I’ve spent most of 2015 researching and exploring the idea of self-regulated learning. This topic drew my attention when I started teaching the EDUC 1300: Learning Frameworks course and facilitating CAPE workshops and SEAL Academy. What I noticed in my classes, and what many colleagues here at VC expressed in workshops, was that students aren’t aware of some of the basic strategies of learning (such as how to read a textbook, how to take notes, where and how to get assistance when they get “stuck”) which impedes their ability to actually learn our content.
One book I’ve found advantageous is Creating Self-Regulated Learners: Strategies to Strengthen Students’ Self-Awareness and Learning Skills by Linda B. Nilson. In this book, Nilson discusses two assignments – meta assignments and assignment wrappers – that easily incorporate into any class without taking time away from teaching the content. These assignments focus our students’ attention on how they will prepare to complete their assignment, whether the steps are working for them, how they feel they did on the assignment, or if they need to improve their study strategies. She also describes activities that can be done to increase students’ awareness of what they have read or watched, or their awareness of the key aspects to a lecture.
I liked this book and the strategies that it contains so much that I offered a book discussion series through CAPE this semester and each participant received a free book. We had our first meeting on the first four chapters this past Monday, and I greatly enjoyed the discussion. Our next meeting is on Monday, November 9 if you would like to join us. Register here and stop by CAPE to get your book. We will be discussing Chapters 5, 6, and 7.
On a related note, I will be traveling to Portland next week for the CRLA conference where Nilson will be speaking on the topic of self-regulated learning. I’m also hoping to get my book signed after the brunch on Sunday!