Supporting Student Self-Regulation: In a Blended, Flipped Learning Format

Supporting Student Self-Regulation: In a Blended, Flipped Learning Format

Jane Kenney (West Chester University of Pennsylvania, USA) and Ellen Newcombe (West Chester University of Pennsylvania, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5472-1.ch068


Research studies are discovering the importance of self-regulation for successful online learning. Self-regulation requires learners to be actively involved in the management of their learning and includes setting, monitoring, and evaluating learning goals, and making any necessary modifications to learning strategies (Zimmerman, 2008). This chapter discusses students' perceptions of the effectiveness of different types of learning supports that the authors used in a blended, flipped undergraduate education course to help students with self-regulation. The perceptions of high and low self-regulated students are compared and recommendations made about what supports to include when designing an online course to ensure successful learning.
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In recent years there has been an “explosive growth in online learning” and identifying the learner characteristics that lead to success in this type of learning environment is an expanding area of investigation (Artino & Stephens, 2007). Research studies are finding that success in this more autonomous learning situation requires more active student involvement and self-direction (Barnard, et al., 2009; Dabbagh & Kitsantas, 2004; Song & Hill, 2007), as well as experience in using technology tools for learning (Lokie, 2008). Self-regulated learning (SRL) involves active control of one’s learning experiences (Artino & Stephens, 2007), and includes time management and self-discipline skills (Chen, 2002). Students who struggle with self-regulation, and who are not accustomed to instructional formats that require an active style of learning, can find online contexts problematic unless support or interventions are provided that help students with self-regulation skills (Rowe & Rafferty, 2013). This support should be an essential component in online course design.

The importance of providing learning supports to help students become successful in online instructional environments became clear to the authors over the 10 semesters of using an online learning format in an undergraduate educational psychology course. The course is an introductory survey course covering many different topics in psychology such as human development, learning, motivation, classroom management, and learner differences with application to the classroom setting. Traditionally, the course pedagogy had been predominantly lectures combined with group activities. Over the years of teaching the course, the first author noticed more students coming to class unprepared and unwilling to participate, taking a passive approach to learning. They were not managing their time effectively, often waiting until the last minute to read the textbook and cram for the exam. As a result, they were not doing well on exams, and the instructor was not modeling effective instruction and active learning to these future teachers. With the assistance of the second author, the first author re-designed the course into a blended, flipped approach that research has found promotes more active student involvement in the learning process (Lin, 2007; Martyn, 2003).

The course was structured so that the students were given the time equivalency of one of the two classes per week to learn course content asynchronously through resources presented online. For the other class period of the week, the students met with the instructor face-to-face where they participated in activities that enriched and applied the content previously learned in the online assignment. This strategy, where a portion of the traditional classroom time is replaced with online activities, is referred to as blended or hybrid learning (Picciano, 2006). Flipped instruction, similarly, is when students are required to learn course content online and face-to-face time is spent on reinforcement, remediation, and enrichment activities (Fulton, 2012). Both blended instruction and flipped classrooms, sometimes referred to in this chapter as flipped, blended classrooms, are being used more frequently in both college and K-12 classrooms (Herreid & Schiller, 2013; Watson, 2008; Young, 2002).

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