SELF-REGULATED LEARNING 101
What is Self-Regulated Learning?
When it comes to tackling academic tasks, are you aware of how you learn? Do you know what your strengths and weaknesses are? Are you good at knowing what you know and don’t know? Do you know what kind of strategies help you to complete a given task successfully? Before working on a task, do you set appropriate goals? While working on the task, do you monitor how you’re doing and whether or not you need to change your strategies? When you encounter an obstacle, do you figure out ways around it? Once you complete a task, do you reflect on what you’ve learned and what you may need to do to improve your performance the next time around? These are the kinds of questions that concern researchers who study self-regulated learning (SRL). Although there are a number of theoretical models of SRL, they all define SRL as a constructive process whereby learners proactively activate, monitor, control, and regulate their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to achieve self-set learning goals (Zimmerman, 1990).
Top 10 Facts About SRL
- Self-regulated students – that is students who reflect on their thinking, set appropriate goals and plan for learning, monitor progress towards those goals, and adjust or regulate their thinking, motivation, and study habits – are more likely to achieve academic success than those who do not (Pintrich & Zusho, 2007; Zimmerman, 1990).
- SRL skills are learned skills that can be modified and improved, thus making it an ideal target for intervention at any age level.
- The use of SRL-related strategies (e.g., goal-setting, monitoring, evaluating) should improve performance in any subject domain (e.g., reading, writing, mathematics, chemistry, biology, psychology, and even physical education) and at any grade level. Younger students may need more support with regulation.
- Students who feel more confident (but not overconfident) about the subject and their academic skills are more likely to use self-regulatory strategies. Asking students to self-assess and monitor their progress helps to develop their perceptions of competence.
- For students to regulate their learning effectively, they must also have adequate knowledge about the task and its requirements, the subject domain, and knowledge of strategies.
- Students are more likely to regulate their learning when they have adequate resources available, including time, effective and supportive teachers and peers, as well as access to supplementary learning materials.
- The use of SRL strategies is strongly associated with a growth mindset.
- Students are more likely to regulate their learning when they are prompted to do so, either directly (through instruction) or indirectly (through feedback or activity prompts). Specifically, research shows that periodic self-assessments that ask students to reflect on what they know or do not know about a topic, and their depth of knowledge about key points promotes regulation of learning.
- Differentiated instruction is easier when students support the effort by assessing their progress, seek help when needed, and pursue learning goals independently.
- The ALL-ED routines of group learning, self-regulation, and planning with clarity, access, rigor, and relevance are central to fostering self-regulated learners.
SELF-REGULATED LEARNING 101
Integrative Figure of SRL