Online Adaptive Learning: A Study of Score Validity of the Adaptive Self-Regulated Learning Model

Online Adaptive Learning: A Study of Score Validity of the Adaptive Self-Regulated Learning Model

Hoda Harati (Northern Arizona University, USA), Cherng-Jyh Yen (Old Dominion University, USA), Chih-Hsiung Tu (Northern Arizona University, USA), Brandon J. Cruickshank (Northern Arizona University, USA) and Shadow William Jon Armfield (Northern Arizona University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJWLTT.2020100102

Abstract

Adaptive Learning (AL), a new web-based online learning environment, requires self-regulated learners who act autonomously. However, to date, there appears to be no existing model to conceptualize different aspects of SRL skills in Adaptive Learning Environments (ALE). The purpose of this study was to design and empirically evaluate a theoretical model of Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) in ALE's and the related questionnaire as a measurement tool. The proposed theoretical model, namely, “Adaptive Self-Regulated Learning (ASR)”, was specified to incorporate the SRL skills into ALE's. Based on this model, the Adaptive Self-regulated Learning Questionnaire (ASRQ) was developed. The reliability and validity of the ASRQ were evaluated via the review of a content expert panel, the Cronbach's alpha coefficients, and confirmatory factor analysis. Overall, the results supported the theoretical framework and the new ASRQ in an ALE. In this article, the theoretical and practical implications of the findings were discussed.
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Introduction

The Internet has become a robust, dynamic, and flexible way of communication and a medium of learning which develops “learning-on-demand and learner-centered instruction and training” (Khan, 2001, p. 4). Additionally, it can be easily integrated into educational settings to offer open, web-based, interactive, and innovative learning for anyone, anytime, and anywhere. The online learning, or e-Learning, is a ground-breaking evolution in the education industry, however, one of the challenges is the high attrition rate due to its static learning environment using one-fits-all curriculum (Karampiperis & Sampson, 2005). Adaptive Learning (AL) can be an alternative to the traditional one-size-fits-all curriculum of online learning (Brusilovsky, 2001) and it can personalize the learning experience for each learner (Karampiperis & Sampson, 2005).

In Adaptive Learning Environments (ALE), learners need to go through a complicated process to learn the materials. Therefore, it requires learners to be equipped with skills to perform well and incorporate different resources into their learning process. Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) would be one of the skills which could help learners construct knowledge, complete tasks, and improve performance.

SRL skills are critical factors in student success in online learning environments (OLE) (Barnard-Brak, Lan & Paton, 2009; Chen & Huang, 2013; Bambacas, Sanderson, Feast, & Yang, 2013). Zimmerman (2008) indicated the importance of SRL in the performance and achievement of students in face-to-face, online, or blended learning. The SRL skills in OLE are vital which require autonomous and self-regulated learners (Ally, 2004; Kramarski & Gutman, 2006; Barnard, Lan, To, Paton, & Lai, 2009). When SRL skills are essential to the success of online learners, they could be even more indispensable in ALE’s where learning tasks and materials are individualized according to the cognitive ability of each learner. AL learners work alone with the system which may require more autonomy, internal control, and SRL skills. AL Learners with low SRL profiles may not be able to accomplish complicated learning tasks autonomously. AL Learners’ SRL skills can be considered as their ability to cope with the potential problems of “managing the breadth and depth of electronic resources” (Hoe & Joung, 2004, p. 1).

However, the role of SRL skills in ALE’s has not received the same attention as it does in OLE’s. Consequently, a few bodies of research have yet examined the SRL skills of AL learners. The present models of SRL skills in face-to-face learning environments (such as MSLQ; Pintrich, Smith, Garcia, & McKeachie, 1993) or in OLE’s (such as OSLQ; Lan, Bremer, Stevens, & Mullen, 2004; Barnard, Paton, & Lan, 2008) might be irrelevant in ALE’s due to the differences between these learning environments and the context-specific process of self-regulation (Ally, 2004; Zimmerman, 1998). Despite these facts, a conceptual framework of SRL within ALE and an empirically validated instrument to examine the trustworthiness of this conceptual framework are not available. Therefore, a theoretical framework and a valid instrument specifically designed for this environment are needed at this point.

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