“What is SRL?” is definitely the main and the most important question of the first week of the SRL studies and of the first course’s lecture. I think I’ve already described the goals for this stage in my previous blog post, so I won’t repeat myself here. The main goals for me in brief is to understand whether my understanding of the SRL concept was quite decent or was a total failure prior to the course and in both cases strive for the deep understanding of the topic.
PLEASE NOTE that if you’re familiar with the articles already you might want to go ahead and scroll down directly to the ICE-notes, which are more of a personal rants 😀
After the 1st lecture by Sanna Järvelä, which I’ve truly enjoyed, it became very clear that the 21st century learning skills definitely involve the strategic regulation of learning in individuals and teams. Being metacognitive, we, the humans, are able to experiment our own learning while turning it into active and proactive processes, which are to involve monitoring, evaluation and regulation.
So, self-regulated learning (SRL) can be termed as a student’s ability to independently and proactively engage in self-motivating and behavioral processes that increase goal attainment (Zimmerman, 1998).
It becomes clear that the SRL is not only about applying the learning strategies and skills to practice; it’s the interdependant process of monitoring, controlling and adapting. And that’s exactly what the first article dwells upon:
1. Hadwin, A.F., Järvelä, S., & Miller, M. (2011). Self-regulated, co-regulated, and socially-shared regulation of learning.
The article presents the SRL as a circle of setting goals, monitoring, controlling and evaluating, which is related to the so-called SRL circle (Winne & Hadwin 1998), which has the task understanding (the one which activates the other 3), setting goals and creating the plans, applying the strategies & adapting and regulating your own learning.
So, to sum up, the whole process goes like this:
Identification of the problem // goal setting // making plans and procedure setting // on-the-go data collection // findings and original goals comparison // making changes to the goals, plans and/or strategies (based on the findings).
The good practical reasons to regulate our learning surely exist. Successfull regulation in learning:
helps to achieve better results in learning (or in pretty much whatever else you happen to do);
positively affects our wellbeing;
helps to build the skills helpful in our everyday lives.
However, probably the most importabt feature of the article is the comparison of the 3 ways of regulation of learning, which form 3 main points of the publication: self-regulated learning (SRL), co-regulated learning (CoRL) and shared regulation of learning (SSRL).
1. Self-regulated learning (SRL)
SRL, according to the article, refers to a learner’s deliberate planning, monitoring, and regulating of cognitive, behavioral, and motivational/emotional processes towards completion of an academic task or goal. While being grounded in social cognitive theory, self-regulation is guided by environmental contexts and conditions that promote individuals to adopt, develop and refine strategies, monitor, evaluate, set goals, plan, and adopt and change belief processes. Self-regulation occurs in independent, cooperative, or collaborative tasks and leads to the changes in the knowledge, beliefs, and strategies individuals carry forward to new tasks contexts and to changes in structures and conditions of the environment. The ultimate goal of SRL, according to the article, is independence or personal adaptation in regulatory activity. Also, one of SRL’s crucial points is the aim to deep task understanding right from the start. And no one should forget that possessing the certain skills is not enough to ensure the success of one’s self-regulation; the will and dedication are needed!
Research about self-regulated learning focuses on individuals’ planning, monitoring, and control of actions (behavior), thinking (cognition), drive, and self-beliefs (motivation), and feelings (emotion).
2. Co-regulated Learning (CoRL)
CoRL, according to the article, denotes the temporary coordination of self-regulation amongst self and others.
The co-regulated learning phenomenon is grounded in Vygotskian views of higher psychological processes being socially embedded or contextualized (Vygotsky, 1978) and Wertsch and Stone’s (1985) notion that these higher psychological processes are internalized through social interaction (McCaslin, 2009).
Typically, co-regulation consists of emergent interactions that temporarily mediate regulatory work: strategies, monitoring, evaluation, goal setting and motivation. Co-regulation is about social interactions and instructional contexts that are instrumental for self-regulated learning (SRL).
In the context of co-regulation, the SRL expertise arises through interaction – each of the participants has an impact, bringing different kinds of self-regulatory challenges and expertise to the emergent regulation.
Co-regulation occurs in the tasks which are designed to have the solo, cooperative or collaborative products.
Co-regulated learning is, according to the article, characterized by:
- Emergent interactions;
- Transitory, calibrated support in the service of self-regulation;
- Mediational properties as guiding or influencing self-regulated learning through social presses or cues;
- Promoting or empowering appropriation of self-regulatory skills and processes.
Co-regulation goals in the task context, according to the article, are:
- Transition towards self-regulation
- Coordination of independent self-regulation amongst group members.
Research about co-regulation focuses on interactions or dynamic processes between individuals and others (an individual, a collection of individuals or a broader cultural or societal influence) with respect to regulated learning processes.
Three categories of research about co-regulated learning:
- Focus on temporary mediation of regulated learning between individuals in the service of self-regulated learning.
Examines interactions and transactions in speech as learners move toward independent self-regulated learning.
In the carried out research (Hadwin et al (2005), where the teachers co-regulated learning by requesting information, restating or paraphrasing students, requesting judgments of learning, modeling thinking, and providing prompts for thinking and reflecting and the students co-regulated learning by requesting information, requesting judgments of learning, summarizing, modeling thinking, and requesting restatements, can serve as an example.
The findings indicated that the students gradually appropriated self-regulatory activity to regulate learning independently, choosing relevant information for themselves and generating their own judgments of performance and learning. Interaction and co-regulation were the processes that supported learners as they began to appropriate their own self-regulatory processes.
- Focus on peers regulating other in the context of collaborative work:
The emphasis is on peers mediating each other’s metacognitive and cognitive actions, not on monitoring and controlling the collective process toward a joint goal.
The examined “shared metacognition” in the context of collaborative problem solving activities by liskala, Vauras, and Lehtinen (2004) and Vauras, liskala, Kajamies, Kinnunen and Lehtinen (2003) can serve as an example here.
The findings demonstrated the importance of examining metacognition at the interindividual level, not just the individual level.
- Focus on interactions and processes through which social contexts/cultures afford and constrain possibilities for SRL:
An individual’s capacity to adaptively SRL is afforded and соnstrained by broader socio-cultural contexts not just by moment-to-moment interactions.
The notion of adaptive learning extends beyond individual self-regulation to the community of practice; the learning communities adapt and evolve as personal, social, and cultural influences come together.
Understanding со-regulated learning means having some data about how interactions support, press, pull, or create affordances for the gradual emergence of self-regulated learning processes, so the research about CoRL has been dominated by discourse data and observation of inter-individual dialogue and transactions between dyads.
Future research prospectives:
– to develop and extend methods and analytical techniques for examining CoRL;
– to examine solo and collaborative performance outcomes associated with co-regulatory processes.
3. Shared regulation of learning (SSRL)
SSRL, according to the article, is interdependent or collectively shared regulatory processes, beliefs and knowledge orchestrated in the service of a co-constructed outcome or product. The concept of this phenomenon might sound similar to CoRL, but this phenomenon’s focus is on joint formation of strategies and evoking discussions, which requires equity among members and the members sharing the roles of monitoring, processes of evaluation, adaptation, implication and others, which is possible only if each and every member is engaged into the working process. The regulation should be present on both the group and individual levels.
Research about SSRL focuses on what is shared or co-dependent in terms of SRL knowledge, beliefs, and processes and on co-constructed planning, monitoring, evaluating, and strategy regulation processes such as: shared task perceptions, shared goals, shared plans, shared monitoring and evaluation, and shared strategies.
2. Zimmermann, B. J. (1989). A Social Cognitive View of Self-Regulated Academic Learning.
On the basis of the article SRL is defined as metacognitive, motivational and behavioural active participation in one’s own learning process. Directing your own efforts and strategies to acquire and solidify own knowledge and skill and not depending on anyone watching over you (teachers, parents, etc) are the key features of the concept.
The article’s definition of SRL assumes the importance of three elements: students’ self-regulated learning strategies, self-efficacy perceptions of performance skill, and commitment to academic goals.
1. Self-regulated learning strategies are actions and processes directed at acquiring information or skill that involve agency, purpose, and instrumentality perceptions by learners. They include such methods as organizing and transforming information, self-consequating, seeking information, and rehearsing or using memory aids (Zimmerman & Marti- nez-Pons, 1986).
2. Self-efficacy refers to perceptions about one’s capabilities to organize and implement actions necessary to attain designated performance of skill for specific tasks (Bandura, 1986).
3. Academic goals such as grades, social esteem, or postgraduation employment opportunities can vary extensively in nature and in time of attainment. In order for students’ strategic actions to be described as self-regulated, one must know their academic goals and perceptions of efficacy.
The social cognitive approach to self-regulated academic learning, proposed by the article, three of the advantages, according to the author, are particularly important to educational psychologists: 1) It distinguishes the effects of personal (self-) regulatory influences from overt behavioral ones and can explain the relative advantage of each; 2) it links students’ self-regulatory processes to specific social learning or behaviorally enactive experiences and can explain their reciprocal impact; 3) it identifies two key processes through which self-regulated learning is achieved, self-efficacy perceptions and strategy use, and can explain their relation to student motivation and achievement in school.
3. Boekaerts, M. and Corno, L. (2005).Self-Regulation in the Classroom: A Perspective on Assessment and Intervention.
This article dwells upon various conceptualisations of self-regulation that are prominent in the educational psychology research literature and the types of instruments that have been constructed to measure students’ capability to self-regulate. Intervention programs designed to help students regulate their affect, motivation, cognition, and action in the service of goals are also discussed.
The system of self-regulation, according to the article, comprises a complex and unique set of functions located at the junction of several fields of psychological research (Carver & Scheier, 1990), including research on cognition, problem solving, decision making, metacognition, conceptual change, motivation, and volition. Obviously, each of these research domains has its own paradigms and traditions, which makes the things even more complicated. Each research community focuses on different content and aspects of the self-regulation process, addressing different components and levels of the one big whole.
The article points out 2 types of goals the students normally strive for in the classroom context, as the classroom learning is not so linear as this model implies. Based on studies in mainstream psychology, Boekaerts (1997; Boekaerts & Niemivierta, 2000) proposed a model of SR in which students face two priorities in classroom learning: 1) to achieve growth goals that increase resources (e.g. students seek to deepen their knowledge or increase their cognitive and social skills); 2) to maintain emotional well-being within reasonable bounds (i.e. students try to look smart and protect their ego, or they try to avoid harm and secure resources). Boekaerts (1999a) found that favorable appraisals of tasks and opportunities for learning (e.g. feelings of relevance, interest, and efficacy) lead students to mastery goals and activities, whereas a sense of difficulty, disinterest, or stress leads students to focus on well-being. So, we should never forget that the self-regulation is a multidisciplinary, changeable and flexible phenomenon.
One more important feature of self-regulation is that everybody has his or her own unique self-regulatory abilities and the self-regulation “borders”. Doing the same amount of tasks and coping with the same amount of challenges require different degree of self-regulation from every individual. Besides, not all the students (or not all the people in general, if we are not focusing only on the classroom context) live in the same conditions and cope with the same amount of hardships and challenges in their lives. For example, a much stronger degree of self-regulation is required from the students who come from the problem family or who is being bullied at school. A lot of variables should be taken into consideration in the course of any SR- or SRL-related research and the accurate results are really hard to get, not matter how carefully and properly was the research designed and carried out.
The article suggests that the classroom education can lead students toward the adaptive use of self-regulation in conjunction with conscious strategies, as the teachers and others in the extended social milieu provide models, serve as coaches, and establish environments conducive to self-regulation. However,the constraints in classroom and related environments that interfere with student efforts at self-regulation, such as conflicting goals, unproductive work habits and styles and inappropriate teaching methods, will always remain.
ICE-note I: DEDICATION
To my mind, there are different levels of self-regulated learning out there, which are directly dependant on the personal level of motivation, dedication, interest and aims of one exact human being. The high levels of dedication and massive goals can surely be the source of strength and severe motivation, but, at the same time, the risk of burning out is a lot higher. The individual can burn out not only because of overworking and overloading himself or herself, but also because of the thoughts of how hard is this goal to achieve and how much work is still has to be done. These thoughts can attack us from inside and damage our ways of thinking and motivation beyond repair. So, again – it’s not the first time and certainly not the last one I write it in my blog – everything should be in balance. If the things were done wrong or not right enough for you, something that once was your strength can become your worst weakness and the thing to make you go down.
ICE-Note II: PERSONALIZATION
I perceive self-regulation (self-regulation in learning included) as something deeply personal. Finding your own unique and effective way to self-regulate your learning (or whatever else you want to self -regulate) is an absolute must. This includes experimenting your learning, analysing your own personal characteristics, features and habits and accepting & confessing your own strengths and weaknesses. Absolute honesty required – especially in the “weaknesses” part.
If there’s the right place for stereotypes somewhere in this world at all, it’s definitely not here. Everybody’s different and that’s great. Someone might need the quietest possible room to read and study successfully and someone might need to crank up something what-someone-counts-to-be the craziest and the loudest music EVER and start playing the air drums along his or her favourite tunes while reading the scientific article. I think there’s no rights and wrongs here as long as your scheme works for you and positively influences your productivity without distracting you too much. It should bring the positive emotions into whatever you do to make you feel that you’re back on track and you’re heading towards the result full speed. More than that, if everything’s done right it’s possible to be done with the work even faster and with even better and more creative results, I believe.
Unfortunately, sometimes people and especially teachers and parents don’t want to be flexible here and make their children or students blindly follow either some stereotypical scheme (like “BEN, TURN THIS DAMN MUSIC OFF AND DO YOUR MATHS HOMEWORK IN PIN-DROP SILENCE OR YOU’RE NOT GOING ANYWHERE THIS EVENING!”) or the scheme which works or (even worse) worked for them ages ago (like “When I was your age, I always took notes in the separate notebook while reading the articles. WHY DON’T YOU HAVE SUCH A NOTEBOOK? HUH?! WHY ARE YOU SUCH A DISASTER?!) without letting another human being stick to his or her own paths. This can result not only in lower results and loss of time & motivation to self-regulate and strive for better results, but also in the emergence of phobias – for example, to experiment his or her learning in the future. Mental damage that is. Dangerous stuff. So, we’re definitely having a real problem here!
After finishing the first SRL-related task, I think I can say that I’ve achieved my goals. I’ve got a confirmation that I understand the concept of SRL right, which was my main goal and got a lot of additional information.
As for the challenges, there was one big one this time – the proportions of the task. I’m quite used to large amount of tasks and I wasn’t going to complain anyway, but it’s worth pointing out that this one required quite a lot of time in order to ensure the genuine understanding of the topic, because we’re certainly not striving for any type of superficial, surface and shallow knowledge here, are we? I do a lot of stuff besides University and after finishing the first of the SRL tasks I’ve realized that I’d have to plan my time even better in the future in order to make sure none of my priorities suffer from colliding with each other.
So, anyway, until next time and thanks for checking this superlong post out 😀
(Did you read it all? Really? O_o)