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Thursday, July 09, 2015

Using self-regulated learning to improve outcomes

Photo: Linda B. Nilson
Self-regulated learning (SRL), as the name might imply, is “the ability to plan, monitor, control, and evaluate one’s learning.” according to Linda B. Nilson, Ph.D., founding director of the Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation at Clemson University.

Photo: Magna Publications
In a recent online seminar, How to Integrate Self-Regulated Learning into Your Courses, Nilson gives actionable strategies to encourage students to learn this valuable skill, which will make them true participants in their own learning.

SRL can range from strategic planning activities (such as goal setting for studying) to self-monitoring activities (such as examining physical environment and emotional state) to evaluating one’s own learning and achievement.

The way an instructor designs activities for both inside and outside the class can assist the students in developing these skills. Some sample activities include:

“How I earned an A in this course”

Ask students at the beginning of the class to write an essay detailing how they plan to be successful in the course. They will repeat the exercise at the end of the class, enabling them to assess the effectiveness of their strategies.

Read, recall, review
Ask students to complete assigned reading and then, with the book closed, to write or recite what they remember from their reading. They then review anything they misunderstood or forgot.

Minute papers
As a type of “lecture wrapper," have students to write for one minute at the end of class about what information they could put into practice now, what stands out in their mind from the class that day, and what is hindering their understanding.

Post-test analysis
This analytical tool asks students to look at the questions they missed on the test and then decide whether they erred due to carelessness, unfamiliarity with the material, misinterpretation of the question, or failure to complete the question.

Her experience in fostering excellence in teaching is evident as she discusses real-world techniques for involving students in planning, monitoring, and assessing their own learning. Strengthened by a selection of supplemental materials, this seminar is an excellent addition to any faculty development library. 

Source: Magna Publications

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