Fostering Self-Regulated Learning

Self-regulated learnersby Debie Lohe, Director, Reinert Center

So many of our frustrations with “today’s students” stem from their not-yet-well-developed ability to function as self-regulated learners.  We could debate the reasons – cultural, generational, developmental – why many undergraduates have not yet cultivated a strong sense of self-regulation in their approach to education, but it may be more fruitful to explore ways we can contribute to their development in this important area.

This is the basic premise of Linda Nilson’s Creating Self-Regulated Learners: Strategies to Strengthen Students’ Self-Awareness and Learning Skills (2013), and it’s well worth a read this summer as you work to develop new courses and reimagine old ones.

At once “a handy compendium of activities and assignments” and “a call to weave self-regulated learning into course design” (107), this book offers specific guidance on ways faculty can help students cultivate strong self-assessment and meta-cognitive abilities.  Nilson explains that self-regulation “encompasses the monitoring and managing of one’s cognitive processes as well as the awareness of and control over one’s emotions, motivations, behavior, and environment as related to learning” (5).  As such, it demands that learners develop their ability to effectively plan, monitor, and evaluate their own learning.

At just over 100 pages, the book is packed with usable, relevant, common-sense activities, ranging from readings to assign students (like Learning (Your First Job), Learning to Learn, and Study Guides and Strategies), to pre-and post-reading activities (chapter 3), to in-class activities to promote engaged learning during lectures (chapter 4).

If you are looking for concrete ways to help students take more responsibility for their own learning, Creating Self-Regulated Learners: Strategies to Strengthen Students’ Self-Awareness and Learning Skills is worth a look.

 

Share your own strategies for promoting self-regulated learning in the comments section.  To discuss ways you might make self-regulation a goal in your own courses, come and see us.

 

Book image courtesy of Amazon.com

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