I always try to address self-regulated in my classes. Giving students a way to improve their learning is part of what we do as teachers. I must admit, however, it seems that my attempts are often to no avail. Sometimes, students just don’t care. For example, we did a project this week on topographic maps. Students were given a rubric and a checklist. I literally told them exactly what components needed to be included on their models and many of them just didn’t do parts of the assignment. I was IN THE CLASSROOM with them. I walked around and assisted and clarified directions and told them to get to work. And they still didn’t complete some of the required tasks. Granted, some students did a WONDERFUL job. They used their checklists and turned in some awesome projects. As I was reading the articles on self-regulated learning, I really just kept thinking about the (too many) students who could not complete the tasks while I was right there with them. How would they be able to self-regulate in an online setting? Sure, they may not have the distractions of classmates to interrupt learning processes, but if they are unmotivated to learn the content, how is that going to work. Sorry, I’m being a pessimist today….
I think about the skills of a self-regulated learner mentioned in the first article: setting goals, adopting strategies to attain the goals, monitoring progress, restructuring physical and social context for compatibility with goals, managing time, self-evaluating methods, attributing causation to results, and adapting future methods. Wow. Is it just me, or do you guys see some of our students seriously struggling with those skills – even in a face-to-face setting with us encouraging and coaching them through things? I absolutely think that self-regulation skills are important and we need to keep reinforcing them to our students – in all educational settings. But I also think we need to realize that some students do not have the desire to self-regulate.
For my module, I do plan to utilize certain self-regulation skills in an attempt to help students manage their learning….I think. Is it really self-regulation if I am providing them with the tools to utilize those skills? I had planned to provide them with a checklist of items to be completed (with dates for completion) but is that really self-regulation? That’s not rhetorical. I really don’t know. If we want students to self-regulate, shouldn’t they create their checklist? Shouldn’t they be the ones to reflect on learning without us having to tell them to do it? Would they do it if we didn’t require it? Do we have time to teach them how to WANT to do that stuff (if it’s not for a grade) in the age of standardized testing. I don’t know. I would LOVE to have a classroom full of self-regulated learners but that’s just not the case.
So, I guess if the timeline and checklist count as self-regulated learning, then I do plan to address it in my module. I think the fact that this module is pretty short (in the grand scheme of things) and the fact that I am still in the room with my students during the module make my need to address it specifically in the module a little bit less. If the module was longer and I would not be seeing my students, it would probably need to be addressed further.