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 (MOOC), 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” (Ref: Zimmerman, 2005, p. 14). Our interest is specifically in adult learners’ actions – practices and strategies that they use to plan, attain and reflect upon their learning goals.
The SRL-MOOC project will examine how learners in Change 2011 MOOC plan, implement and reflect upon their learning goals, analysing similarities and differences in the use of SRL strategies by learners who are positioned on different points on the spectrum of SRL aptitude. In identifying the SRL activities and strategies used by the learners, we are specifically interested in finding out how individuals draw upon available resources, such as other people and artefacts, to plan and attain their learning goals, and what (digital) tools they use to do so.
The research questions that guide this study are:
Data collection will include two consecutive stages. Firstly, self-regulatory aptitude profiles of participants will be determined using an SRL self-assessment instrument (questionnaire). Secondly, self-regulatory activities and strategies or participants will be identified through in-depth, semi-structured interviews. To allow systematic surfacing of strategies, interviews will be guided by a protocol structured into sets of questions related to planning, implementation and reflection practices. During the interviews, participants will be encouraged to use digital artefacts from the Change MOOC (blogposts, tweets, etc) to demonstrate their learning goal planning and attainment strategies.
We are still analysing resuts for the project, but are writing blog posts as we do. The latest is at: http://worklearn.wordpress.com/2012/12/19/change-11-srl-mooc-study-initial-findings/