Designing for Success: Fostering Self-Regulated Learning Through Online Course Design


Bill Knapp, Grand Rapids Community College

Session Abstract

Numerous studies show a strong relationship between student achievement and self-regulated learning skills. The self-regulated learner is more likely to successfully complete the online course than students lacking these skills. This session offers practical ideas/suggestions on how to embed learning activities into the course design tat promote self-regulated learning and offer support to the at-risk online learner.

My Thoughts/Notes

Most likely to succeed in an online course

  1. Academic self-efficacy
  2. Organizational skills
  3. Time management
  4. Self-directed (autonomous)
  5. High GPA / SAT / ACT
  6. Experience with eLearning

Here is the slide with the reference: think it’s interesting that one of the examples he’s using to justify these characteristics is his nephew, who, as a 10-year military veteran, completed his Bachelor’s degree in less than 1 year. When he mentioned that, there was an overwhelming gasp in surprise. One of the things he mentions is that his nephew wouldn’t have been able to complete the degree in that timeframe if there was more structure and dialogue built into the course. Those aspects would have held up the ability to complete the course. By making courses more autonomous and competency-based, students can complete (and be successful) their courses in less time.An interesting slide that he showed was “What kinds of interactions matter most?” When the slides are made available, I’ll post what the 7 interactions are. But the gist of it is that the more often students interact with the course and content, the more successful they are.Suggestions for the forethought phase

  • Send out welcome message with introduction (1-2 weeks before class starts)
  • Use the calendar tool
  • Help students to set realistic expectations by adding a syllabus quiz
  • Have students build a study plan using the assignment dropbox
  • Introduce technology

Suggestions for the performance phase

  • Students connect with peers using the discussion forum (introductions)
  • Establish teaching presence through synchronous communication
  • Use the Gradebook
  • Use video and audio feedback to increase instructor immediacy
  • Provide examples of acceptable work

Suggestions for the self-reflection phase

  • Formative assessment techniques
  • Reflecting / revising the study plan
  • Multiple drafts
  • Peer review (rubric)
  • Have students keep a journal

Overall, I don’t know that there was anything new that I learned in this class, but I appreciate the way that it was presented. By thinking about the different phases of the course (forethought, performance, self-reflection) and the tips/suggestions for each of those phases allows you to consider these actions that can be built into the course. I also appreciate the quote and reference to Ken Bain “What the Best College Teachers Do.” Overall, a great session!

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