An Exploratory Study of Self-Regulated Learning Strategies in a Design Project by Students in Grades 9-12

Oenardi Lawanto, Deborah Butler, Sylvie Cartier, Harry Santoso, Kevin Lawanto, David Clark
2013, Vol. 18, No. 1,

Abstract


This exploratory study evaluated self-regulated learning (SRL) strategies of 27 students in grades 9-12 during an engineering design project. The specific focus of the study was on student task interpretation and its relation to planning and cognitive strategies in design activities. Two research questions guided the study: (1) To what degree was students’ task interpretation reflected in their working plans and SRL strategies use across the design process?; and (2) How did relatively lower- and higher-achieving design-performing students differ in interpreting tasks and deploying SRL strategies? Survey instruments and Web-based design notebook writing were used to capture students’ reported use of SRL strategies. On the survey, students reported use of SRL strategies at the early, middle, and final stages of the design task, with a focus on task interpretation, planning, cognitive, monitoring/fix-up strategies, and performance criteria.

The findings suggested that students scored higher on task interpretation than on planning, cognitive, and monitoring/fix-up strategies. Students’ relatively high awareness of task interpretation-related-issues was also reflected in what they considered to be good design performance. Our findings were suggestive that higher performing students scored significantly higher than their lower-performing peer on cognitive and monitoring and fix-up strategies. On the other hand, lower-performing students reported greater use of planning strategies. Moreover, higher-performing students seemed to be able to convey more detailed and specific descriptions than did their relatively-lower performing peers. This article discusses potential implications for design instruction in grades 9-12.

Keywords


design; grades 9-12; metacognition; self-regulated learning

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