Introduction to Self-Regulated Learning

Copyright EDU 2021
SRL is key in learning effectively. Students analyse the task requirements, set productive goals, and work out the best ways to achieve those goals

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“The ability to self-regulate is a key aspect of lifelong learning.” (Blumberg, 2000; Denton, et al 2000; Dolmans & Schmidt, 1996; Schutz & Davis, 2000). 

It should come as no surprise that physicians are life-long learners. Self-regulated learning (SRL) methods have become even more relevant for medical students, who are constantly faced with new things to learn across a wide spectrum of subjects. EDU sees an impetus in medical education to better develop and implement SRL. Therefore, a three-year SRL training is embedded in EDU’s curriculum to help students master the skills they need to face challenges along their learning paths. 

What is SRL? 

Self-regulated learning (SRL) is all about learners’ ability to understand and control their learning environment, by developing abilities such as goal- setting, self-monitoring, self-assessment and adjustment.   

SRL is key in learning effectively. Students analyse the task requirements, set productive goals, and work out the best ways to achieve those goals. While students engage in these tasks, they will find that success requires them to deliberately manage their behaviours and emotions and adjust the way they learn. 

How does SRL work? 

Self-regulation is often depicted as a “cyclical loop”, a learning process with a before, during and after phase.  

Forethought Phase (Before): In the first phase, learners set their goals, criteria for success, and identify the resources and strategies to achieve their goals. The goals can be simple or complex, but they must be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely . 

Performance Phase (During): In the second phase, learners implement their strategies, while checking their progress on tasks. 

Self-Reflection Phase (After): The last phase involves self-reflection and evaluation, assessing learners’ performance and developing learning steps for future projects. 

How is SRL implemented at EDU? 

In medical education, SRL is implemented through reflective practices, personal learning plans, coaching, integrative feedback and portfolios.  

At EDU, students will discover how to self-regulate their learning through attending virtual classes and receiving individualised support, thus gaining skills that will accompany them throughout their careers as healthcare professionals.  

During the first year of the bachelor’s programme at EDU, students are taught how to self-regulate their learning through goal-setting, self-monitoring, self-assessment and adjustment. Skills are introduced through asynchronous “Learn-to-Learn” course materials and are reinforced in required 1-on-1 coaching sessions, further embedding these skills along students’ learning paths. 

In the second year, students have the opportunity to apply these skills to create Personal Learning Plans (PLPs) during online phases and clinical rotations. With the guidance of a mentor, students refine their ability to communicate and actuate their professional and learning goals, followed by self-assessment and self-reflection.  

Lastly, in the third year, students are required to compile a portfolio that narrates goal development, attainment, and further planning through key clinical experiences. This is also where any relevant learning artifacts that the student has collected or completed (PLPs, clinical logbooks, self-assessments, etc.) can be used as evidence of knowledge, skill or comprehension acquisition. 

Self-regulated learning is a learned skill, not a talent!  

Through individualised support and interactive learning materials, EDU hopes to accompany and assist our students on their way to becoming effective lifelong learners.

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