Foundations of Education and Instructional Assessment/Involving Students/Self-Regulation
Students becoming Self-Regulated Learners in Distance Learning Programs
By: Jessica Coleman
1. Students should be able to identify processes that classify self-regulated learning.
2. Students should be able to recognize the effective strategies of becoming a self-regulated learner.
3. Students should be able to classify the six dimensions of being a self-regulated learner.
Technology has brought our society a long way. College students use to attended regular classes on campus in classrooms with the teacher lecturing right in front of them. Technology has brought us so far that college students these days are able to sit at home in their pajamas and take their college classes at online. There are more and more Distance Learning Programs being offered each year from a wide variety of colleges. Many students are choosing to take online courses these days because it allows them more time to complete other tasks, while still working on their education. Online classes is an excellent way for students to obtain their degree. Students that decided to pursue online class must be self-regulated learners. When students are taking online classes there is no teacher in front of them stressing how important it is to stay on target and complete task on time. Students must be organized and motivated to complete their class work on time, therefore students must be self-regulated learners. Self-regulated learning refers to the processes by which individual learners attempt to observe and organize their own learning (Motivation: Self-Regulated Learning, 2009).
Students as Self-Regulated Learners
When we hear the word self-regulated learners we automatically think of students. Did you know that students at almost any age are capable of taking charge of their own learning. The fact that almost all people are capable of self-regulation does not mean that they actually take effective charge of their own learning (Self-Regulation of Learning, 1992). Students have the choice of being a self-regulated learner or not. When taking a distance learning course students can organize a schedule so that they know they will complete their assignments on time. Students can also but their assignments off and be procrastinators instead of self-regulated learners. Students that are self-regulated learners develop more effective strategies to help them with their learning task (Self-Regulation of Learning, 1992).
When faced with a learning task, self-regulated learners typically do the following:
1. They begin by analyzing the task and interpreting task requirements in terms of their current knowledge and beliefs.
2. They set task-specific goals, which they use as a basis for selecting, adapting, and possibly inventing strategies that will help them accomplish their objectives.
3. After implementing strategies, they monitor their progress toward goals, thereby generating internal feedback about the success of their efforts.
4. They adjust their strategies and efforts based on their perception of ongoing progress.
5. They use motivational strategies to keep themselves on task when they become discouraged or encounter difficulties.
Six Dimensions to being a Self-Regulated Learner
There are many other points of views on self-regulated learning and how it relates to students using technology. One view is that students who are active and take control of their own learning at any age level or in any learning situation perform better and achieve better results. Students that already use these tactics must nurture them. Students who have the skills must develop them to be more successful (Self Regulated Learners and Distance Education Theory, 1997). Students in the distance education program will be more successful if they have developed this style because they are more involved in the decision-making that occurs. Technology allows students to take control of their own learning (Self Regulated Learners and Distance Education Theory, 1997). There are six dimensions to being a self-regulated learner which include:
1. Epistemological beliefs: a person's own understanding of their system of knowing. Knowing about this gives a person the ability to see where they fit into learning or how it influences them. It also influences confidence. The more the learner understands about a particular situation the more success they will experience. Pre-tests or pre-instruction discussion can heighten this awareness.
2. Motivation: The will to learn or get better at learning has to come from internal or external motivation. In the case of the self-regulated learner this motivation comes from recognizing the importance of the task at hand and through personal development.
3. Metacognition: Knowledge about cognition and awareness of one's own thinking and learning. This fits with the use of learning strategies. The student must know what tools they have in the toll box and how well they use them. This creates a more active involvement on the part of the learner as they have to asses the situation based on their own abilities and use the learning skills that they see as appropriate or successful.
4. Learning strategies: Strategies the learner is aware of and how they utilize them. Students need the skills to handle various learning situations. This means a shift from content. To skill development. Giving the student a system of strategies and helping to develop them is a major step towards creating self-regulated learners.
5. Contextual sensitivity: The ability to understand a particular learning situation and how to identify the problem and solve it. This skill can be developed by shoeing the learner how to identify problems. Learners who do not know what they are being asked to solve will never achieve success. They may not know To look for clues or important information contained in the question. Working through examples will build this skill. Have part of the solution to each problem be the identification of what is being asked for.
6. Environmental utilization/control: Use of external resources to achieve solutions. Personal experience and knowledge can add to a person's ability to reach a solution, Learners should be taught to broaden their view of learning to include other resources. Oftentimes events or items we see are not being related provide us with valuable assistance.
Self-Regulation Learning Example
Self-regulation involves developing key processes, setting goals, time management, learning strategies, self-evaluation, self-attributions, seeking information, and important self-motivational beliefs (Becoming a Self-Regulated Learner, 2002). I will provide an example of self-regulated learning to help everyone understand how it effects students in everyday life. The link listed below gives a descriptive example of a self-regulated learning experience.
|This link that provides a vivid example of how to become a self-regulated learner: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0NQM/is_2_41/ai_90190493/?tag=content;col1|
In the example that was presented in this link we are told about a high school student named Tracy who is obsessed with MTV. We are told that she has a very important mid-term math exam coming up in the next two weeks. In this example we are told that she has begun to study for mid-term while she relaxes herself by listening to popular music. Tracy has not set any study goals, she just tells herself to do as well as she can on the test and she will be pleased with that. She uses no specific learning strategies for condensing and memorizing important material and does not plan out her study time. By not having a specific learning strategy Tracy ends up cramming before the test for a few hours. Tracy attributes her learning difficulties to an intrinsic lack of mathematical ability and is very defensive about her poor study methods. She does not ask for any help from others because she is afraid of “looking stupid” in front or her peers. She finds studying to be anxiety-provoking, has little self-confidence in achieving success, and sees little intrinsic value in acquiring mathematical skill (Becoming a Self-Regulated Learner: an overview, 2002).
This example shows us what happens when students are not self-regulated learners. This is an example of what happens when students do not take the time to organize their materials and set goals in order for them to succeed in their studies. This is a perfect example of a procrastinator. Tracy put off studying for her mid-term and she ended up cramming right before the big test and did not do so well. We find that when we put things off, such as studying we do not do so well when it comes time to take the test. This is a perfect example of what happens when students are not self-regulated learners. By reading this example students should learn from Tracy’s mistake and learn how to become a self-regulated learner. If students would become self-regulated learners, cramming before a test would never happen. This is a ideal example for students to read before taking any course. They should realize that they have to be self-regulated learners in able for them to succeed.
After reading all of this important information on self-regulated learners in the distance learning program we should now realize how important it is to be a self-regulated learner. In able for every person to achieve in school they need to be self-regulated learners. Students need to realize that in order to do well in their college classes they need to set goals, maintain time management, develop learning strategies, seek information, and the most important have self-motivational beliefs. If students are self-regulated learners they will exceed in anything they put their mind too. I believe that distance learning programs are great for self-regulated learners and I hope that these programs will encourage more students to be self-regulated learners. Always remember, “Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence” (Learning Quotes, 2009).
Multiple Choice Questions
1. There are six dimensions of being a self-regulated learner. Here are five dimensions: Epistemological Beliefs, Metacognition, Learning Strategies, Contextual Sensitivity, Environmental Utilization/Control. Which dimension is the missing?
A. Time Management B. Motivation C. Self-Evaluation D. Setting Goals
2. The first step self-regulated learners typically do when faced with a learning task is
A. They begin by analyzing the task and interpreting task requirements in terms of their current knowledge and beliefs B. They monitor their progress toward goals, thereby generating internal feedback about the success of their efforts C. They set task-specific goals, which they use us a basis for selecting, adapting, and possibly inventing strategies that will help them accomplish their objectives D. They use motivational strategies to keep themselves on task when they become discouraged or encounter difficulties
3. Matthew is studying for his final exam in English which is two weeks away. What skills should he use to make a good grade on his final exam?
A. Set goals for himself B. Study with other classmates C. Time management D. All of the above
4. Ashley has a Science test coming up in five days. Ashley is not doing so well in her Science class. Which choice would not help Ashley do well on her Science test?
A. Ask her peers to help her study B. Motivate herself by setting attainable goals C. Manage her time each day so she will have adequate time to study D. Watch her favorite TV program every night
1. B. Motivation
2. A. They begin by analyzing the task and interpreting task requirements in terms of their current knowledge and beliefs
3. D. All of the above
4. D. Watch her favorite TV program every night
Adams, Abigail (2009). Learning Quotes. Retrieved April 6, 2009, Web site: http://www.inspirationalquotes4u.com/directorysites/index.html
Miles, C. (1992). Self-Regulation of Learning. Retrieved April 6, 2009, Web site: http://education.calumet.purdue.edu/vockell/EdPsyBook/Edpsy7/edpsy7_self.htm
Wilson, Jay (1997, June). Self Regulated Learners and Distance Education Theory. Retrieved April 6, 2009, Web site: http://www.usask.ca/education/coursework/802papers/wilson/wilson.html
Zimmerman, Barry J. (2002). Becoming a self-regulated learner: an overview. Retrieved April 6, 2009, Web site: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0NQM/is_2_41/ai_90190493/?tag=content;col1
(2009). Motivation: Self-Regulated Learning. Retrieved April 6, 2009, from Answers.com Web site: http://www.answers.com/topic/motivation-self-regulated-learning