Self-regulated Learning for Academic Success: An Evaluation of Instructional Techniques

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University of Auckland, 2008 - Academic achievement - 390 pages
The aim of this thesis was to identify and assess the most effective means of instructing self-regulated learning in order to improve academic outcomes. A unique approach was employed in order to achieve this, in that an intervention was designed based on the results of a meta-analytic study. A mature, tertiary student population was targeted for this assessment, partly as a result of the initial meta-analysis findings, but also because of an increased need to provide appropriate interventions for this growing sector of the student population. Study One was a meta-analysis which showed that instruction of self-regulatory skills has a positive impact on academic achievement. A range of self-regulatory strategies that were most likely to impact academic achievement were identified, in particular those relating to a social-cognitive model such as modelling and scaffolding. Study Two involved the construction of the "Learning Strategies Questionnaire", which was designed to assess the major dimensions identified in the meta-analysis. A 55- item questionnaire was devised with nine subscales to assess organising and transforming, self-consequences, self-instruction, self-evaluation, help-seeking, keeping records, reviewing, goal-setting/planning, and self-efficacy. The questionnaire was trialled with 55 students, and showed high levels of reliability and validity. Study Three involved the design and assessment of a self-regulated learning intervention. A pre-test/post-test design was used with three intervention groups, each of whom received the same instruction via different formats - Group One received the material in a workbook based format while the other two received class instruction (one taught by lecture and the other via modelled instruction). While results indicated that the intervention had little impact on the students' use of learning strategies and academic achievement, students rated the usefulness of the intervention highly and perceived that it had positively impacted their learning and achievement. The results are explained in the context of conceptual change and social-cognitive theories, and suggest that future interventions may meet more success if integrated into the academic context.

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