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«Self Regulation and Online Developmental Student Success Autorregulación y el Éxito del Desarrollo del Alumno Online Carrie Jantz Department of ...»

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2. Performance phase: Students enact the plans they created in the forethought phase (Dembo & Seli, 2004; Zimmerman, 2002).

3. Self-reflection phase: Students evaluate their plan and outcomes by comparing their results to a standard (Dembo & Seli, 2004; Zimmerman, 2002).

Supports Self-Regulation Skill Transfer Integration of self-regulation support into course activities helps students learn to transfer self-regulatory skills from the context in which they are taught to other relevant situations (Stahl et al., 1992). This transfer of strategies is important; without it, students learn to apply self-regulatory strategies in isolated situations but do not continue to use their skills to promote future success.

Addresses Students’ Resistance to Change Unfortunately, many students, especially those in online settings, do not use the self-regulation tools and support that are made available to them (Winters, Greene, & Costich, 2008). Also, students who do use available tools and support frequently overestimate the degree to which they take advantage of support resources.

This could be linked to a global difficulty people experience in attempts to change their own behavior (Dembo & Seli, 2004). According to Prochaska & Prochaska (1999), people have difficulty changing behavior because they: a) believe they cannot change; b) do not want to change, c) do not know what to change, or d) do not know how to change (as cited in Dembo & Seli, 2004). Therefore, for students must first have an understanding that they need to change, be motivated to try to self-regulate, believe that change is possible, and believe that they can be agents of change (Zimmerman, 2002).

Faculty members can support student motivation and openness to change by crafting feedback that communicates the idea that intelligence is an expandable quality rather than a fixed trait (Dweck, 2002;

Dweck, 2007). When students believe this, they are more motivated to work to develop their own skills and knowledge. In contrast, a belief that intelligence is a fixed trait discourages students from exerting more effort because it carries the implication that success results from endowment rather than strategy, practice, or effort.

When students receive feedback that praises the process they used to create their work (for example, effort or strategy), rather than their personal traits as a student (for example, intelligence or innate ability) their motivation increases (Dweck, 2002; Dweck, 2007). Process feedback promotes the importance of how students work. It emphasizes the ideas, strategies, choices, development, and execution that students used to create their work. Process feedback also highlights methods students can use to repeat success and overcome challenge. This approach presents feedback as part of an ongoing interchange rather than as an evaluation. As a result, it helps students to value learning, to enjoy effort and challenge, and to thrive in the face of difficulty.

While Dweck’s conclusions regarding process feedback are largely based on studies involving grade school and adolescent students, studies involving college students also support her recommendations MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching Vol. 6, No. 4, December 2010 (Wilson, Shelton, & Damiani, 2002). At least eleven different studies have shown that even one instance of “attributional retraining” (promotion of the idea that success and failure are dependent on changeable factors) can influence college student success rates (Wilson, et al., 2002).

Conclusion Self-regulation support promotes student success. This is especially true for developmental students and online students. Therefore, developmental students in online classes may be in particular need of support that helps them develop self-regulating strategies and behaviors. Faculty members who work with developmental students in online learning environments can promote student success by providing selfregulation support. An integration of self-regulation activities into course work and an emphasis on process oriented feedback are important practices that provide self-regulation support.

However, while motivation and strategic behaviors are helpful, the eventual goal is not self-regulation for the sake of self-regulation. Instead, it is to equip students to be independent learners. “What defines [students] as ‘self-regulated’ is not their reliance on socially isolated methods of learning, but rather their personal initiative, perseverance, and adoptive skill. Self-regulated students focus on how they activate, alter, and sustain specific learning practices. In an era when these essential qualities for lifelong learning are distressingly absent in many students, teaching self-regulated learning processes is especially relevant” (Zimmerman, 2002).

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