The article “Comparing Online and Blended learner’s self-regulated learning strategies and academic performance” by Jaclyn Broadbent that appeared in the January 2017 edition of The Internet and Higher Education drew my attention immediately with the first line in the introduction: “The transition from primary and secondary to tertiary education is typically characterized by a reduction in structured class time per week, less direct contact with one’s teachers, and greater reliance upon self-regulated learning” (Broadbent). In a nutshell, this is middle school.
This article draws attention to a couple of main points: 1. Very few studies have compared the effectiveness of Self-Regulated Learning strategies in both online and blended learning environments; 2. This study determined there is a greater need to study and understand how learners can best utilize SRL strategies in order to be successful in school; 3. Little to no work has been done to study the effectiveness of SRL strategies on academic progress.
So what is self-regulated learning? Rather than defining the term, this article defines the characteristics of student who self regulates their learning: “the learner must be motivated, meta-cognitively involved, and an active agent in his or her own learning process” (Zimmerman, 1986). Self-regulated learners set goals and use strategies in order to achieve those goals. They are motivated, persistent, manage their time effectively and seek help when needed in order to achieve their goals. Self-regulated learners apply three types of strategies: 1. Cognitive; 2. Metacognitive; 3. Resource management. There are strategies within these strategies:
Cognitive: rehearsal (i.e. rote learning), elaboration (making connections), organization (note taking), critical thinking (synthesizing and analyzing).
Metacognitive: goal setting, planning, self-monitoring, and self-regulation.
Resource Management: time and environment, maintaining focus, using peers and instructors to ask for assistance.
In 2009, a meta-analysis of 56 experimental studies reported that students who utilize SRL strategies while attending online classes and classes with blended learning models out performed students in a traditional classroom setting. This was not surprising to me. I use a blended learning approach in my classroom and students are visibly more motivated than my traditional language arts classroom. Perhaps it’s because of the subject matter? The author points out a similar question. She suggests that online and blended learning students outperformed traditional students because the structure attracts a certain type of learner. A blended learning classroom might attract students who like the social component whereas the online student might like the numerous self-regulated learning strategies that come with the territory. Regardless, whether we are in a blended learning environment or online only, this author concludes that SRL strategies are the key to boosting student performance.
Overall, I f0und the article to be insightful. I wanted to know more about self-regulated learning strategies after reading the article I chose for Article Review 1. I still wonder why there’s such a lack of studies exploring this topic? SRL strategies are the nuts and bolts of a classroom. Is it because studies are becoming more difficult to conduct in public school classrooms? Or is it a lack of funding or lack of desire? I’m beginning to think the concept is so new to public education that it just hasn’t been done yet.