Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Effects of Cooperative Learning and Learning Journals on Teacher Candidates' Self-Regulated Learning

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Effects of Cooperative Learning and Learning Journals on Teacher Candidates' Self-Regulated Learning

Article excerpt


The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of cooperative learning and learning journals on teacher candidate students' self-regulated learning. Data of the research were collected by the Turkish version of the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire. 84 university students (52 girls and 32 boys) participated in this research. A quasi pre-test/post-test experimental design with control group was utilized. Both groups were taught by cooperative learning. The experimental group wrote their reflection in learning journals. The research has discerned that there is a difference between experimental and control groups and experimental groups' students have been effected more positively on self-efficacy for learning and performance, elaboration, organization, critical thinking and metacognitive control strategy dimensions of self-regulated learning.

Key Words

Self-regulated Learning, Reflection, Cooperative Learning, Learning Journals.

One important aspect of active learning is social interaction among students and small group activities are an easy way to facilitate social interaction. Although a small group activity aims to accomplish one or more learning objectives, students often limit their focus to finishing assignments (Meyers & Jones, 1993). It is difficult for an instructor to ensure that students support each other and take responsibility for project goals. In order to resolve this problem and ensure efficiency, small groups should be structured (Açikgöz, 2003). Cooperative learning occurs in the context of formal small groups, in which students collaborate in order to accomplish shared goals (Açikgöz, 2003). In cooperative learning groups, students benefit from the positive aspects of social interaction while completing the given assignment. The basic components of cooperative learning include positive interdependence and individual accountability through face to face interaction (Johnson, Johnson, & Holubec, 1994). Because of its flexibility, cooperative learning is a useful tool in many instructional contexts. Many researchers, studying different subject matters, grade levels, and cultures, have indicated that cooperative learning is an effective method on cognitive, social, and affective learning outcomes (Açikgöz, 1992; Özkal, 2000).

On the other hand, when highly formal and structured, cooperative learning is criticized for high teacher control and low learner autonomy (Panitz, 1997). A teacher exercises control over groups by setting group goals, distributing the roles, and supplying all the material necessary to complete the work (Corliss, 2005). Obviously, low student autonomy could cause less opportunity for self-regulated learning.

Self-regulated learning is the collection of thoughts, feelings, and actions that are produced to reach an academic goal (Zimmerman, 2000). Self-regulation is related to a student's effective participation in his or her own learning process in terms of motivation and behavior. In other words, self-regulation is the affecting, guiding, and controlling of the student's behavior by himself/herself (Senemoglu, 2007). Learners are assumed to construct their own meanings, goals, and strategies from the information available in the "external" environment as well as the information in their own minds (Pintrich, 2004). Zimmerman has presented a model, based on Bandura's socio-cognitive theory that explains the self-regulation process according to three cyclical phases. During the pre-action, preparation phase self-regulation processes and motivational beliefs are founded. During the action phase, a student exercises self-control and observation, and the post-action phase comprises self-reaction and reflection (Zimmerman, 2001). Self-regulatory activities are mediators between personal and contextual characteristics and actual achievement or performance (Pintrich, 2004). Due to this, the development of self-regulation competencies can be considered the most important learning outcome, and, for this reason, it is important that students be given opportunity to regulate their learning (Schunk & Zimmerman, 1997; Senemoglu, 2007). …

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