Building self-regulated learning skills in distance education courses

Concurrent Session 8
Streamed Session Research

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

This presentation will focus on how distance education courses can use embedded strategies for increasing self-regulated learning behaviors in students. Research shows that the use of SRL strategies connect to student overall course satisfaction and retention in DE courses; however, many instructors don’t understand how to build in SRL activities.

Presenters

I am the instructional designer and student learning outcome coordinator at Clovis Community College, tasked primarily with increasing course success for both online and face to face courses. I have an Ed.D. from California State University, Fresno, an MS in Instructional Design from California State University, Fullerton, and an MA in Communication from California State University, Fresno. I love to help faculty find innovative and creative ways to encourage students to learn.

Extended Abstract

This presentation will focus on how distance education courses can use embedded strategies for increasing self-regulated learning behaviors in students. Research shows that the use of SRL strategies connect to student overall course satisfaction and retention in DE courses (Wang, Shannon & Ross, 2013); however, many instructors don’t understand how to build in SRL activities.

Research has shown that all students have SRL skills, but, "the quantity and quality of these capacities differ between students" (Bol & Garner, 2011, p. 108). It's unlikely that students would be able to increase their skills independently (Andrade, 2014), however, students can be prompted to increase their use of SRL strategies and expand their skill sets with the right prompting (Greene & Azevedo, 2009). 

Students in fully online courses are asked to work independently through the course activities; they are expected to know when they need to ask for help, and how to manage their time well to complete all the weekly tasks. They often have to work on coursework on more than one day in the week and may be asked to coordinate with peers to complete projects collaboratively. Simons and De Jong (1992) found that many of these same expectations exist in face to face courses too, however, in face to face courses, the instructor is often able to prompt and remind the students of things like upcoming projects or deadlines. This is why the use of SRL strategies has a higher impact in distance education courses.

The great thing about embedding SRL strategies into course design, content, and assessments, is that even when students are unaware they are engaging in them, SRL still has an positive impact on course satisfaction and retention (Bernard, Paton, & Lan, 2008).

Using the community of inquiry framework as a guide for quality course design, this presentation will go over the top eight SRL strategies (Broadbent and Poon, 2015) and how to add activities embedded in already-existing design, content, and assessments to encourage students to increase their use of SRL behaviors. These behaviors are: time-management, effort regulation, peer learning, elaboration, rehearsal, organization, critical thinking, and help-seeking.

Throughout this presentation, attendees will be asked to think about their own courses and strategies they use currently (either in DE or face to face courses) to help students with the behaviors above. There will be brief moments where the attendees may be asked to share their favorite activity with a nearby person. The reflection portion of this presentation will ask the attendees to think from the perspective of either course designer, faculty, or student in times when they felt less motivated and/or frustrated in courses and the reasons these feelings came up. The Q+A / discussion will then be focused on identifying strategies for those moments specifically, in the hope that inspiration will help them to expand those activities to other areas.

Attendees will leave the session with an overview / reminder of SRL with places where they can write in ideas during the session, and a packet of sample starter-ideas applicable for different disciplines.