What are the self-regulated learning strategies used by online and blended learners?

The extent to which students self-regulate their learning affects their learning performance. In higher education, students have less structured time in the classroom. Therefore, to succeed in higher education, students have to regulate their own learning. As technology advances, educational institutes can now offer a blend of online and face-to-face instructions. Other than blended learning, learning that is purely online is also becoming prevalent. The ability to self-regulate one’s learning is still relevant regardless of the type of learning environment. However, depending on the type of learning environment, certain self-regulated learning (SRL) strategies may be more important than the others.

To investigate whether blended and online learners differ in their use of SRL strategies, Broadbent (2017) used the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) to examined SRL strategies used by blended and online learners. The MSLQ consists of three types of strategies:

  • Cognitive strategies – rehearsal, elaboration, organization, and critical thinking
  • Metacognitive strategies – metacognition
  • Resource management – time management, effort regulation, peer learning, and help seeking

The results showed that online learners reported a greater use of the SRL strategies in MSLQ except for peer learning and help seeking when compared with blended learners. For blended learners, elaboration, organization, metacognition, time management, and effort regulation were predictive of academic grades. Whereas for online learners, only time management and effort regulation categorized under resource management strategies had a positive correlation with academic grade. In both groups, peer learning, help seeking, rehearsal, and critical thinking were not significantly related to grade. Based on the findings, the author concluded that time management and elaboration strategies are rather important SRL strategies for student success in blended and online learning. 

Broadbent, J. (2017). Comparing online and blended learner's self-regulated learning strategies and academic performance. The Internet and Higher Education, 33, 24-32.

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