Monday, January 02, 2012
Beyond IQ Series #19: Self-regulated learning-control and regulation
This is the 19th installment in the Beyond IQ series. This installment defines the control and regulation phase of self-regulated learning. [All installments in this series (and other related posts and research) can be found by clicking here].
Control and regulation
The metacognitve processes involved in selecting and adapting cognitive strategies to reduce the relative discrepancy between immediate student goals and self- generated performance feedback.
Control and regulation processes are largely dependent on the information gained during metacognitive monitoring activities. For example, if a student is listening to a teacher lecture and engages in self-questioning to test their personal understanding, a discrepancy between their learning goal and progress may indicate the need to change their strategies. SRL control and regulationactivities are defined as the activation of metacognitive strategies for selecting, adapting, and changing cognitive strategies to reduce the relative discrepancy between immediate student goals and self-generated performance feedback judgments (Pintrich, 2002a).
The list of possible control strategies is relatively large and represents the most researched component of SRL. Example control and regulation strategies include paraphrasing, outlining, summarizing, rehearsal, question generating, visualizing (imagery), drawing of cognitive or semantic maps, note taking, and using mnemonic devices to name but a few. The research literature suggests that many students who perform poorly on tasks (e.g., students with disabilities) often fail to spontaneously invoke SRL control and regulation strategies. However, when trained, especially when training is embedded in activities similar to real world performance environments, an improvement in metacognitive abilities can result (Gettinger & Seibert, 2002).
As per theories of SRL, the target of control may also lie outside of the student. For example, a student might seek to renegotiate certain task characteristics (e.g., topic, deadline) or leave the specific environment. These control strategies represent an attempt on the part of the student to “control and regulate the context” (Pintrich & Zusho, 2002).
Examples of control and regulation of academically related motivational beliefs include students using positive self-talk (to control self- efficacy), promising themselves rewards (e.g., a meal, a movie) when they complete a task to increase extrinsic motivation, and/or embedding the task in the context of their lives or future goals (to increase task value). A specific example of behavioral control and regulation that has been the subject of research is academic help- seeking. According to Pintrich (2000), “good learners and good self-regulators know when, why, and from whom to seek help”(p. 468). This differs from maladaptive help-seeking, which is characterized by seeking short-cuts in order to complete a task with little concern for understanding or learning. Adaptive academic help-seeking involves cognitive (knowing when to ask and how to frame a request), social (knowing how to make a socially appropriate request, and to whom), and motivational (possessing goals, attitudes, and self-beliefs that allow the person to admit personal difficulty) competencies (Newman, 2002). Space does not allow for a detailed exploration of the theoretical and research literature on the nature and development of academic help-seeking in this document.
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