Tactics, Metacognition and Self-Regulated Learning When Learners Restudy

Principal Investigator/Chercheur principal (Chercheurs principaux)(s):

P. H. Winne, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC


Co- Investigators/Co-chercheurs:

T. L. Leacock, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC 


SSHRC Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada

(Amount: $ 142,064)



2007-2011 (Status/Statut: Ongoing)

Contact Information/Personne contact:

Tel:778-782-4858 Email:philip_winne@sfu.caOffice :Education Building 9506 SFU Burnaby



Educational and psychological research on how learners restudy has focused on three issues: (1) delaying (or spacing) restudy (or practice) relative to a first study session, (2) the interval between study and restudy (termed lag), and (3) learners’ choices of which content to restudy based on their judgments of how well material was initially learned. However, the learned information is of limited value to education. First, learners studied paired-associate lists (e.g., dog-library, car-mountain) or other content involving disconnected, relatively non-meaningful information. Second, the measure of achievement has always been recall. Nothing is known about how restudy affects other tasks that are faced by learners’ every week. Summarizing, solving problems, searching for information needed to complete a task, or writing argumentative essays: All are areas that need to be explored in the future Third, because restudy follows a study session, it is theoretically essential to explore for interactions between study tactics learners use in the first place and effects of restudy. No research (found as yet) has done this. As with learning-in-the-first-place, there likely are various tactics and strategies learners can use to restudy, and different ones likely have different effects. Restudy tactics and strategies are presently unknown and should be mapped.

Project Objectives/Objectifs du projet:

The program of research proposed here will carry out a variety of studies of restudy-as-learning. One task is to carry out a thorough analysis of existing research to extend theoretical bases upon which to design experiments about restudy. Another is to investigate how learners of different ages choose to implement restudy activities as self-regulating agents when posed various tasks (e.g., summarize, solve a problem). A third focus is to research how learners decide to restudy and how they choose particular tactics for restudying. The fourth goal is to investigate new methodological approaches that can be used in research on self regulated learning, particularly Bayesian statistical techniques. The fifth aim is to develop principles to guide learners to restudy more effectively.


Research Plan/Plan de recherche:

Previous to this inquiry, we incorporated the current research about the factors influencing attrition into a model of nested contexts. We thus located the problem within three contexts: societal, institutional, and disciplinary. In this inquiry we draw on Activity Theory as a conceptual framework to get at the contextual nature of the phenomenon we are studying; specifically, we use it to develop data collection tools and to ground the data analysis and interpretation. Data collection includes progress logs collected over multiple years, pre-interview questionnaires, interviews, and focus group interviews. Multiple methods of qualitative data analysis have been employed.


All four phases of self-regulated learning are addressed in the research: articulating methodologies that blend self-reports, tracing of cognition gathered by using advanced software, eye-tracking technologies, and employing new quantitative methods for describing cognitive strategies. This greatly enhances the project’s capacity to advance theory by elaborating and sharpening theoretical models of learning. By building on and extending current research, the project will make important contributions to practices in education.