Winter 2006     ISSN 1096-1453     Volume 10, Issue 4     Editorial (1)
Self-regulation of Learning  This special issue of Academic Exchange Quarterly presents 
various ways in which self-regulation of learning is assessed at diverse academic 
levels and how it influences learners and educators in different academic settings. 
Self-regulation of learning encompasses learners’ self-initiated actions to attain 
important academic goals. Choosing to enact long-term intentions requires learners 
to focus their attention on setting specific, manageable goals; identify appropriate 
learning strategies; generate and maintain appropriate levels of motivation; monitor 
their academic progress; and reflect on their academic improvement and level of 
satisfaction with their attained goals.

Skilled self-regulated learners generate extraordinary motivational beliefs to 
secure goal accomplishments. When conflicts arise between pursuing important 
academic goals and yielding to tempting distractions, they learn how to remain 
task-focused despite their immediate impulses; they delay gratification. By 
contrast, less-skilled self-regulated learners are unable and often unwilling to 
generate appropriate self-efficacy beliefs, interest, task value, and outcome 
expectancies that could help them successfully attain their predetermined academic 
goals; they are unable to delay gratification. The differences between these two 
types of learners may be explained by their unique characteristics such as personal 
goals, vicarious experiences, history of reinforcement, social modeling, and highly 
influential environmental and social conditions.

Self-regulation of learning is cyclically initiated when learners set valuable 
academic goals, select learning strategies, and assess the feelings and motivational 
beliefs they need to attain the goals.  Then, self-regulated learners proceed to 
self-monitor their goals, beliefs, and use of strategies by comparing their 
performance with appropriate standards, by seeking necessary help, and by engaging 
in social and environmental control. Finally, the self-regulation process ends with 
learners’ self-reflection and self-evaluation of how they completed the task.

Since the 1980s, self-regulation of learning has emerged as an important area of 
research that helps to explain academic success. The seminal work of Albert Bandura 
transformed self-regulation of learning into a pivotal component of every major 
academic endeavor. For instance, self-regulation of learning has been found 
effective in most key areas of human development and learning in school, college, 
and medical settings, sports and industry, and direct classroom and online 
instruction. 

In this special issue, Kitsantas et al. present data supporting the idea that 
self-regulation of learning is an important educational process related to Web-Based 
Pedagogical Tools. The authors describe how college educators can use these tools 
to promote students’ self-regulation. Similarly, Dell addresses the increased 
benefits of self-regulation of learning strategies among online adult learners. 
Finally, Artiro and Stephens report a positive association between task value and 
self-efficacy with students’ use of self-regulation learning strategies in online 
courses.

Several articles inquire into topics related to self-regulation and effective 
teaching. Fleisher proposes that a caring and supportive classroom environment will 
result in effective teaching. Likewise, Itoh investigates reports that self-modeling 
and self-monitoring are effective methods of improving instruction in Japan. 
Hasanbegovic, Moser, and Metzger recommend that it is important to reform the 
curriculum of European universities to promote learning strategies among students 
and faculty.  In a different setting, Dusold and Sadoski compare large-group 
lectures in medical education with self-directed learning; they found that students 
in the self-directed group better enjoyed the flexibility of their learning process. 
{To complement these articles, Harper reports that high-achieving pre-service 
teachers exhibit strong incremental views and more self-regulatory behaviors 
compared with low-achieving pre-service teachers. 

Another highlight of this special issue is the use of self-regulatory learning 
strategies. Leong and Bodrova propose that self-regulation of learning encompasses 
the ability to regulate emotions and thinking. Mudrey, Scholes, and Lewis report 
that setting goals is associated with classroom performance, while Judd and Bail 
conclude that the use of self-regulatory strategies influences test scores among 
college students. 

Self-regulation of learning has long been associated with homework. To illustrate, 
Rosario et al. report an association between gender, school grades, homework 
variables, and self-regulation of learning. Xu reports an association between family 
help and time spent on homework for homework attitudes and homework management 
strategies among middle school students. More specifically, Bembenutty reports that 
motivational beliefs and use of learning strategies are significant predictors of 
standardized test scores in mathematics. 

Self-regulation of writing is highlighted in a study by Bhattacharya, who describes 
a field-based project in which pre-service teachers engage in the self-regulation of 
writing, revising, and self-evaluating a project report. Similarly, O’Malley et al. 
present a study in which faculty members participated in a writing group over a 
two-year period; this participation was beneficial for the faculty members and 
created a community to solve problems and share decisions.

We hope that the articles in this special issue on self-regulation will stimulate 
discussions about the role and influence of self-regulation in our academic 
settings, and encourage dialogues about what constitutes human functioning and 
learning. Further, these articles are a clear indication of the important 
contribution of self-regulation in explaining how learners study and develop their 
personal skills.

Héfer Bembenutty, Ph. D.
Assistant Professor, Secondary Education and Youth Services
Queens College of the City University of New York

CFP for the next SELF issue Self-Regulation of Learning Winter 2007.