Self-Regulation of Learning within Computer-based Learning Environments: A Critical Analysis

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Computer-based learning environments (CBLEs) present important opportunities for fostering learning; however, studies have shown that students have difficulty when learning with these environments. Research has identified that students' self-regulatory learning (SRL) processes may mediate the hypothesized positive relations between CBLEs and academic performance. In this review, we identified 33 empirical studies of SRL and CBLEs. We address three research questions: (1) How do learner and task characteristics relate to students' SRL with CBLEs? (2) Can various learning supports or conditions enhance the quality of students' SRL as they learn with CBLEs? (3) What conceptual, theoretical, and methodological issues exist for this growing area of research? We found evidence that specific SRL processes are more often associated with academic success than others and that SRL skills can be supported. We also identified a number of issues that researchers should aim to address in future investigations, including a more comprehensive measurement of facets of SRL and the quality of SRL processes, the seeming disconnect between SRL processes and learning outcomes, and the distinction between self- and other-regulation.

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