self-regulated learning, SRL, cognition, metacognition, learning science, and learning analytics, nStudy

A Legacy of Impact: Honouring Dr. Phil Winne’s Career Achievement Award for Distinguished Psychological Contributions to Education

September 12, 2023
by Quincy Wang

Dr. Phil Winne is Distinguished SFU Professor of Education and a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the Canadian Psychological Association. As well, he formerly served as a two-term Tier I Canada Research Chair. These recognitions highlight contributions Dr. Winne has made to the field of educational psychology and recognize his research impact. Dr. Winne’s prolific career has spanned nearly five decades focusing on educational psychology, self-regulated learning, metacognition, and learning analytics. In 2019, Dr. Winne was inducted as a Fellow to the Academy of Social Sciences by the Royal Society of Canada (RSC), Canada’s highest academic honour. Most recently, Dr. Winne was awarded the 2023 Career Achievement Award for Distinguished Psychological Contributions to Education by Division 15 – Educational Psychology of the American Psychological Association. This is among the most prestigious awards given to living educational psychologists for their substantial, career-long achievements and contributions to the field.

A recipient of multiple honours and much recognition over his distinguished career, Dr. Winne is an educational psychologist and scholar who has made many substantial contributions to educational research and, specifically, educational psychology. His research focuses on self-regulated learning (SRL), cognition, metacognition, learning science, and learning analytics, but he is recognized in particular for his contribution to SRL. His work has advanced understandings about how students engage with and manage their learning processes, and how technology can support and enhance those processes to improve learning outcomes. Dr. Winne’s research has strongly influenced educators’ approaches to teaching and learning, and offers practical implications for designing effective learning environments and assessment methods.

Significantly impacting SRL theories is Winne and Hadwin’s model of SRL. It sets out how learning unfolds over four pivotal phases: task definition, goal setting and planning, studying tactics, and adaptations to metacognition (Winne & Hadwin, 1998). This model has served as a framework for many researchers and practitioners delving into the intricacies of the learning phenomena, and helped researchers examine metacognitive processes during learning tasks. In a world of fast-changing digital technology, where learners can be more active in controlling and managing their learning, SRL models such as Winne and Hadwin’s guides designs for learning environments tailored to each learner’s needs as well as each phase of learning.

Learning analytics is another one of Dr. Winne’s main research topics. Software he and his research colleagues designed, nStudy (Winne et al. 2019), is an innovative online learning tool. It logs trace data as learners pursue everyday studying activities online. Analyses of these data support developing learning analytics that can guide learners toward productive SRL and help instructional designers tune learning activites. At the same time, data nStudy gathers an  extend learning science (Winne, 2022). Development of nStudy was guided by contemporary cognitive, metacognitive, and motivation theories within the learning science framework. It serves as an example of how big data gathered through technology can effectively support learners, instructors and advances in learning science.

Dr. Winne has published more than 200 research journal articles, books, and book chapters on topics such as SRL, cognitive and metacognitive processes, learning analytics, the role of motivation in learning. Among his most impactful publications, the chapter co-authored with Dr. Nancy Perry, “Measuring self-regulated learning” (Handbook of Self-Regulation, 2000) has been cited more than 4,540 times. The chapter described, critiqued, and forecasted the measurement of SRL and its components of metacognition, motivation, and strategic action. The concepts, frameworks, and methodologies discussed in this chapter—particularly seven measurement protocols—have been adapted by many researchers and used as a foundation for new methods.  Moreover, these protocols provided educators with a roadmap to consider how measures of students’ SRL can be gathered and validly interpreted.

In the Faculty of Education, Dr. Winne has played a pivotal role as a mentor. Embarking on a journey towards a doctoral degree is a challenging experience for many, requiring dedication, perseverance, and guidance. Understanding this, Dr. Winne has greatly influenced and supported his graduate students’ academic success and personal growth. His mentorship goes beyond knowledge transfer; he also nurtures the personal skill development essential researcher character by curiosity, critical thinking, and resilience. He was the inaugural winner of  the Mentorship Award, given by the Canadian Committee of Graduate Students in Education/Canadian Society for the Study of Education for “a member of CSSE who supports and encourages graduate students in education and for valuable contributions as a mentor in educational research.” As his students attest, his mentorship has significantly enriched their academic experiences.

Phil is an extraordinary educator and researcher whose impact on my academic journey has been profound. His guidance extended beyond the realm of educational psychology and research; he instilled in me the art of becoming a conscientious scholar. Phil's mentorship was pivotal not only in my development as a teacher and researcher but also in shaping my perspective on academic collaboration. In our first meeting, he gestured with both hands, conveying that we shared equal footing. He emphasized the absence of hierarchy in research, urging me to always voice my viewpoints and critically engage with his ideas. Phil said that this was the only way we could produce good research. Today, as I mentor my own students, I wholeheartedly embrace Phil's philosophy. His belief in fostering open and collaborative scholarly conversations empowered me, paving the way for my growth and evolution into the scholar I am today. Phil's mentorship has undeniably been the driving force behind my academic success.

- Zahia Marzouk, PhD, Faculty Member, Department of Educational Studies, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

While Dr. Phil Winne is globally known as an exceptional researcher and academic, what many may not see is his dedication to his teaching and students. Throughout his eminent career, he has consistently shared his knowledge and provided boundless opportunities for his students, investing his time and resources to foster their growth. I consider myself truly fortunate to have been a student and mentored by Dr. Winne. He has patiently helped me—guiding the development of my ideas, offering valuable insights, encouraging independent thinking—and pushed me to grow as an instructor and scholar. Dr. Winne’s belief in his students’ potential is inspiring. In my own work, I hope to pay his legacy forward by offering guidance to the next generations that follow.

- Jovita Vytasek, PhD, Learning Strategist, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Phil's impact on my research approach and interests has been instrumental, and I consider myself fortunate to have had him on my thesis committee. His insightful questions, valuable suggestions, and constructive feedback greatly helped to guide my thesis in the right direction. Besides his distinguished academic contributions, Phil’s affable and uplifting presence brightens any space he enters. Phil is a scholarly figure I look up to and a person I hold in high regard.

- Arita Liu, PhD,  SFU Centre for Educational Excellence

 Under Phil Winne's mentorship, I gained invaluable lessons about what it means to be a quality, responsible, and caring researcher. I especially admire his perseverance and unwavering dedication to research. He stands as a beacon of inspiration, a role model whose remarkable foresight into technological trends I deeply admire. Throughout my PhD journey under his guidance, I found him to be a keen, active listener, skillfully offering diverse avenues to interlink research with various domains. Phil's unwavering commitment to cultivating a collaborative and intellectually supportive atmosphere has emboldened us to expand the frontiers of knowledge and embrace a blend of critical thinking and innovative approaches to our studies. What I remember from him is that he encouraged us to go to the library, randomly pick a book, flip to a random page, and start reading it and see what we could learn from this. This unique approach has not only fostered a curious mindset but also facilitated a deeper understanding of other disciplines. Phil Winne's mentorship has been an instrumental force in shaping my academic journey and continues to guide me toward learning sciences and educational psychology.

- Daniel Chang, PhD, Limited Term Lecturer, Faculty of Education, SFU

Our celebration of Dr. Phil Winne's 2023 Career Achievement Award for Distinguished Psychological Contributions to Education underscores the transformative influence of his scholarship. His research legacy—embodied in modeling SRL, the pioneering nStudy tool, impactful publications—continues to shape the future of education, while his philosophy and mentorship have guided and encouraged new generations of scholars to achieve excellence in their own academic and personal lives.


Winne, P. H., & Hadwin, A. F. (1998). Studying as self-regulated engagement in learning. In D. Hacker, J. Dunlosky, & A. Graesser (Eds.), Metacognition in educational theory and practice, (pp. 277–304). Erlbaum.

Winne, P. H., & Perry, N. E. (2000). Measuring self-regulated learning. In M. Boekaerts, P. R. Pintrich, & M. Zeidner (Eds.), Handbook of Self-Regulation (pp. 531–566). Elsevier.

Winne, P. H. (2022). Learning analytics for self-regulated learning. In C. Lang, G. Siemens, A. Wise & D. Gašević, & Merceron, A. (Eds.), Handbook of learning analytics (2nd ed., pp. 78-85). SoLAR, Society for Learning Analytics Research.

Winne, P. H., Teng, K., Chang, D., Lin, M. P-C., Marzouk, Z., Nesbit, J. C., Patzak, A., Raković, M., Samadi, D., & Vytasek, J. (2019). nStudy: Software for learning analytics about processes for self-regulated learning. Journal of Learning Analytics, 6, 95-106.