Self-regulated learning: Beliefs, techniques, and illusions

Journal Club Article: Bjork, R. A., Dunlosky, J., & Kornell, N. (2013). Self-regulated learning: Beliefs, techniques, and illusions. Annual Review of Psychology64, 417-444.

Recognition that learning occurs outside formal learning environments and with online information it will be increasingly unsupervised.

The Self Regulated Learner: Become Sophisticated As A Learner

The process to become a truly effective as a learner entails:

  • Understanding key aspects of the functional architecture that characterizes human learning and memory.
    • Be an active participant in the learning process— by interpreting, connecting, interrelating, and elaborating, not simply recording.
  • knowing activities and techniques that enhance the storage and subsequent retrieval of to-be-learned information and procedures.
    • space learning, interleave, variation.
  • knowing how to monitor the state of one’s learning and to control one’s learning activities in response to such monitoring.
    • acquisition, retention and recall of the learning process
  • Understanding certain biases that can impair judgments of whether learning that will support later recall and transfer has been achieved.

Summary Points

  1. “Our complex and rapidly changing world increasingly requires self-initiated and self managed learning, not simply during the years associated with formal schooling, but
    across the lifespan.
  2. Learning how to learn is, therefore, a critical survival tool, but research on learning,
    memory, and metacognitive processes has demonstrated that learners are prone to intuitions and beliefs about learning that can impair, rather than enhance, their effectiveness
    as learners.
  3. Becoming sophisticated as a learner requires not only acquiring a basic understanding of
    the encoding and retrieval processes that characterize the storage and subsequent access
    to the to-be-learned knowledge and procedures, but also knowing what learning activities
    and techniques support long-term retention and transfer.
  4. Managing one’s ongoing learning effectively requires accurate monitoring of the degree
    to which learning has been achieved, coupled with appropriate selection and control of
    one’s learning activities in response to that monitoring.
  5. Assessing whether learning has been achieved is difficult because conditions that enhance
    performance during learning can fail to support long-term retention and transfer, whereas
    other conditions that appear to create difficulties and slow the acquisition process can
    enhance long-term retention and transfer.
  6. Learners’ judgments of their own degree of learning are also influenced by subjective
    indices, such as the sense of fluency in perceiving or recalling to-be-learned information,
    but such fluency can be a product of low-level priming and other factors that are unrelated
    to whether learning has been achieved.
  7. Becoming maximally effective as a learner requires interpreting errors and mistakes as an
    essential component of effective learning rather than as a reflection of one’s inadequacies
    as a learner.
  8. To be maximally effective also requires an appreciation of the incredible capacity.”

Additional Resources

Nursing Education Network. (2019). Good and Bad Studying.

Nursing Education Network. (2019). 12 Tips for Applying the Science of Learning to Health Professions Education.

NUrsing Education Network. (2020). Cognitive Load Theory.