TIE lab at AERA 2012

We have just returned from the Annual Meeting for the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in Vancouver, BC (April 13th- April 17th, 2012) . We had a great time, attended some very interesting sessions, and presented the following research:

Miller, M., Hadwin, A. F. (2012, April). Social aspects of regulation: Measuring socially-shared regulation in collaborative contexts. In  S. Järvelä, S. & M. Miller (Chairs), Innovations in researching regulation of learning in solo and collaborative tasks. Symposium conducted at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, BC, CA.

McCardle, L., Hadwin, A. F., & Winne, P. H. (2012, April). Student regulation as measured by the Regulation of Learning Questionnaire. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Vancouver, BC, CA.

Helm, S., Hadwin, A. F. (April, 2012). The importance of task understanding for learning in young students.


2 thoughts on “TIE lab at AERA 2012

  1. I was trying to have a discussion about guided learning and self-regulation on twitter. It doesn’t work. I was thinking about experience with self-regulated students at school who failed at life and vice versa. I teach Middle School in the Okanagan now, and over the long term, see the same. But it is only anecdotal which is not as valid as serious data based study. Also need same terms of reference which is hard to establish with tweets.

  2. HI Barry, What I suspect you are seeing there are students who may not be strategically self-regulating their learning in terms of cognition, motivation, and behavior. Sometimes what happens, is in our attempts to help learners in school we end up “other regulating” by fixing it for the learner (changing the environment, tasks, instructions, simplifying the task, etc), rather than guiding the learner to self-regulate. When we talk about guided instruction and scaffolding, we are talking about supporting regulatory processes rather than doing the regulating for learners, or alternatively leaving them to it and hoping they will figure it out. Guided instruction draws on didactic teaching and explanations, but also includes critical prompts and scaffolding along the way. Guided instruction can happen in complex tasks that provide optimal opportunities for challenge and choice (see Nancy Perry’s work), but it can also be used to support regulation in well-defined tasks.

    Although tasks and task environments that provide choice may create optimal self-directed opportunities for embracing challenges and defining goals and standards (Perry & Drummond, 2002), we acknowledge that defining goals and standards is necessary within highly structured and externally controlled task contexts as well. In fact there are many aspects of everyday life and work containing highly structured and externally regulated tasks that are aversive in nature, or at the very least not inherently motivating. Filing income tax is a good example of a task that is highly scripted and regulated externally. However, even within very well defined task parameters, we must learn to break the task into manageable and achievable goals and standards that can guide tax completion during an intense day or distributed over several independent work sessions. We must figure out what strategies work for us both for optimizing performance (getting them correct) and motivation (getting down to it). Regulating engagement and performance in tax filing occurs despite the fact that doing taxes contains limited opportunities for controlling challenge, or exerting choices. Although goals and standards as well as the deadline for completing taxes are externally defined, we take control of task time procrastination, by leveraging opportunities to increase understanding or perceptions of what is involved in this task, defining standards for each block of time we set aside for doing taxes, and choosing among a range of tools and strategies for completing taxes. What this example highlights is that everyday life and work requires self-regulation of learning and performance. Even seemingly mundane tasks and jobs at home contain some elements that necessitate self-regulated learning and performance: complexity, challenge, choice, self-evaluation, opportunities for helpseeking.

    So if I were using guided instruction to help a student develop self-regulation around tax filing, I would use prompts and some direct instruction to help them learn to navigate the task and the motivational challenges that come with it. I would teach them about the tax process, and guide them to construct understandings about what it involves and why it might be important do to, and to do well. I would use direct instruction to teach about some alternate strategies that can be used (such as filing by paper, using electronic tax tools -ufile, or paying someone to do them for you) and guide them to identify the pros and cons of each of these kinds of strategies with respect to their own strengths and weaknesses. So for example, if i struggle with motivation, I might find it helpful to use an electronic tax program because it provides feedback about what my return ourcome (owing to me or by me) looks like at the end of each step. Similarly, this might be a good strategy for someone who doesn’t really understand the steps or what to fill into each box, because the electronic forms take you through step by step and tell you if there is another form or piece of information you need to hunt down.

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