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Self-regulated learning tips for online education

Past days have been challenging all over the world – virus outbreak changed the way we function daily, our jobs, and increase the feeling of uncertainty. Many teachers and trainers have organized online classes. Also, learning online becomes a challenge for many students.

In times like this, students realize more and more how their aim to learn, be proactive, and monitor the learning process is one of the most important components of the learning process. If want to say in a few words, self-regulated learning is the process students need to master.


While we all do have some self-regulated habits, it is important for students to become more concusses. When we know how we plan and monitor our learning process, what are the distractors, we have more control over the process and, hopefully, better results.


As teachers, we sometimes expect that adults have mastered self-regulation and that they will easily find a way to complete tasks. It is important to bear in mind that self-regulation is a sensitive process consisting of many factors and we need a lot of awareness of our personal process in order to maintain it. 

Luckily there are few simple techniques that teachers may implement to enhance self-regulated learning:

  • Explain and set the pace: show students when and how you will be learning by setting clear deadlines for tasks. Respect those guidelines and teach students to ask for extensions on time.  It is easy to forget, so send reminders for deadlines.
  • Show some examples of learning plans, tell average time for doing some task, for example, Students usually write an essay in two days, 3hours per day.
  • Encourage writing notes, also notes about the process, for example: What was difficult while writing an essay? What was helpful?
  • Show an example of how to use results from short quizzes, feedback: Here it is what you need to learn and practice more, write a few ideas on how you will do that.
  • Use a reward system for each step during learning: adults also like childish marks, for example, extra points, positive feedback, visual representation of progress.
  • Present some time management skills, like learning in time-blocks, time off the screen, listening to some lessons while doing household chores, etc…


There are many other ideas about how to improve self-regulated learning depending on the theme of the course, timeline, etc. The main idea is to emphasize to students that it is important for them to answer the question: How I will plan and follow my learning process in this course? Please, tell us in the comments what have you find useful in your practice and with your students.

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