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Huang, Y. M., Huang, Y. M., Wang, C. S., Liu, C. H., & Sandnes, F. E. (2012). Supporting Self-Regulated Learning in Web 2.0 Contexts. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 11(2), 187-195. Retrieved from http:// www.eric.ed.gov/PDFS/EJ989027.pdf Introduction
Web2SRL is a Web 2.0 self-regulated learning system that is used as an intervention program for self-learners. The system uses blogs and RSS feeds and helps students select reading strategies and tools for articles. The Web2SRL system seems to help more with planning and reading in a true student-regulated learning environment. The purpose of the study is to answer two questions: 1) What is the effect of the Web2SRL system on high and low achieving students and 2) What are students’ perceptions of the Web2SRL system? (Huang, 2012, p. 189-190). The study was conducted as pre-test and post-test to study the results of using the Web2SRL system in a web-based learning environment. 39 undergraduate students in Taiwan were selected. The average participant was 20.5 years, had over 4 years of knowledge with the Internet, and spent at least an hour on the Internet each day (Huang, 2012, p. 190). There was no other group except this one. The students used the Web2SRL system to learn some computer and Internet basics. Students also had to take a questionnaire asking their opinion of the Web2SRL system at the beginning and a pre-test of their knowledge about new computer and Internet technologies. The pre-test was 30 multiple-choice questions, and students took a post-test after learning with Web2SRL. The students also took a questionnaire about their opinions of Web2SRL after the experiment. The study found that the Web2SRL system was helpful in obtaining knowledge in a web-based learning environment for low-achieving students. The Web2SRL system seemed to help them take more responsibility for their learning and prevented them from getting off track, which is an easy thing to do on the Internet. The high-achieving students used the built in planning
subsystem much less, which evened the test results of low-achieving and highachieving students. The study has some limitations, but the researchers contacted domain experts to examine the validity of some of the questionnaire items. With the questionnaire examined for validity, the results of the questionnaire seemed to indicate that students were more motivated and supportive of the Web2SRL system. Other limitations include that the study size was small, there not being another group to study in comparison, and that other factors may have helped students learn the material other than Web2SRL. The next study should be in a more general education class that readily uses blogs and articles to enhance the curriculum. A web-based English or History class would be a good place to start. I would also include another web-based group in the same class to compare it to. I would increase the sample size of students for each group and use computer-tracking software to see how often they used the system versus learning completed without the system. I also think, to make it more realistic, the study could provide laptops instead of keeping the students in a lab the entire time. I think more students would get off task on their own than in a lab.
There were two research questions in the study: 1) What is the effect of the Web2SRL system on high and low achieving students and 2) What are students’ perceptions of the Web2SRL system? The questions were clearly stated and defined throughout the study. The review is clearly laid out in an easy to read format. I found this refreshing after reading my last research study. The study uses secondary sources to support the overall idea of web-based, learner regulated learning. The study also cites the related studies and puts them into three categories: 1) the analysis of online SRL behavior, 2) the application of the SRL strategy, and 3) the development of SRLbased systems (Huang, 2012, p.188). The researchers used this information to assist in their study and define what they were looking for. The alternative studies and research included SRL learning in problem based learning and found that students who are easily distracted do better in SRL environments. This seemed to correlate with the experimental data found in the actual study. The writing is accessible to just about anyone with maybe a few explanations needed for the more educational terms. The material is useful for my research topic because my topic was about web-based learning. Self-regulated learning is a huge part of that because sometimes students
need assistance with what they’re learning I prefer Web2SRL to U-Pace, my previous critique’s topic, because it makes students take responsibility for their learning. I also think it helps students stay focused, which I think is a big part of why self-regulated learning doesn’t always do as well as traditional classroom learning. It relates to my group research project in that low-achieving students tend to come from schools that have less privileged neighborhoods. Maybe with Web2SRL in some of the courses, students will take more responsibility with their learning and be able to have higher success. The report is clear that the study enhanced achievement from typically lowachievement students and put them on the same level as high performing students. The theory is explicit that using Web2SRL will increase learning, but also realizes the limitations of a small sample size in the study. Conclusion Overall, I feel that this study was much more successful than the previous study I critiqued. Even though the sample size of the group was small and even though they did not compare those students to another group who didn’t use Web2SRL, I did like that they tested and questioned students before the system and after the system to compare the effects on those students. I do believe that with more research, Web2SRL will prove to be a good system for self-motivation and achievement. Contrary to UPace’s call for assistance without asking for it, Web2SRL has the assistance built into the system and leaves it up to the student to use it or not use it. I think that this will show students that they have more control of their own learning, and I think that creates more motivation and greater achievement. New questions could focus on motivation as an area of study instead of just better scores on tests. The researchers could have another group that uses either a different intervention tool like U-Pace or they could compare the results to students that don’t use intervention programs for web based learning. This study has a good foundation, however.