Sunday, September 28, 2014

A thought for today about web-based learning environments and learning

I was thinking about principles for good web-design learning and self-regulation....

Structured web design has the potential to build in self-regulated learning. Utilizing features of polling and interactive quizzes in real-time courses or self-guided formats can provide specific timely feedback for student in the learning process. Research regarding feedback indicates that specific timely feedback improves the learning experience. The learner can reflect on the level of understanding based on the learning task (e.g, preparation for text, lecturette, video, activity). Reflection and self-monitoring are functions of self-regulation and metacognition.  

While self-regulation and metacognition can be taught the degree to which the on-line or web-based learning formats actually improve learner self-regulation is uncertain. This may be a function of individual variability (also a construct of metacognition). The web-based learning formats can require self-regulatory-like behaviors as a by-product of the structure of the course, activity or program. Actual individual learner self-regulation is not necessarily improved per say. Research does seem to consistently indicate that the self-regulated learner, whether in a brick and mortar context or virtual learning or web-based learning environments, has better outcomes. A logical approach to achieve certain outcomes seems to consistently point to principles of good learning strategies and instructional design. The format is simply the vehicle.   
(Comments are loosely based on discussion from an article in review -Brady, Rosenthal, & Forest, 2015).