Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Beyond IQ Series # 17: Self-Regulated Learning: Monitoring

Current MACM Series Installment

This is the 17th installment in the Beyond IQ series. This installment defines the monitoring phase of self-regulated learning. [All installments in this series (and other related posts and research) can be found by clicking here].


Monitoring: Conceptual Background and Definition

The metacognitive processes involved in self-awareness of personal cognition and the monitoring of various components of one’s thinking during task performance.

After a student implements their plan for a specific task, they can draw upon two sources of information to monitor their performance—real world performance and cognitive representations of that performance (Winne & Jamieson-Noel, 2002). Drawing largely on the research of Nelson and Narens (1990), a variety of metacognitive judgments have been postulated to occur during performance monitoring (Pintrich, 2000a; Winne & Jamieson-Noel, 2002). According to Pintrich (2000b), judgments of learning (JOLs) encompasses a variety of monitoring activities such as the student: (a) becoming aware that they are not comprehending what they have just read or heard; (b) becoming aware they are reading or studying too quickly or slowly; (c) engaging in self-questioning to self-check understanding; and (d) performing a self-memory test on material to check on readiness for an exam, etc. Feelings (judgments) of knowing (FOK) describe the metacognitive process of the student assigning a probability to the “information that is believed to be stored in memory but that the learner cannot recall at the moment”(Winne & Jamieson-Noel, 2002, p. 552). One classroom example could be a student having some recall of an instructional experience (e.g., teacher lecture, class discussion), but being unable to recall the specific material on a formal exam (Pintrich, 2000b). In SRL, monitoringincludes the metacognitive components of being aware of one’s personal cognition and the monitoring of various aspects of one’s cognition during task performance(Pintrich, 2000b).

The research literature on monitoring motivation and affective domains is limited when compared to that for cognition (metacognitive awareness of monitoring). According to Pintrich (2000b), the primary focus has been on interventions designed to make students more aware of their motivational beliefs and modifying them in a more positive direction (e.g., attributional retraining interventions). In the behavioral domain, where time and effort management behaviors were described for the planning and activation stage, monitoring might consist of “tweaking” a student’s original time management plan (e.g., changing from the original plan to study 1 hour to 3 hours). Self- observation is a behavioral skill important for determining when the self-evaluative feedback information requires a “tweak” of the original plan.

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