The Benefits of Self-Regulated Learning

Learning a new skill can be difficult. Use this new technique next time you need to study!

I try to be a self-regulated learner. Self-regulated learners often do better on tests and assignments. They learn better and retain what they have learned longer. But what is a self-regulated learner?

A self-regulated learner is someone who takes charge of their own learning. A good example of a self-regulated learner is when a baby learns to sit up on his own. Nobody is sitting there, encouraging the baby and quizzing him on how to sit; he just does it himself. He is self-motivated and teaches himself how to do it. Another example is making a mock-exam before a test and quizzing yourself. Nobody told you to do that, but if you do, you will probably learn more from it and remember the material better than if you just went to a review session.

There are many study tips for how to become a successful self-regulated learner. First, you need to analyze the task and determine what is required for you to accomplish that task. Next, you need to set some goals for yourself to monitor toward something. After setting your goals, you’ll need to implement them. Then, evaluate your progress toward those goals. Finally, after they have accomplished the task – usually learning new material or a new skill – they look back and determine whether their methods were successful or not.

So, if Sally had a Spanish test on Friday, she might decide that she needs to learn all of the vocabulary words by Wednesday. Sally might set the goals of making flashcards and reviewing them for 20 minutes every day until Wednesday. While she is learning these word, she might decide that she needs to study certain words more than others. This would be evaluating her progress. After Sally takes the test and gets her grades back, she can determine if she accomplished her objective of learning the new material. If she got a good grade, she should continue using these study methods for her next test. If she didn’t get a good grade, she might want to alter her study methods.

Self-regulated learning takes a lot of dedication and willingness to apply yourself to the task at hand. However, it also typically has the best results. If you try self-regulated learning, don’t be too hard on yourself if you don’t accomplish all of your goals the first time. Be patient with yourself and make sure to focus on the positive outcomes, not the negative. Maybe Sally only made an 87 percent on her exam, but she did learn more vocabulary words and remembers them better than if she had just crammed for the test the night before.

By implementing self-regulated learning in your study habits, you can develop more effective study strategies and hopefully learn the material you are studying better, faster, and easier. Good luck!

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