Sunday, April 25, 2010

Commentary: toward a cyclically interactive view of self-regulated learning.

Zimmerman, B. (1999) Commentary: toward a cyclically interactive view of self-regulated learning. International Journal of Educational Research, 31, 545-551

In Zimmerman’s review of all the chapters of the current volume of the journal he addresses five key aspects of self-regulation as it pertains to students efforts to learn: goal setting, strategy use, context adaptations, social processes, and self monitoring. There is not clear method or strategy that is the cure all for student self-regulation, but as Zimmerman concludes the process is a cyclical one in which students set goals and make strategic plans for learning based upon self evaluation and monitoring of previous experience and those goals influence the strategy use that will best achieve those goals. This process is cyclical because students need to always be monitoring themselves so as to be moving forward in the direction toward their goals. Goal setting is a big step in self-regulation, but if students are unable to make realistic goals or self monitor and evaluate their progress then those goals mean nothing. For students who are poor self-regulators training first needs to happen in the area of self monitoring and evaluation prior to discussions of proper goal setting. Zimmerman’s commentary on the other chapters of this volume has done the dual purpose of helping the reader understand the big ideas discussed and leads the reader to a desire to research more into the other articles discussed.

Some relevant quotes:

The process of goal setting was widely emphasized. Lemos suggests that establishing goals is the most important subprocess in self-regulation because they serve as self-defining reference points that determine the nature of subsequent self-regulatory processes, such as planning, executing, and monitoring. For example, she describes intentionality as linking a goal with a plan to attain it. When goals are valued and a learner is committed to their attainment, they become a primary source of personal motivation. Goal setting is influenced by motivational beliefs and other self-regulatory
processes. (545)

Niemivirta also found that some highly motivated students set overly ambitious recall goals for themselves and this led to more errors in performance. Clearly goal setting must be linked to
accurate self-evaluations to be elective. (545)

He found that a general measure of self-regulation correlated positively with students' orientation toward mastery goals and negatively with their orientation toward extrinsic goals. Self-regulation was also positively correlated with students' orientations toward relative ability goals in his research. (546)

It should be noted that goal setting and goal orientation are distinctive but associated constructs. Goal setting refers to specific outcomes that can be attained at a certain time; research has shown that the specificity, proximity, and challenge of these goals are important properties related to their attainment (Schunk, 1996). In contrast, goal orientation refers to preferences for general classes of goals, such as for acquiring greater mastery, extrinsic outcomes, or relatively ability. It is not clear that these goals are ever achieved at any single point in the future, but rather, they represent classes of goals that are valued by the learner. (546)

Vauras, Rauhanummi, Kinninen, and Lepola pointed out that assessing students' knowledge of learning strategies will not necessarily predict their self-regulated use of these strategies. These researchers discovered that although most students seem to acquire knowledge of strategies from training, many failed to use the strategies in a coordinated and successful way. (547)

Learners who see self-regulation as an acquired skill will regard external supports, such as teachers or coaches, as benficial rather than as controlling and self-limiting. (548)

1 comment:

Stacey Caillier said...

Fabulous summary of the key ideas about how to encourage self-regulation! This looks like a great source that will lead you to other great sources! Well done Dan!

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