Understanding Self-Regulated Learning and Its Importance in Online Learning

Understanding Self-Regulated Learning and Its Importance in Online Learning

Dina M. Schwam (Mercer University, USA), Nannette Commander (Georgia State University, USA) and Daphne Greenberg (Georgia State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2132-8.ch003

Abstract

With the rise in online course offerings, coupled with the growth in online course enrollment, it is surprising that drop-out rates among online courses are higher than in face-to-face courses. This has placed an importance on understanding what contributes to successful learning in online courses and how to address student needs to increase student success. Theories and conceptual models supported by research have explained the complexity of self-regulated learning and the important role metacognition and motivation play in the processes within self-regulated learning. Researchers continue to explore the interconnected relationship within the multiple constructs of self-regulated learning and academic success and its importance in online learning. It is important that instructors have an understanding of the many areas that influence student learning. Through a holistic approach addressing individual difference in supporting students' needs, instructors can encourage the development of self-regulated learning skills through scaffolding different experiences involving instruction.
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Development And Evolution Of Self-Regulated Learning Theory

Decades of research have led researchers to develop the construct of self-regulated learning. While self-regulated learning has been a topic of many articles and experimental studies, the debate continues as to what truly defines self-regulated learning. In exploring the literature on this topic, it is quite clear that there are some common core elements that transcend the various perspectives which adds to the complexity of this construct. Self-regulated learning, as it is known today in the mainstream literature, was born out of theoretical literature attempting to describe various constructs such as metacognition and the self-regulation of behavior and emotion. For instance, elements of self-regulated learning can be found in the early writings on metacognition by Flavell in the 1970s. Baker and Brown (1984) further described metacognition as being divided into two parts including metacognitive awareness and metacognitive regulation. Thereby individuals who were deemed to be metacognitive would be metacognitively aware and thus regulate their cognition via multiple strategies. This idea stands as a central theme in self-regulated learning. During this same time period, Bandura was exploring the self-regulation of behavior and emotion, coining the term Reciprocal Determinism, which is the idea that elements of the person, behavior, and the environment all interact in a triadic reciprocal fashion (Bandura, 1986; Zimmerman, 1989).

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