Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

The Development and Implementation of Scaffolding-Based Self-Regulated Learning System for E/m-Learning

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

The Development and Implementation of Scaffolding-Based Self-Regulated Learning System for E/m-Learning

Article excerpt


The main goal of education is to develop the character of students and foster in them a spontaneous desire to learn. To achieve this aim, self-regulated learning (SRL) is essential. However, while modern technologies have made learning possible at any time and place, there still is the challenge to provide a conducive environment so that learners can easily schedule their study plans and avail of learning materials outdoors. To address this, this paper proposes an SRL system with wireless technologies.

Lately, people from both academic and government sectors have keenly promoted SRL because they recognize the need to help learners take charge of their own education. However, SRL is not an easy task. Four factors are essential in carrying out SRL: learning schedules, materials, scenarios, and quality (Zimmerman, Bonner, & Kovach, 1996). Along with these factors, other difficulties in performing SRL may be pointed out:

* Learning schedules and materials: A suitable learning schedule makes a person's own learning methodical. However, if there is insufficient experience in the design of a learning schedule, a person may end up having poor SRL performance. In addition, because the study materials are limited and varied, a learner may find it difficult to organize the materials he needs.

* Learning scenarios and quality: The rapid development of modern technologies, such as broadband and wireless communication engineering, makes learning materials easily available. However, because there is no tailor-made learning environment for outdoor scenarios, learners may just give up learning due to the difficulty or the complexity of accessing the learning materials. Moreover, because of many distractions, learners may be unable to focus well.

Therefore, an SRL system that adopts the concept of a self-regulatory learning cycle (Zimmerman et al., 1996) is proposed. Because having an ambitious and unrealistic aim may disappoint learners during the process of learning, the proposed system firstly helps students set a reasonable goal in initiating their motive. Moreover, the system adopts the scaffolding theory (Bruner, 1983), which gradually builds their learning patterns. Through this theory, the system can provide students with information and materials they need. The success of the scaffolding depends on the precise evaluation of the learning outcomes such that the learning scaffolding can be removed properly. Therefore, a reliable evaluation system is provided so that learners can determine their progress. As a result, they can set reasonable goals in the system and even develop their SRL skills as they go through each self-regulated learning cycle.

Another aim of the system is to support a mobile learning environment for learners through modern wireless technologies via mobile devices. The system enables learners to access learning materials easily and conveniently. Moreover, the system automatically observes learners' behaviors to help them terminate unhelpful habits, e.g., using instant messengers or surfing while learning. The mobile learning environment also enables them to share learning materials, allowing them to adjust their strategies based on the data from their companions. Because of this, the system would have the characteristics of a mobile learning environment: Urgency of learning need, Initiative of knowledge acquisition, Mobility of learning setting, Situating of instructional activity, and Integration of instructional content (Chen, Kao, & Sheu, 2003).

The rest of the paper is organized as follows: Section 2 introduces the design rationale of the proposed system as well as previous works on SRL. Section 3 introduces the proposed SRL system. Section 4 describes the experimental results, and Section 5 concludes the study.

Review of Related Literature and Design Rational

Self-Regulated Learning Theory

While there are various explanations and studies that focus on the definition of SRL (Butler & Winne, 1995; Pintrich, 2000), it can be simply described as a learning process with four attributes (Schunk & Zimmerman, 1994):

* Intrinsically or self-motivated: Self-regulated learners tend to maintain learning behavior with a very strong motivation. …

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