This study aims to surface, describe and systematise the activities and strategies that adult learners use to self-regulate their learning in the context of a massive open online distributed course, in particular Change 2011 MOOC. The term self-regulation here refers to “self-generated thoughts, feelings and actions that are planned and cyclically adapted to the attainment of personal goals” (Zimmerman, 2005, p. 14). Our interest is specifically in professionals’ actions – practices and strategies that they use to plan and attain their learning goals. The project will not examine the affective aspects of self-regulation (feelings) nor will it investigate cognitive processes (thoughts, self-beliefs) underpinning self-regulatory strategies.
The study design includes a survey (a modified SRL questionnaire) and semi-structured interview. We recruited a pool of 40 participants, of whom 34 were able to complete the SRL questionnaire. We’ve now collected all these responses and will analyse them shortly. These 34 participants have been contacted for interviews and our colleague Lou McGill is currently conducting interviews by skype. Again, no analysis yet, but I am enjoying listening to the interviews and reading the transcripts.
We intend to write up the research, but hope also to share the findings through this blog, as well as those of the rest of the research team: Anoush Margaryan and Allison Littlejohn. Please make contact if you ant any more information.
Many thanks are due to everyone who has participated in the study, to Lou for conducting the interviews, Susan, our transcriber and to those who helped to pilot the SRL questionnaire, and the participant who acted as guinea pig for the first interview.