Self-Regulated Learning and Learning Technologies

No matter how well and how vigorously instructional designers – teachers, authors of textbooks, producers of instructional videos – structure learning environments, learners have and exercise choices about how they engage with content to learn it. To understand learning as learners do it is critical for advancing learning science and, in today’s information age, for developing tools they can use to continuously improve skills needed for lifelong learning.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Phil Winne
Co-Investigator: Dr. John Nesbit
Addtional Team Member: Allyson Hadwin
Funding Agency: SSHRC

What's Proposed

My Canada Research Chair provides time and funding to partially support a long-term, wide-scope project at the intersection of all my research projects.

The overarching aims of this long-term research program are to:

  • (a) develop and empirically test theory about self-regulated learning,
  • (b) improve and invent research methods specialized for investigating how learners self-regulate learning and how their adaptations relate to other important factors in education, and
  • (c) design and build software tools learners and researchers can use to collaborate to enhance across the landscape of educational settings.

How This Project is Carried Out

A major result of this research program is nStudy, a web application for researching learning and for supporting learners’ online studying. While using nStudy, learners can operate on information as they browse websites by highlighting content, making notes, creating terms that accumulate in a glossary, developing concept maps, chatting with peers and composing documents to record their thoughts or develop products for assignments such as an essay or a lab report. Whenever students operate on content, e.g., making a note about content they select in the web browser or filing a document in a folder within their library, nStudy automatically records extensive data that trace their activities. These data provide raw material for identifying study tactics and strategies, and diagnosing how students self-regulate learning.

Where to Learn More

Read this paper describing nStudy.

Beaudoin, L. P. & Winne, P. H. (2009). nStudy: An Internet tool to support learning, collaboration and researching learning strategies. Paper presented at the 2009 Canadian e-Learning Conference held in Vancouver, Canada.