Fostering Self-Regulated Learning at an Independent School
Pepper, Carol Anderson
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Self-regulated learning is described as a process in which students become empowered and independent learners. This quasi-experimental mixed methods study of secondary school students at an independent (i.e., private) school investigated if participation in a study skills workshop impacted self-regulated learning (SRL) knowledge, strategy use, and academic performance. Students in a treatment group attended a 7-hour study skills workshop that included instruction on SRL knowledge and strategies as well as cognitive strategies of self-questioning, verbalization, mind maps, and matrix organizers. The participants used two digital tools to leverage SRL activities. The students received feedback through these shared digital documents over the course of two academic terms. The researcher used pre- and postmeasures, including the Metacognitive Awareness Inventory (MAI), the Self-Regulation Strategy Inventory – Self-Report (SRSI-SR), and researcher-developed surveys, and qualitative data collected from open-ended questions and focus groups, to understand if participation in the study skills workshop impacted SRL knowledge and strategy use. To determine impact on academic performance, the design included an active treatment group and a treatment naïve group. While sustained use of the strategies decreased over time, the students reported that the strategies supported their learning. Postmeasure scores were higher than premeasure scores on the MAI and the SRSI-SR; however, a paired sample t test showed no statistical significant difference between these scores. Results from an ANCOVA showed no significant difference in academic performance grades between the treatment group and the treatment naïve group. There was an increase in academic marks from the premeasure grades to the postmeasure grades for both groups. A regression analysis indicated that the rate of increase in academic grades was slightly higher for the treatment group than the treatment naïve group. Qualitative data suggested the lack of time was a limitation in the student’s ability to use the SRL and cognitive strategies, yet the students reported that participation in the workshop was beneficial. As an educational implication, schools might consider offering similar study skills workshops and establishing digital tools to help students manage their academic responsibilities and develop tools and use strategies to become independent and empowered learners.