Co- and self-regulation in a computer supported collaborative learning environment among Key Stage Three students

Olakanmi, Eunice Eyitayo (2011). Co- and self-regulation in a computer supported collaborative learning environment among Key Stage Three students. PhD thesis The Open University.



The current understanding of students' co- and self-regulated learning behaviours during group learning is limited. Research on social cognitive models of self-regulated learning (SRL) focused primarily on understanding the processes that students use to self-regulate their learning and the subsequent benefits of SRL on learning and academic performance. Recently, sociocultural models have begun to argue that SRL is fostered, developed, and maintained within social contexts and as a result of interactions with teachers and peers. This research employs both social cognitive and sociocultural theories to investigate students' co- regulatory behaviours in a computer supported collaborative learning (CSCL) environment. The students worked in a computer based science simulation learning environment in which either self-regulatory prompts or co- and self- regulatory prompts were given. A longitudinal design methodology incorporating four studies was adopted.

The first study engaged two hundred and fourteen year 7 and 8 (11-13 year oIds) students to pilot the developed co-regulated strategies for learning questionnaire (CRSLQ) in a high school at Bedfordshire County in the United Kingdom. The remaining three studies engaged forty year 7 students (11-12 year olds) from the same school who were randomly assigned to either the experimental or the control group to work collaboratively on various science topics. Both quantitative and qualitative data analyses were used to examine the strategies that students used to co- regulate their learning processes over time. Results from the quantitative analysis revealed a statistically significant difference between the experimental and the control groups in the students' demonstration of co-regulated learning (CRL) behaviours over time. However, the results from the knowledge tests, although they suggested that learning had taken place, did not reach statistical significance. Findings from the qualitative analysis suggested between group and within group differences in the nature of co-regulatory processes that groups used to co-regulate their learning behaviour over the course of the three studies.

Theoretically, this research extends individual models of SRL to include social forms of regulation arguing that students acquire, refine, and use different forms of regulatory processes to regulate their learning behaviours during collaborative learning. Finally, given the emphasis on SRL throughout the national curriculum this research supports the use of collaborative tasks in a technology-rich learning environment as an instructional method to increase students' regulatory processes. Some recommendations for future work are then made.

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