Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

Sub-Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Nathaniel Bryan

Abstract

This paper describes a problem of practice centered on Introductory Biology students’ at a southern technical college’s struggle for course success due to an insufficient ability to self-regulate. It is the concern of the researcher that many students do not experience course success because of their poor time management skills, lack of self-reflective behaviors, and failure to correct unsuccessful habits. Wilde and Hardaker (1997) refer to the need for college students to self-regulate as a form of educational “autonomy” which places a larger portion of the learning in the hands of the student rather that solely at the hands of a lecturer. As college learning is a shift from traditional instructor regulated learning that takes place in much of K-12 education, there is a greater need for self-regulation in order to successfully navigate the coursework. Similarly, in order to establish lifelong learning habits that will benefit students beyond college and into their working fields of expertise, self-regulation is a necessity for extended success. This research will examine the effectiveness of an intervention that attempts to increase students’ self-regulatory ability by answering the following question: What is the impact of the Self-Regulation Skill-Building Assignment Model on students’ ability to self-regulate?

Garcia and Pintrich (1994) assert that “if students believe that their learning is under their control and they can enact certain behaviors that will result in better performance, they will be more likely to use those cognitive tools” (p. 17). The Self-Regulation Skill-Building Assignments attempt to give the learners autonomy over their study habits, choices, and techniques with prompts and feedback that give the students direction and focus while taking their preferences, course loads, and other responsibilities into account. Gains scores will be assessed via pretest/posttest completion of a widely used measure of self-regulatory ability, the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) developed by Pintrich, Smith, Garcia, and McKeachie (1991).

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