 2, instructors should encourage students to use social media to engage in basic sharing and collaborative activities. For example students can enable the blog's comment feature allowing instructor and peer feedback or create a collaborative workspace using a wiki. These social and collaborative activities engage students in the self-regulation processes of self-monitoring and help seeking prompting students to identify strategies needed to perform more formal learning tasks (Dabbagh & Kitsantas, 2012).
- Information aggregation and management - At level 3, information aggregation and management, instructors encourage students to use social media to synthesize and aggregate information from level 1 and level 2 in order to reflect on their overall learning experience. These social media activities allow students to take greater control of their personal l, customizing it and personalising it around their learning goals. This evaluation or self-reflection is then used by the student to influence the forethought phase of subsequent efforts, leading the student to make adjustments to the PLE created in level 1 of the framework and individualize it by design (Dabbagh & Kitsantas, 2012).
As students engage in a self-oriented system of feedback with the help of the instructor and peers, they become motivated to create an effective PLE to achieve desired learning outcomes and enrich their learning experiences.
What impacts does self-regulated learning have on educational outcomes?
Underachievement in school has often been ascribed to a lack of self-regulation, and evidence shows that procrastination leads to low levels of learning and performance and to high levels of dissatisfaction and stress (Schmitz & Wiese, 2006).
As previously mentioned, motivational, emotional, and metacognitive strategies can be fostered to increase self-regulated learning. There have been a number of studies that aim to examine the specific effects of self-regulated learning in a number of different academic scenarios. McClelland and colleagues (2006) provided the strongest evidence of a longitudinal relationship between self-regulation and academic achievement in reading and math in elementary school students. In Zimmerman and colleagues (1986; 1998; 1990) high school studies, it was found that students' use of self-regulated learning strategies was strongly associated with superior academic functioning, significantly higher verbal efficacy, mathematical efficacy, strategy use, higher perceptions of academic self-efficacy, higher academic achievement and learning motivation.
There are several different models derived from a many different theoretical perspectives, but most models agree that self-regulated learning involves students' use of various cognitive and metacognitive strategies to control and regulate their learning. They each have a preparatory phase, a performance phase, and an appraisal phase. To increase self-regulatory behaviours, motivational, emotional, and metacognitive strategies can be implemented through educational settings, interventions, and PLE’s. Through the use of self-regulated learning, students can achieve better grades, create a higher sense of academic self-efficacy, and increase the effectiveness of metacognitive strategies including planning, goal setting, and time management.
- Adolescent educational motivation (Book chapter, 2018)
- Emotional self-regulation (Book chapter, 2013)
- Emotional self-regulation (Wikipedia)
- Self-regulation of overeating (Book chapter, 2011)
- Self-regulated learning (Wikipedia)
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- How to teach self-regulated learning (Teacher Magazine)
- High performing students regulate their own learning (Teacher Magazine)
- Self-regulated learning (Informational video)
- Prompting Students’ Self-Regulated Learning: An overview with Rayne Sperling (Informational video)