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Components of fostering self-regulated learning among students. A meta-analysis on intervention studies at primary and secondary school level

Abstract

Due to new standards in fostering life-long learning at school, research has increasingly dealt with the promotion of self-regulated learning, resulting in a large number of intervention studies conducted at primary and secondary school. The current study aimed at investigating the impact of various training characteristics on the training outcomes, regarding academic performance, strategy use and motivation of students. Two meta-analyses were conducted separately, one for primary and one for secondary school level to allow for comparisons between both school levels. The meta-analyses included 49 studies conducted with primary school students and 35 studies conducted with secondary school students; analyzing 357 effect sizes altogether. The potential effects of training characteristics were investigated by means of meta-analytic multiple regression analyses. The average effect size was 0.69. For both school levels, effect sizes were higher when the training was conducted by researchers instead of regular teachers. Moreover, interventions attained higher effects when conducted in the scope of mathematics than in reading/writing or other subjects. Self-regulated learning can be fostered effectively at both primary and secondary school level. However, the theoretical background on which the training programme is based, as well as the type of instructed strategy led to differential effects at both school levels.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. Sum of all the treatment and control group samples throughout all the studies, while control group sample sizes were adjusted if several treatments were compared against the same control group.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the editor, as well as to the anonymous reviewers for their useful comments. Moreover, we thank Hans-Peter Langfeldt for his helpful remarks on an earlier draft of this article. Furthermore, we appreciated the competent statistical advice of Reyn van Ewijk very much. Finally, we thank the student assistants Adriana Oppitz, Valentina Tesky and Sarah Müller for their support with coding the studies together with the first author.

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Correspondence to Charlotte Dignath.

Appendix

Appendix

Computation of Effect Sizes

When analyzing the size of interaction effects in intervention studies with a nonrandomized control-group design, as it is common for research in educational settings, potential group differences before the start of the intervention have to be taken into account. Thus, the effect gain (Rustenbach 2003) was computed by first estimating the pre-standardized mean differences and the post-standardized mean difference separately (Hedges and Olkin 1985), and then subtracting the pre-effect size from the post-effect size. The variance for this effect gain is substantially overestimated, which leads to more conservative testing (Rustenbach 2003). For studies, which only reported that pretest differences were not significant, without providing this pretest data, the post-standardized mean differences between treatment and control group were computed (Hedges and Olkin 1985). In the case that mean and standard deviation were not reported, the effect gain was estimated by taking the square root of the F-value and multiplying it with the squared sum of twice the sample size of the treatment and twice the sample size of the control group (Viechtbauer 2006): \(\sqrt F \times \left( {2 \times n_{EG} + 2 \times n_{CG} } \right)^2 \). The variance of the effect gain was calculated by taking twice the sum of the inverse of the treatment and control group (Viechtbauer 2006). All effect sizes were therefore scaled in the same metric, resulting in the standardized mean differences, which were adjusted to pretest differences. This equivalence is important when combining effect sizes estimated in different ways. Effect sizes were computed in such a way that a positive effect size indicates a favourable outcome for the treatment group.

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Dignath, C., Büttner, G. Components of fostering self-regulated learning among students. A meta-analysis on intervention studies at primary and secondary school level. Metacognition Learning 3, 231–264 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11409-008-9029-x

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11409-008-9029-x

Keywords

  • Meta-analysis
  • Review
  • Self-regulated learning
  • Metacognition
  • Strategy training
  • Primary school
  • Secondary school