Pérez-Álvarez, Maldonado-Mahauad, and Pérez-Sanagustín (2018) conducted a literature review to examine tools to support self-regulated learning (SRL) in online environments. Three lessons the authors gathered from the review were:
The tools use different ways to support SRL, such as visualization, social comparison, recommendation, collaboration, and interfaces for input forms. Learners’ motivations are positively influences by tools with visualization and some interactivity. Social comparison positively influences time management and commitment of learners in both MOOC and traditional online environments. The authors suggested that it is needed to analyze whether comparing learners’ performance with current peers or learners in previous course have greater effect on learners in MOOCs
While the purpose of supporting SRL is clear in the studies, the design of the tools in relation to this purpose was not that clear. Therefore, it is important to connect the design of the tools to the specific SRL strategies learners use to perform the activities in order to study how the tools support SRL. For instance, a tool to support time management should analyze the impact on the behavioural changes of learners with respect to the time spent on the activities. That is, indicators used to measure SRL activities of the learners should be defined in advance.
Most of the tools reviewed were evaluated by their usability and usefulness without studying the impact of the tools on SRL behavior. Self-reports were mainly used to measure the impact on SRL. To understand how the tools support SRL, better evaluation proposals are needed. For example, to measure the impact on goal setting, evaluations should include examining behaviours related to goal setting, obtaining of goals, gaps between goals set and obtained, and the number of goals obtained.
The authors concluded that even though tools designed to support SRL in MOOCs exist, their impact on learners SRL strategies have not been evaluated. Therefore, future tools should be designed based on clear relationship between SRL strategies and learners’ activities to measure the impact of the tools.
Pérez-Álvarez, R., Maldonado-Mahauad, J., & Pérez-Sanagustín, M. (2018, September). Tools to Support Self-Regulated Learning in Online Environments: Literature Review. In European Conference on Technology Enhanced Learning (pp. 16-30). Springer, Cham.