Self-Regulated Learners

As I was reading through this week’s material, I couldn’t help but wish that all of my students were self-regulated learners.  What would it be like to not have to constantly remind certain students about deadlines?

I do not plan to actively address self-regulated learning in my online module.  The module is composed of several distinct lessons that are structured to lead the students through discovery, research, and acquisition of data. Students will be required to perform the lessons in sequence, and will be time-bound (1st response due by x -date, follow-up to responses due by y-date, etc.).  Timing is being determined for them, not by them (with the exception of the determination of whether they will do the assignment or not).  The final assignment of the module will introduce an element of the self-regulated learning cycle – I am asking them to reflect on what they have learned during the module.  It will be very interesting to see how this plays out, since they have not had to do anything like this previously in the class.

I do have one question about this topic – what is the right age to expect students to be able to handle this?  Those students moving on to college will be expected to have mastered this, for if they have not, they will not succeed.  But when do we remove the structure and let them try it on their own?

5 thoughts on “Self-Regulated Learners”

  1. Sharon – I think that we all have the same question. I see very little self- regulated learning in my ftf classroom so why would they self-regulate in an online platform. Checking grades constantly is just about the only self-regulated behavior that they exhibit but then they don’t self-correct. I don’t know about you but I don’t think access to so much technology has made students any more mature. Actually it seems to have made them feel less responsible for their learning.

  2. It is so interesting to hear this from those of you that teach at the high school level. I was under the impression that students started to move toward SRL during the high school years. It does seem that we do all have the same question! I have tried reflections with 8th graders and even with a lot of guidance and many examples and suggestions they do not seem ready for it. The majority of students seem only able to answer direct questions and most of them are only willing to spend a very small amount of time and effort on that.

  3. I think we do try and move students toward SRL at the high school level, but they do not make it easy. They are more motivated by grades than they are in learning. With Honors and AP students I do find that it easier to “train” them to become more independent learners. It seems to me that the two most motivating factors for students are grades and interest in the subject. I have found that for some students a high interest in the subject drives them to want to learn more and become more successful and so they develop into SRL. I think this probably works for all of us…. if we like what we are studying we tend to take on a more independent role when learning the material.

  4. I think for students to have a true mastery of self-regulated learning it has to start early-in Elementary school and a lot of this will come with how homework is tackled at home, which obviously is out of our control. Kids have to be taught early on to establish study spaces and routines, to use their planners that they are given and to check them every night. I know early on, parents are “required” to sign them and go over them with their students. I know I have already started with my 4th grader on establishing active study habits, not just “reading over” his notes. When he has a project, we go over the rubric and work on chunking the steps so he doesn’t feel overwhelmed and he can set a time line for himself. I model checking over work and help him stay organized with his binder. Now, this is NOT an easy task. I am human and tired and overwhelmed at times so super mom hw involvement doesn’t always happen. But, I think if these study habits can be ingrained early on, moving toward becoming self-regulated learners throughout high school is a much less daunting task.

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