Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) is an umbrella concept that refers to cognitive, motivational and emotional aspects of learning. Self-regulated learning is a cyclical process, wherein the student

  • plans for a task,
  • monitors their performance, and then
  • reflects on the outcome.

The cycle then repeats as the student uses the reflection to adjust and prepare for the next task. The process is not one-size-fits-all; it should be tailored for individual students and for specific learning tasks (Zimmerman, 2002).

There are various different models of self-regulation but all of them have some important similarities (Panadero, 2017). One important similarity among all models of SRL is that they emphasize the cyclical nature of phases, and thus the importance of connections between the phases.

Self-Regulated Learning Cycle

The cyclical nature of SRL models also implies that SRL skills are developing over time through practice, feedback and reflection. Although models differ in their exact definitions and emphases all but one includes phases that can be somehow mapped onto a preparatory phase, a performance phase and an appraisal phase.

The preparatory phase: the phase of getting ready, including task analysis, planning, activation of goals, and setting goals

The performance phase: the phase of actual interaction with the task including monitoring and controlling the process and progress.

The appraisal phase: in which the student reflects and adapts in anticipating future situations.

Socially-Shared Regulated Learning

An important extension of the original view on SRL has been the recognition that in many learning settings SRL is not limited to the individual, but also interacts with the SRL of others. This led to the introduction of the term SSRL (Socially Shared Regulated Learning) where the socially shared aspect refers to the negotiated regulation between individuals working together.

Self-Regulated and Inquiry Learning

The ideas behind Inquiry Learning are strongly connected to SRL and both depend on SRL and aim to develop SRL in learners. Within this view, it is important to realize that students might also self-regulate towards avoidance. Therefore, the inquiry model and the apps in Go-Lab, not only reflect the main phases of SRL, but also emphasize aspects that have been associated with good SRL (e.g. asking questions, taking notes, plan work, reflect, self- and peer-assessment, participate in discussion) both as scaffolds in the current inquiry and as elements for developing SRL.

References & Further reading

Panadero, Ernesto (2017). A review of self-regulated learning: Six models and four directions for research. Frontiers in Psychology. 8 (442).

Zimmerman, B. J. (2002). Becoming a self-regulated learner: An overview. Theory into Practice, 41(2), 64-70.