The impact of reflective facilitation on middle school students' self-regulated learning and their academic achievement in a computer-supported collaborative learning environment
Jy Wana Daphne Lin Hsiao, The University of Texas at Austin, United States
The University of Texas at Austin . Awarded
Four research questions were proposed: (1) What kind of self-regulated strategies are used by middle school students while engaged in group learning tasks in the computer supported collaborative learning environment (CSCL) and the face-to-face environments? (2) Can individuals improve or gain self-regulated strategic knowledge while working in group projects in the CSCL and the face-to-face environments? (3) What are the effects of reflective facilitation on students' self-regulated skill development? (4) What are the relationships between self-regulated strategy use and academic achievement?
Participants were from four classes of eighth graders, totaling ninety-four students. There were two experimental classes: (1) a Computer-Supported Intentional Learning (CSILE) environment and (2) a face-to-face environment. The researcher provided middle school students guidelines for use of computer-based and non-computer-based tools for reflecting on their learning, i.e., 'reflective facilitation'--a process that stimulates discovery about one's thinking. The two experimental classes were provided reflective facilitation to prepare their individual and group reflective journals. Reflective facilitation was not given to the two control classes. Two rubrics were used to assess the group final product and the extent of cooperative learning. Before and after the intervention program, participants were administered the MSLQ questionnaire. A general questionnaire relating to the research project was administered at the end of the project.
The researcher employed qualitative methodology in assessing the use of self-regulated and group-regulated strategies in the collaborative group process. Important findings include: (1) Among the identified individual self-regulated strategies were goal orientation, metacognitive awareness, planning and organizing, information seeking, record keeping and monitoring, self-assessment, environmental structuring, record reviewing, social assistance seeking, effort regulation, and relating to personal experience. (2) Student reports yielded the following group-regulated strategies: brainstorming, goal-setting and planning, division of labor, record keeping and monitoring, listening and discussing, group effort, questioning and elaboration, time and environmental management, and group assessment. (3) Higher order thinking and strategy use is distributable among group members, depending on whether or not the learning is intentional.
Further statistical analyses were conducted to answer the third and fourth research questions. The study yielded three major findings: First, the study found a relationship between self-regulated learning and academic achievement. The study yielded statistically significant results on academic achievement among groups (high and low self-regulated learners and gender). The findings supported previous research that the use of self-regulated strategies was highly associated with academic achievement (Zimmerman & Martinez-Pons 1986, 1990). Second, the study identified specific metacognitive factors that differentiated the honor class from other classes in the study, and boys from girls. Finally, reflective facilitation in the face-to-face and CSILE experimental groups did not result in immediate gains in student motivation, cognition, and metacognition nor did it show academic benefit in content learning as measured in this study. The obtained qualitative data indicated that, although not all students enjoyed reflective journal writing, they did think that reflective journal writing allowed them to explore their own thinking process and become more aware of their procedural knowledge. The CSILE experimental class students, in particular, exhibited higher motivation in applying computer-mediated tools to express their own ideas and thinking. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
Lin Hsiao, J.W.D. The impact of reflective facilitation on middle school students' self-regulated learning and their academic achievement in a computer-supported collaborative learning environment. Ph.D. thesis, The University of Texas at Austin.
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