A Behavior Change Perspective on Self-Regulated Learning with Teachable Agents
Producing lasting changes to metacognition, or the more encompassing construct of self-regulated learning (SRL), has strong parallels to producing behavior change. In the former case, the goal is to develop new “habits of mind,” and in the latter, the goal is to develop new “habits of behavior.” The techniques and theories of behavior change can inform the design of instruction intended to support the development and transfer of SRL. For example, we describe a set of studies in which teaching adolescents behavior change techniques improves their motivational control for both diet and homework goals. Behavior change theories often emphasize the stages of behavior change. We abstract from the various theories to present a four-stage model of behavior change. We then use the model to critique our own work on Teachable Agents. Teachable Agents are a software program where students learn by teaching a computerized pupil. We discuss the successes of the Teachable Agents in achieving SRL goals and improving learning for each stage of the model, but we also describe how Teachable Agents has missed possible opportunities to improve SRL outcomes based on the behavior change literature.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grants IIS-0904324 & REESE-0723795. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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