Scalable Interventions to Cultivate Strategically Self-Regulated Learners

28 July, 2020

Due to the extension of the national circuit breaker period, the Ministry of Education (MOE) brought the June school holidays forward to 5 May, 2020, The Straits Times reported. Now midway through Term 3, Primary and Secondary schools resume classes after the 18 to 26 July break. Whether students are eager to return to their studies feeling refreshed from the holiday period, or would rather the vacation last longer, all would benefit from strategies and techniques designed to make their learning process more effective and empower them to achieve more academically.

In ‘Scalable Interventions to Cultivate Strategically Self-Regulated Learners’, Assistant Professor Patricia Chen (NUS Department of Psychology and NUS Institute for Applied Learning Sciences and Educational Technology) examines how learning can be made more effective. Her goal is to contribute to improving the way Singapore students learn at scale. Effective learning is more than simply acquiring knowledge about a specific subject. Rather, it requires learners to take responsibility for how they learn, and to proactively plan, monitor, revise and reflect on their learning. This psychological process is called “metacognition”. When students engage in metacognition, they are engaging their brain’s regulatory system.

As part of this study, Dr Chen has been surveying Primary 6 to Secondary 4 students in MOE schools in Singapore to determine how and how much they naturally practice such metacognition. She next plans to design and test psychological interventions to help students cultivate metacognition—and self-regulation more broadly—when they learn. Finally, interventions found effective will be scaled up for distribution through an online platform to reach many students and teachers.

Dr Chen is the first National Research Foundation (NRF) Fellow at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS). This prestigious Fellowship funds emerging researchers in Singapore to carry out a five year project in any area of science and technology.

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‘Assessment books’ from SRN’s SG Photobank