Self-Regulated Learning

Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) is a theory of educational psychology built on the latest developments in cognitive science. This theory and its three-phase model have helped people improve their performance in fields ranging from sports to healthcare. Our program, which is supported by the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE), focuses on using the SRL model in the classroom to help students become more effective, successful learners.

We welcome input from other investigators and classroom instructors who are interested in implementing SRL programs.

SRL News

The SRL Video - Coming soon!
In an effort to capture SRL in action, we're putting together a video based on SRL techniques we've seen in the classroom.

A Successful Summer at NYCCT
Each summer, the SRL Program runs developmental writing and mathematics courses at CUNY's New York City College of Technology (NYCCT). We're excited to report that the summer 2008 results were very successful--our mathematics section had among the highest pass-rates on the COMPASS exit exam, and our writing section had the highest pass-rate on the ACT exit exam.

Sharing What Works
Office of Special Programs, CUNY
Herbert Lehman College
December, 2004

Student Development/Enrollment Management Conference
Kingsborough CC, CUNY
May 7, 2004

The SRL Program at City Tech
Swiss High Education Administrators
Graduate Center, CUNY
April 22, 2004

CUNY Special Programs High School Counselor Orientation
SEEK/Enrollment Management
Baruch College, CUNY
March 31, 2004

Curriculum Strategies Seminar
Math Department
April, 2003

Sharing What Works
Office of Special Programs, CUNY
John Jay College, CUNY
December 6, 2002

11th National Conference on Students in Transition
Nashville, TN
Nov. 7-9, 2004

AERA Annual Meeting
American Educational Research Association
San Diego, CA
April 12-16, 2004

The Crisis of the Public University
National University of Mexico
Mexico City, Mexico
January 6-7, 2004

APA Annual Conference
American Psychological Ass.
Toronto, Canada
August 7-10, 2003

AERA Annual Meeting American Educational Research Ass.
Chicago, IL
April, 2003

AERA Annual Meeting American Educational Research Ass.
New Orleans, LA
April, 2002

SRL Projects

The Replication and Dissemination of the Self-Regulated Learning Model to Improve Student Performance in High Schools, Two-Year, and Four-Year Colleges
Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education
9/01/2006 to 8/31/2009; John Hudesman, P.I.

Project description
This program involves the use of SRL in order to help students and faculty more effectively deal with the academic challenges. We are working with our partner high schools and colleges to: 1) create, adapt, and implement SRL activities into a variety of high school and college course content areas; 2) improve the academic performance of under-prepared students; and 3) utilize this dissemination grant as the basis for the continued expansion of SRL.

After initial training sessions at the five schools and colleges in the fall 2006 semester, it became clear that there would be as many different SRL projects as there were participating instructors. During these training sessions instructors learned the theory behind SRL and studied examples of how SRL can be applied inside and outside of the classroom. By the end of the session, instructors had drawn up plans for an SRL project that would address the specific challenges faced by their students.

Over the subsequent semesters, instructors have had an opportunity to implement their projects in the classroom. Over the course of each semester, we keep in touch with them via email, telephone, and site visits. In addition, we ask that instructors submit written logs that monitor their progress and that they observe each other’s classes.

The program seems to be well received. For example, two faculty members from Raymond Walters College presented their SRL projects at the 2007 Association of University Regional Campuses (AURCO) conference. One of the Youngstown high school faculty members conducted an in-service workshop for other instructors at her school. In addition, SRL staff members were presenters at a professional development workshop for more than 40 instructors at LaGuardia Community College.

This program collaborates with faculty at Youngstown State University (Ohio), Youngstown Early College (Ohio), Raymond Walters College (Ohio), LaGuardia Community College (New York), Rutgers University (New Jersey), and Youngstown State University (Ohio). Faculty are implementing programs in the areas of English, Math, Writing, Psychology, Sociology, Nursing, Dental Hygiene, Chemistry, Health, and Computer Science.

Enhancing Self-Reflection and Mathematics Achievement of At-Risk Students in an Urban Technical College: A Self-Regulated Learning Intervention
Department of Education’s Institute for Educational Sciences
9/1/2006 to 8/31/2008; Barry Zimmerman, P.I.

Project description
Traditionally, when students receive examination grades, they view these results as a final index of the quality of their learning. This project’s goal was to transform students’ test-taking experience into a transactional process in which they use the returned examination as the starting point for additional self-reflection and learning. The researchers wanted to help students see test errors as opportunities to learn rather than as signs of personal deficiency. To evaluate the effectiveness of the SRL intervention, we used a randomized experimental design. During each of four successive semesters, more than 120 at-risk students were randomly assigned to either an SRL section or to a traditional learning section in a remedial or a college-level math course. The intervention involved SRL teachers’ use of coping modeling techniques, math quizzes that are formatted to require students to make self-efficacy and self-evaluation judgments, a SRL Math Self-Reflection Form designed to guide students’ self-reflection processes during math problem corrections, and an incentive system that rewards follow-up learning with academic benefits. Students in both the experimental and control groups are given three uniform examinations plus a uniform department-wide final examination. In addition, students in the developmental math course must pass the mathematics portion of the ACT, i.e. the COMPASS. All students are also expected to complete the same pre- and post-SRL scales: self-efficacy, self-evaluation, self-satisfaction, and learning strategies.

Based on the first semester’s results, the data indicate that the students in the SRL sections of developmental and college-level mathematics were more academically aware and accurate in their self-efficacy and self-evaluative judgments than were students in the control group sections across all three uniform examinations in both developmental and college-level mathematics courses. The SRL students in both courses earned higher grades on all three examinations as well as on the departmental final examinations in both courses.

All the instructors participating in this project are faculty in New York City College of Technology’s Math Department.

A Self-Regulated Learning Assessment System for Electromechanical Engineering Technology Students
National Science Foundation (CCLI)
9/1/05 to 8/31/07; Seymour Blank, P.I.

Project description
The purpose of this project was to develop and implement a Self-Regulated Learning Assessment System for students in a two-year associate degree program in electromechanical engineering technology at the New York City College of Technology (NYCCT) of the City University of New York (CUNY). This intervention involved using classroom-based, formative assessments designed to help students better self-reflect on performance feedback.

Using a randomized pre-/post-test experimental design, students enrolled in either SRL or non-SRL sections of an Electrical Circuits course or a Digital Controls course. Students in both the SRL and control group sections received the same mid-term and final examinations. However, students in the SRL sections took specifically formatted quizzes, which required them to make a self-efficacy judgment before each quiz problem, i.e., how certain were they that they could correctly solve each problem? Similarly, after solving each quiz problem, students had to make a self-evaluative judgment, i.e., how certain were they that they had actually correctly solved the problem?

When the SRL students received their corrected quizzes, they also received an SRL Self-Reflection Form. For each incorrectly answered question students were required to explain the discrepancy between their actual performance and their perceived level of performance. Students were then given an opportunity to solve a similar problem and earn additional credit.

Our results indicate that SRL students in the Electrical Circuits had lower attrition rates and higher grades on the mid-term and final examinations than students in the control group section. The SRL instructors reported that students became more active and collaborative participants in the classroom, and that there was an increased understanding of the role of strategy selection and implementation as a way of solving problems.

The instructors who participated in this project were faculty in New York City College of Technology’s Electromechanical Engineering Technology Department.

The SRL/College Tech Prep Teacher Training Program
2/05 to 6/05; John Hudesman, Niesha White and Adam Moylan

Project description
This pilot program focused on training high school teachers in Youngstown State University’s College Tech Prep Program to implement SRL in their classrooms. During an initial one-day workshop, teachers expressed skepticism about the value of any new approach to helping students. Rather than imparting a pre-conceived curriculum, the SRL model was presented as a competence-developing framework that empowered teachers to adaptively address their particular issues and contexts. It also focused on developing the students' sense of personal responsibility as they learn to take control of their academic lives. Over the two-month course of this program, SRL coaches communicated with teachers via email, video conferencing, classroom observations, and individual conferences. The program ended with a second professional development workshop.

There was a marked shift in teachers’ knowledge, attitudes, motivation, and behaviors within the brief two-month SRL intervention, despite several teachers’ low expectations.
Teachers reported increases in student engagement, as well as improved homework completion and test scores.
Teachers embodied the cyclical nature of SRL by persistently adjusting their instructional strategies to improve the SRL environment in their classrooms. They repeatedly planned, self-monitored, and self-evaluated their intervention efforts.
Given the new learning opportunities, students engaged in goal-setting, strategy selection and adaptation, self-monitoring, and self-evaluation.

All of this project’s instructors were part of Youngstown State University’s College Tech Prep Program.

A Comprehensive Cognitive Skills Academy for Associate Degree Students
Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education
9/1/2001 to 8/31/2004; John Hudesman, P.I.

Project description
This three-year project at the New York City College of Technology (NYCCT) served more than 700 students. In a year-long program, students who failed the university’s placement test in mathematics or writing were enrolled in either SRL or non-SRL sections of a five-week mathematics or writing summer course. Students in the SRL sections received instruction in the course content contextualized in the SRL model. The comparison sections only received instruction in the course content. At the end of the summer, students were retested on the university placement test. During the fall semester, students were enrolled in either SRL or non-SRL sections of credit-bearing mathematics or English. During the spring semester, SRL students had the option to continue in the program through staff contacts or via the SRL website.

The project’s outcomes were both statistically and educationally significant. Some of the key findings were as follows:

Pass rates on the university exit examination. In the summer mathematics program, 84% percent of the SRL students passed the university exit test versus only 63% of the non-SRL students. In writing, 72% of the SRL students passed the exit test versus only 52% of the non-SRL students.

College-level coursework. During the fall program, for two of the three grant-funded years, SRL students earned statistically higher grades in a college-level mathematics course than non-SRL students. In the college-level English course, SRL students earned higher grades on a departmental final examination than non-SRL students.

Lasting impact of the program. SRL students were tracked to determine the lasting impact of the program. Of the students who started in summer sections of SRL, 60% successfully completed a credit-bearing mathematics course in the subsequent fall semester, compared to only 34% of the non-SRL students. Similarly, 65% of the students who were enrolled in SRL sections of remedial writing during the summer successfully completed a credit-bearing writing course in the fall versus only 32% of the non-SRL students. Both group differences were highly significant. After five semesters, SRL mathematics students earned a statistically significant higher mean of 34 credits at City Tech versus a mean of only 28 credits for non-SRL students.

All the instructors participating in this project are faculty in New York City College of Technology’s Math Department.