Benefits of Self-Regulated Learning

Macmillan Employee
Macmillan Employee
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In Achieve, we offer a series of Goal-Setting and Reflection Surveys that instructors can assign to students. What is the benefit of these surveys?  Here's a great response from one of our researchers at Macmillan Learning: 

Goal-setting and Reflection Surveys (GRS) are intended to promote self-regulated learning behaviors. GRS is foundational to life-long learning(1)

GRS occurs when students can regulate aspects of their thinking, motivation, and behavior during the learning process(2). In practice, this can look like:  

  • Students setting their own achievement goals for the course or semester; 
  • Students selecting which study strategies they will use (e.g., time management, collaboration, self-testing); 
  • Students reflecting on their self-confidence and whether they are on- or off-track in terms of what they hope to achieve;
  • Students monitoring progress and revising study plans when necessary.

Applying GRS strategies in online learning environments has been shown to help students improve time management, metacognition(3), and engagement in course assessments(4). Overall, students who are more self-regulated tend to be more persistent and higher achieving(5; 6; 7)

Using Achieve, instructors can help students hone their self-regulation skills(5; 2; 8; 7)


  1. Kurbanoglu, S. S. (2003). Self-efficacy: a concept closely linked to information literacy and lifelong learning. Journal of Documentation, 59(6), 635–646.
  2. Pintrich, P. R. & Zusho, A. (2002) Student motivation and self-regulated learning in the college classroom, in: J. C. Smart & W.G. Tierney (Eds) Higher Education: handbook of theory and research (pp. 55-128). Agathon Press.
  3. Broadbent, J., & Poon, W. (2015). Self-regulated learning strategies & academic achievement in online higher education learning environments: A systematic review. The Internet and Higher Education, 27, 1-13.
  4. Kizilcec, R. F., Perez-Sanagustín, M. & Maldonado, J. (2017). Self-regulated learning strategies predict learner behavior and goal attainment in Massive Open Online Courses. Computers & Education, 104, 18-33.
  5. Pintrich, P. R. (1995) Understanding self-regulated learning. Jossey-Bass.
  6. Robbins, S. B., Lauver, K., Le, H., Davis, D., Langley, R., & Carlstrom, A. (2004). Do psychological and study skill factors predict college outcome? Psychological Bulletin, 130, 261–288
  7. Zimmerman, B. J. & Schunk, D. H. (2001) Self-regulated learning and academic achievement: theoretical perspectives. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  8. Schunk, D. H. (2005). Self-regulated learning: The educational legacy of Paul R. Pintrich. Educational Psychologist, 40(2), 85-94.
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