Self-regulated Learning Strategies used by Chinese University Students

2019-11-07 04:07:59 校园英语·中旬 2019年10期

【Abstract】The topics of students motivations and strategies towards self-regulated learning is a an interest to a number of researchers word-wide. This study aims to investigate self-regulated learning and the use of self-regulated strategies by Chinese university students.

【Key words】Self-regulated learning strategies; Chinese; University students


1. Introduction

With the impact of globalization and the new educational system-based on individual lifelong learning, universities world-wide face new challenges Self-regulated learning has become an essential ability which has also been highlighted by related research studies. Recently, universities in China put more emphasize on fostering students ability of positive results of self-regulated learning strategies. Students who use more deep-processing strategies are likely to do better on examinations or course assignments as well as overall grades (Pintrich &Garcia, 1994). The present study aims to investigate self-regulated learning and the use of self-regulated strategies by Chinese university students.

2. Literature review

Self-regulated learners always have a clear cognition on their goals, at the same time, they formulate related self-regulated strategies. In the process of learning, self-regulated learners are always choosing to record their behaviors in terms of self-reflection on the effectiveness and finding more effective learning methods. Learning strategy has been defined as a plan to accomplish a learning goal or the sequences of procedures needed to accomplish a learning task (Derry, 1993). Martinez-Pons (1986)s theories have shown that high-achieving students use a variety of cognitive (rehearsing, memorizing, organizing, transforming) and metacognitive regulatory strategies (goal setting, planning, monitoring, self-evaluation) compared with low achieving students.

2.1 Goal Setting and Planning .Goal setting is a significant strategy to consider since consequent behavior is decided by the goal the learner has(De Leon, 2001). Certain standards or goals can help students make progress in their learning process to some extent. Goals may be described as two general types: Mastery goals and Performance goals. Mastery goals refer to a concern with learning and mastering the subject or acquisition of specific skills. Learner is focused on developing new skills, improving, and acquiring additional knowledge. Self-regulated students who have mastery goals are likely to have higher achievement (De Leon, 2001 ). Performance is what the person controls while outcomes are frequently controlled by others. The aim of performance goals is gaining favorable judgment, avoiding unfavorable judgment or outperforming others (Dweck, 1986).

2.2 Self-observation.“Self-observation refers to self-recording personal events or self-experiments to find out the cause of these events (Zimmerman, 2002).” students tend to record their time automatically when they are studying, a student would like to record the time assumption when he used a new learning strategy or studied with a friend. Recently, “Time is seen a key variable in students process of studying in terms of self-regulation” (De Leon, 2001). For those effective students, how to allocate time for various assignments or projects is a significant factor which influence their self-monitoring efficiency. Timely notes could help learners to recall the highlighted points in texts and their misunderstandings toward specific objectives. Nevertheless, if the criterion of assessment is known, note taking is better than rereading or not taking notes (Snowman, 1986).

2.3 Environmental controlling . Self-regulated learners always like to choose environment with low level of noises. For example, for self-regulated undergraduates, compared with studying in dormitory, they prefer to study in libraries. Additionally, some students would like to study in morning, because they think the efficiency of study is higher than that in afternoon or environment. Interestingly, many claim that they tend to be able to study better in environment with background music. Corno (2001) discussed volitional aspects of self-regulated learning, includes the control of different task situations and control of others in the task settings.

2.4 Seeking social assistance.Seeking social help might involve three groups: teachers, peers and parents. These three resources are quite common resources in our daily life. Many people hold that self-regulated learning has few connections with society, in contrary, it has strong social properties. Each self-regulatory process can be learned by parents, teachers, coaches and peers (Zimmerman, 2002). what is more, self-regulated students focus on how they activate, alter, and sustain specific learning practices in social as well as solitary contexts (Zimmerman, 2002).

3. Methodology

For my research, I choose to use qualitative research methods. My data collected method is interview. For my research, I will conduct face-to-face interviews, and each lasts approximately 30 to 45 minutes. Totally, there are four interviewees in my research, all of them are people who I know. During the interview, students were asked approximately eighteen questions. All their answers will be recoded by the phone, some crucial points I will also highlight them using notes.

When I see them show high interest in particular information, I think I can delve some deeper ideas, such as asking some “ why” or “how” questions. The method I use to analyze the data is thematic analysis. There are three main steps in the process of data analysis; 1. Transcription, 2, coding and 3, analysis.

4. Conclusion

Having an early understanding on knowledge is helpful for undergraduates learning, previewing lessons before class is effective for Chinese undergraduates to do self-regulated learning. Self-regulated learning has a positive influence on self-regulation and academic results, and there is a close relationship between undergraduates self-regulation and academic success. Through regulating different strategies and monitoring the effectiveness of that strategy, undergraduates perform effectively in tasks and perform better in academic achievements. It seems that Chinese students like to find some spirits to seek peer group assistance and benefit from it. To some extent, it may be arrived from cultural roots: Confucian heritage culture.

My research indicates some useful areas to further investigations in terms of the impact of self-regulated learning strategies such as goal setting, preview and seeking social assistance. What is more, it suggests there is a close connection between learning frequency and academic results, high achieving students use more effective learning strategies comparing low achieving students. Self-regulated strategies have both short-term impacts and long-term impacts. From short term, it promotes learning efficiency and help undergraduates to perform better in examinations. From long term, it helps undergraduates to develop good learning habits such as good time regulation and learning implementation.