Teachers can incorporate self-regulatory processes into writing lessons and activities. Ms. Nikkona wanted her third-grade students to write a paragraph describing their summer vacations. She might have students share what they did during the summer. Following this large-group activity, she and the children might jointly plan, write, and edit a paragraph about the teacher’s summer vacation. This exercise would emphasize the important elements of a good paragraph and self-regulatory components of the writing process.
Students then could be paired and share orally with each other some things done during the summer. Sharing helps students generate ideas to use in writing. Following this activity, children write about their summer activities. Students use their lists to formulate sentences of a paragraph and share their written products with their partners. Partners provide feedback about clarity and grammar, after which students revise their paragraphs.
The faculty sponsor of the high school yearbook can incorporate self-regulatory components into producing the yearbook. When the sponsor meets with the students, the sponsor and the students plan sections and topics to be covered (e.g., school news highlights, sports, clubs), as well as who will be responsible for each section. Then the students set goals with time limits, after which they work in teams to write and revise their articles with input from the sponsor.
Dr. Smithson works with members of her class as they write their first research paper. She has each student select a topic, develop a basic outline, and compile a list of possible sources, after which she meets with students individually to plan writing strategies. Then she has students begin the first draft of the paper, giving more attention to the introduction and conclusion. She meets again with students individually to discuss their first drafts and progress and guides them toward what should be done to complete the finished product.
The impact of technology on learning is discussed in Chapter 7 . Technology also can affect self-regulated learning. The use of technology in learning environments potentially involves multiple self-regulatory processes such as planning, knowledge activation, and metacognitive monitoring (Azevedo, Moos, Johnson, & Chauncey, 2010 ). Instructors who use technology wisely in online and blended courses can help develop their students’ self-regulatory skills.
There are multiple technological tools available to instructors of online and blended courses. These include learning management systems (e.g., Blackboard) with all of their features, discussion boards, chat rooms, blogs, Web conferencing, wikis, social networking platforms, cloud computing technologies, virtual worlds, and mobile technologies (Kitsantas, Dabbagh, Huie, & Dass, 2013 ).
A self-regulatory process that lends itself well to many tools is goal setting. Posting assignments and helping students use discussion boards can facilitate goal setting, as can the collaboration and communication tools in learning management systems (Kitsantas et al., 2013 ). Good time management, which is necessary for students to accomplish goals, can be fostered with calendar features such as automatic reminders about forthcoming due dates and periodic advice about how much of an assignment students should have completed by that date.
Teaching students how to effectively use online resources and giving them practice doing so can raise their self-efficacy for online learning, which contributes to their overall success using technology in online and blended courses (Kitsantas et al., 2013 ). Maintaining a sense of self-efficacy for learning during courses increases motivation and achievement (Schunk & Pajares, 2009 ).
Technology tools also can help students learn and use more effective strategies during learning. These are both general strategies, such as environmental structuring and task focusing, as well as strategies specific to the nature of the material to be learned. When well designed, online learning environments can prompt students to use effective strategies, such as by cuing students to stop periodically and summarize what they have learned.
This chapter has discussed the key role of self-monitoring in self-regulated learning. Online learning environments can assist with this, such as by prompting students to track their learning progress by using the online gradebook. Geddes ( 2009 ) found that students who more often used the online gradebook feature attained higher course grades and reported higher learning goal orientations compared with students who used this feature less often.
In similar fashion, students can monitor their progress and periodically evaluate it; that is, whether it meets or falls short of their goals. Such self-evaluation also can be cued in learning management systems, with periodic reminders to students to self-evaluate their progress. Using an online journal has been shown to be effective in helping students reflect on their learning goals and make adjustments as needed (Campbell, 2009 ).
Learning management systems allow instructors to personalize their courses. Thus, they can build into them materials for students to use to organize their work, check off completed assignments, ask questions, and receive feedback. This type of instructional scaffolding helps students become better self-regulators (Kitsantas et al., 2013 ).
Further, the adaptations described here often require little extra work by instructors. Learning management systems, for example, allow instructors to send e-mail notifications to students reminding them about forthcoming due dates and expectations for assignments. Students who fail to turn work in on time can receive a notification to that effect with a reminder to turn it in as soon as possible. With lengthy assignments (e.g., research papers), instructors can e-mail reminders at various times stating how much of the project students should have completed by that date. Instructors also can suggest effective self-regulatory strategies for students to use on various parts of the assignments. These suggestions are simple and take little time, yet they can have great benefits on students’ development of better self-regulated learning skills.