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Applying Self-Regulated Learning Research Paper

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Updated: Jul 10th, 2020

Self-regulated learning is a specific type of learning when a person monitors the whole process in order to achieve a concrete goal. During this self-regulation, a person sets objectives for the learning, uses the self-instruction, and controls the process while monitoring the progress (Driscoll, 2012, p. 329). As a result, self-regulated learning can be discussed as highly motivational because a learner sets the value for the goal to achieve, chooses the most effective strategies, constantly monitors and evaluates the progress, and works to improve the result. Those persons who use self-regulated learning are more motivated to achieve success because of becoming personally responsible for the whole process of learning (Clarebout, Horz, & Schnotz, 2010, p. 574). To state how to use self-regulated learning to improve the students’ motivation, it is necessary to discuss the aspects of applying this motivational approach in study and focus on possible associated benefits and challenges.

Collaborative Learning and Scaffolding as the Topic to Learn

While studying educational theories, it is possible to face many challenges associated with exploring a range of different theoretical approaches to learning. One of the topics that require the student’s attention is the aspects of collaborative learning and scaffolding. To learn this topic effectively, a student needs to concentrate on examining different types of collaborative learning and on identifying their specific features. Furthermore, it is important to understand the differences in using collaborative learning in traditional and online class environments (Jarvela & Jarvenoja, 2011, p. 351). Scaffolding is often a component of the collaborative learning that also needs to be learned in detail. If a student is interested in learning educational theories, the basic motivation for focusing on the chosen topic is the necessity to have the complete knowledge regarding different theories and approaches. As a result, the person who wants to become a professional in the field is motivated to learn all the aspects regarding the educational theories and approaches properly.

Phases of the Self-Regulated Learning

Self-regulated learning is divided into three phases that are ‘forethought’, ‘performance’, and ‘self-reflection’. ‘Forethought’ is a stage during which a learner focuses on the learning task and analyzes the resources necessary for completing the task. During this stage, it is significant to address the expectations regarding the learning results and set goals (Driscoll, 2012, p. 330). It is also important to select specific strategies for using them during the learning process. This stage prepares a person for the further successful learning.

The next phase is ‘performance’, and a learner is expected to use the planned and prepared strategies and resources to complete the learning task. While employing strategies, a person is focused on self-observation and self-monitoring to determine how effectively he or she tracks progress to specific set goals. Self-monitoring allows determining the areas where it is necessary to change the approach to performance to achieve the set goal more efficiently (Driscoll, 2012, p. 330). This stage is most significant for a learner because he or she needs to effectively utilize the previously determined strategies, monitor the progress, evaluate the results at different stages, reinforce and motivate oneself, and be able to change the approach if the used strategies are non-working.

The final phase is ‘self-reflection’ during which a learner compares the achieved results with the outcomes determined by the set goals. Making judgments regarding the learning successes, a person can decide whether the used strategies were effective and whether it is necessary to start the cycle of self-regulated learning again in order to achieve the higher results (Driscoll, 2012, p. 330). During this stage, a person needs to evaluate not only the success in learning a certain topic but also the personal approach to self-regulation.

Benefits and Challenges Associated with Self-Regulated Learning

Self-regulated learning is a complex process that requires a person to have certain developed skills and attributes, such as the high achievement motivation and abilities to control one’s activities and reflect on them. Thus, the benefits associated with this approach to learning are the enhanced motivation to learn and the increased self-efficacy. If a person chooses the self-regulated learning, it is possible to expect that the motivation will increase because of the completion of challenging tasks (Kistner, Rakoczy, & Otto, 2010, p. 158). As a result, the motivation to achieve higher results increases along with focusing on selecting the most appropriate strategies to learn. The other benefit is the increased self-efficacy because successful results demonstrate that a learner can effectively manage the learning process and be responsible for one’s own progress.

However, there are also challenges faced by students while applying the approach to practice. The first challenge is the necessity of having the developed planning skills. If a student has poor time management skills, cannot set effective goals, propose the appropriate strategies for learning, and plan the necessary activities, it is almost impossible to expect positive results of such learning (Driscoll, 2012, p. 329). The next challenge is the necessity to evaluate the progress effectively. It can become a demanding task for a student to compare one’s results in learning against the set standard because it is important to be objective and concentrate on details.

Application of the Self-Regulated Learning to the Topic

While learning the aspects of such topics as collaborative learning and scaffolding, it is also possible to use the three-phase cycle of self-regulated learning to achieve higher results regarding the motivation and learning outcomes.


It is appropriate to use the following short-term goal: By the end of examining the topic, a student will be able to use the knowledge on collaborative learning and scaffolding for choosing appropriate strategies in learning environments. The next step is the selection of learning strategies:

  1. Preparation of tables and charts on different types of collaborative learning and scaffolding based on their purposes.
  2. Review of the theoretical information.
  3. Self-test.
  4. Selection of appropriate strategies to work with the class.
  5. Time management.


Motivate oneself to start learning to achieve the goal. Employ the strategies:

  1. Prepare tables and charts to organize the learned material.
  2. Review the theoretical information on the learner-learner work, learners‐instructor work, group work and projects, and teamwork; on scaffolding.
  3. Conduct the test on learned aspects.
  4. Monitor the progress while analyzing the results of the test.
  5. Select collaborative learning strategies and scaffolding methods to work with the class.
  6. Evaluate the effectiveness of activities.
  7. Change the approach if it is necessary.


  1. Determination of strengths and weaknesses in learning the topic.
  2. Self-questioning regarding the success in goal achievement.


Self-regulated learning is an effective strategy to motivate students to become more responsible for their learning progress. This approach is based on completing such phases as ‘forethought’, ‘performance’, and ‘self-reflection’. As a result, a student becomes an active learner. Thus, self-regulated learning is focused on the aspects of cognition, metacognition, and behavior.


Clarebout, G., Horz, H., & Schnotz, W. (2010). The relations between self-regulation and the embedding of support in learning environments. Educational Technology Research and Development, 58(5), 573-587.

Driscoll, M. P. (2012). Psychology of learning for instruction. New York, NY: Pearson.

Jarvela, S., & Jarvenoja, H. (2011). Socially constructed self-regulated learning and motivation regulation in collaborative learning groups. Teachers College Record, 113(2), 350-374.

Kistner, S., Rakoczy, K., & Otto, B. (2010). Promotion of self-regulated learning in classrooms: Investigating frequency, quality, and consequences for student performance. Metacognition and Learning, 5(2), 157-171.

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