Blog 8:
It Takes a Village: Fostering Self Regulated Learning in Students

It Takes a Village: Fostering Self Regulated Learning in Students

It takes a village...! As part of the student agency, we often hear how learners should take responsibility for their own learning, regulate the learning process and use effective learning strategies. Clearly, the concept of student agency highlights the importance of learners taking responsibility for their own learning, regulating the process, and utilizing effective strategies. However, developing these skills requires support. The question remains, where does this support come from? Is it the teacher, innovative technology, peer-learning, or a combination of all within a school-wide culture that fosters self-regulation?

A school-wide approach. Effective teacher preparation, including training, access to learning resources, and exposure to best practices, is crucial in equipping teachers with the knowledge to support student self regulated learning (SRL) through the use of edtech solutions. However, it is widely recognized that implementing change is a complicated process. A sole teacher's adoption of SRL strategies may not bring about a major change in learners' learning. Therefore, a school-wide approach is likely to be more effective in promoting student self-regulated learning

Leaders & collaboration. This assumes, on the other hand, that leaders are creating possibilities for teachers to learn together how to support students’ SRL, share good practices, and reflect the experiences. Teachers need time to create opportunities for the students to develop their SRL across one subject, creating possibilities for students’ collaboration to share their regulation. Creating possibilities where students can regulate their learning (collaborative projects, independent study days, creation of study plans and monitoring of it) requires teachers' collaboration and teacher collaboration assumes a collaborative school culture and support from the educational authorities. 

And EdTech? Another perspective is the role of EdTech in promoting self-regulated learning. Europe has seen the development of innovative EdTech solutions aimed at enhancing student learning in a digital setting. Technologies supporting access to digital learning resources, creation of interactive content, interaction with digital learning games etc all provide possibilities to enrich the learning process. However, often those solutions and tools do not focus on understanding how to support students’ self-regulated learning: how to support students to understand what they are supposed to do, choose suitable strategies, monitor and analyse their own learning. 

Psychologists, designers & software developers. It is well known that especially those students who struggle with SRL skills, might find the learning in an open TEL environment challenging and their learning processes needs to be scaffolded, which would already be a huge help for the teachers. Built-in metacognitive scaffolding through prompts, hints, planning and reflection could be all part of the edtech solutions used by the students daily basis. This highlights the importance of collaboration between educational psychologists, learning designers and software developers to combine the interdisciplinary knowledge in the design of  educational technologies.

INSTALL-ed. The INSTALL-ed project has made a significant contribution to advancing education through its proposals of pedagogical strategies for teachers to support students' self-regulated learning (SRL) in the classroom. However, it is crucial to acknowledge that solely relying on teacher practices is not enough and the promotion of SRL needs to be addressed at a school-wide level, along with the integration of edtech solutions to provide scaffolding.

Kairit Tammets