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Barnard, L., Lan, W. Y., To, Y. M., Paton, V. O., & Lai, S.-L. (2009). Measuring self-regulation in online and blended learning environments. The Internet and Higher Education, 12(1), 1–6.

In this study, the researchers analyze the reliability and validity of an instrument created to measure self-regulation in online environments.  As background, they address the challenges of a popular instrument by Pintrich, the MSQL, in online and blended environments.  The authors created a new instrument and sought to test its reliability and validity in two studies, both conducted via email, with somewhat large participant pools.  The instrument was found effective.

This study is strong for several reasons.  It is well-organized, clear and concise.  It provides the discussed instrument for others to use.  It clearly states why there is a need for a new instrument. Methods are also well-conducted and clear.  Points that might be improved are few.  However, background is quite short which might leave a reader unfamiliar with SRL looking for more information on the MSQL.

I found this article useful as it provides an instrument clearly designed for use in online environments.  Since this article was written in 2008, I would be interested to learn if the instrument was used elsewhere extensively after it was developed.  This is also a great example of how to assess validity and reliability of a newly generated instrument.

Winne, P. H., Nesbit, J. C., Kumar, V., Hadwin, A. F., Lajoie, S. P., Azevedo, R., & Perry, N. E. (2006). Supporting self-regulated learning with gStudy software: The Learning Kit Project. Technology Instruction Cognition and Learning, 3(1/2), 105.

This article describes a project called the ‘Learning Kit Project’ and its primary mission of creating a web-based software application called gStudy.  This article is referenced repeatedly in the literature on SRL, and is described often.  I wanted to take a closer look at the project.  Unfortunately, aside from various pieces of literature describing research conducted with the software, I could not find the system available online.

This article is strong in describing the affordances of the gStudy system – which are impressive.  Certainly, if this system could perform these functions twelve years ago I would be impressed.  Even now, if a system could perform this way I would recommend it directly to our institution.  The opportunities for improved learning outcomes and for research are exciting.  This made the search for the tool all the more disappointing.  Conceptually the article is still relevant and exciting.

This article is important to me because my search will not end here.  While gStudy might be defunct, the affordances described are exactly those that I would like to see in a digital learning tool.  I may be able to find a way to combine various applications to form something similar.  While the analytics might not be as robust I might still be able to encourage self-regulation.

Zimmerman, B. J. (2008). Investigating self-regulation and motivation: Historical background, methodological developments, and future prospects. American Educational Research Journal, 45(1), 166–183.

In this article Zimmerman discusses 4 emergent research questions in SRL and how they are addressed using varied innovative methodologies.  These include trace logs, think-aloud protocols, structured longitudinal diaries, and using micro-analytic measures of cyclical SRL processes.  Various well-known examples are provided from thought leaders in SRL using studies that were current at the time.  Additionally, historical context of the field of study is provided.  No primary research was conducted as part of the article.

Strong points of this article include the global view of the field and specific examples provided.  In this way, the work is both generalized and specific, with an appropriate amount of granularity.  This global view provides an overview for the reader, who can then explore an area of research interest armed with a history of methodologies proven to be effective.

I found this article particularly interesting because it provides a framework of major research conducted in the field. I can now explore how these particular branches evolved over the last ten years, but the general overview is helpful.  Additionally, the brief introduction to the historical emergence of the field was useful in providing an agreed upon definition of SRL.