Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) in technology-enhanced environments

Tutorial by Giuliana Dettori, ITD-CNR, Italy

Self-Regulated Learning -people's active and conscious control of their own learning activity- is an intuitive concept which is rather difficult to formalize in simple way because of its diverse and compound nature. Research in this field has been active in the past few decades, looking at it through the lenses of different learning theories and consequently giving rise to different characterisations of it and approaches to its development. Despite the amount of positive outcomes and methodological suggestions reported in the literature, SRL is often not given sufficient attention in formal education, as concerns educational practice, policy development and tool creation. It should, on the contrary, receive much wider attention from educators, policy makers and environments developers, because it is strictly connected with people's development not only as successful learners but also as active, reflective and resilient human beings. This tutorial aims to call attention on the crucial role that SRL plays in learning at any level, highlighting that its development in formal education is less difficult and demanding than it might appear due to the complexity of its overall theoretical framework. The discussion will develop through the analysis of meaningful examples presented in the literature, related to the three main areas that characterize SRL, i.e., strategic action, motivation and learners' awareness (of one's own learning goals, needs, thoughts, actions and achievements). Particular attention will be given to the mediation in this respect provided by the technological tools employed in the learning activities: the role of technology, in this process, can be of primary importance, because computers empower students by acting like amplifiers of their cognitive, social and creative skills, but at the same time self-regulation is often necessary to fully exploiting the potential of technological tools. The tutorial will conclude with a range of practical suggestions to foster the practice of SRL in a variety of learning contexts.