Researching Self-Regulation, Co-Regulation and Socially Shared Regulation of Learning

Principal Investigator/Chercheur principal (Chercheurs principaux):

Allyson Hadwin, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC


Co-Investigator/Co-chercheurs (s):

Philip Winne, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC



SSHRC Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada (Amount: $ 157,037)



2008-2011 (Status/Statut: Ongoing)


Contact Information/Personne contact:

Tel:778-782-4858 Office: Education Building 9506 SFU Burnaby



Successful learners are often described as self-regulating their learning. These learners take charge of learning and skilfully adapt to new learning tasks and situations. Self-regulating engages students in four interrelated phases of studying: defining the task, setting goals and forging plans, enacting tactics and adapting the process. Regulating learning is rarely a solitary task; we posit that it always involves social context, interaction or support at one time or another. In order to succeed in both solo and collaborative tasks, students need to develop skills; skills that involve strategies of self-regulation, co-regulation and socially-shared regulation. To date very few empirical studies have considered these three forms of regulation in relation to one another or in the context of complex tasks that unfold over time.


Project Objectives/Objectifs du projet:

(1) To develop and test measures of self-regulation, co-regulation and socially shared regulation; (2) extending and applying analytical tools and methods for examining these three type of regulation; (3) conducting applied research studies in undergraduate and high school courses where technology is used to support regulation of learning; (4) empirically examining the effectiveness of technologies for supporting students to regulate learning in both solo and collaborative activities.


Research Plan/Plan de recherche:

An online library of learning strategies that is for researchers and learners alike is an example of our research in action. The undergraduates and their instructor will co-construct the online library together, providing entries in the library that will describe learning strategies and how they work. Targets for our research as this library is stocked are: ways in which students individually and collectively regulate their learning as they invent, use and adapt these strategies in the course. Kinds of strategy knowledge, metacognitive knowledge and beliefs that emerge: Will all be of interest as well. A second product we create is our experimental conditions, the roles, scripts, and prompts we research that can (a) equip learners and instructors with tools for self-regulating, co-regulating, and sharing in the regulation of learning, and (b) supply researchers with tools to use in their research beyond our research studies. Throughout our research we strive to keep this balance so that emerging understandings and the technologies that support growth in learning and research can continually inform theory, research and practice within and beyond the focal setting for our research.


Significance/Importance: We argue that the data, analyses, and reflection necessary to advance understandings about successfully regulating learning in social context, are the very same data sources students themselves need to consider in order to metacognitively monitor and regulate their own learning. Thus, our research and learning technologies are situated in real learning contexts. From this perspective, each empirical study in our research has double impact: first on learners and learning processes; second, on advancing theory, instructional tools, technologies and research in the field.