Tools to Support Self-Regulated Learning in Online Environments: Literature Review

  • Ronald Pérez-ÁlvarezEmail author
  • Jorge Maldonado-Mahauad
  • Mar Pérez-SanagustínEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11082)


Self-regulated learning (SRL) skills are especially important in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), where teacher guidance is scarce, and learners must engage in their learning process trying to succeed and achieve their learning goals. However, developing SRL strategies is difficult for learners given the autonomy that is required in this kind of courses. In order to support learners on this process, researchers have proposed a variety of tools designed to support certain aspects of self-regulation in online learning environments. Nevertheless, there is a lack of study to understand what the commonalities and differences in terms of design are, what the results in terms of the effect on learners’ self-regulation are and which of them could be applied in MOOCs. Those are the questions that should be further explored. In this paper we present a systematic literature review where 22 tools designed to support SRL in online environments were analyzed. Our findings indicate that: (1) most of the studies do not evaluate the effect on learners’ SRL strategies; (2) the use of interactive visualizations has a positive effect on learners’ motivation; (3) the use of the social comparison component has a positive effect on engagement and time management; and (4) there is a lack of models to match learners’ activity with the tools with SRL strategies. Finally, we present the lessons learned for guiding the community in the implementation of tools to support SRL strategies in MOOCs.


Self-Regulated Learning Tools System Online MOOC Literature review Massive Open Online Courses Dashboard Learning analytics 



This work was supported by FONDECYT (11150231), University of Costa Rica (UCR), MOOC-Maker (561533-EPP-1-2015-1-ESEPPKA2-CBHE-JP, LALA (586120-EPP-1-2017-1-ES-EPPKA2-CBHE-JP), CONICYT Doctorado Nacional 2017/21170467, CONICYT Doctorado Nacional 2016/21160081.


  1. 1.
    Adam, N.L., Alzahri, F.B., Cik Soh, S., Abu Bakar, N., Mohamad Kamal, N.A.: Self-regulated learning and online learning: a systematic review. In: Badioze, Z.H., et al. (eds.) Advances in Visual Informatics, IVIC 2017. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pp. 143–154. Springer, Cham (2017). Scholar
  2. 2.
    Zimmerman, B.J.: Self-regulated learning: theories, measures, and outcomes. Int. Encycl. Soc. Behav. Sci., 541–546 (2015)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Panadero, E.: A review of self-regulated learning: six models and four directions for research. Front. Psychol. 8, 422 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Thirouard, M., Bernaert, O., Dhorne, L., Bianchi, S., Pidol, L., Petit, Y.: Learning by doing: integrating a serious game in a MOOC to promote new skills. In: Proceedings of the Second MOOC European Stakeholders Summit, EMOOCs, pp. 92–6 (2015)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Siadaty, M., et al.: Self-regulated workplace learning: a pedagogical framework and semantic web-based environment. J. Educ. Technol. Soc. 15(4), 75–88 (2012)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kizilcec, R.F., Pérez-Sanagustín, M., Maldonado, J.J.: Self-regulated learning strategies predict learner behavior and goal attainment in massive open online courses. Comput. Educ. 104, 18–33 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Veletsianos, G., Reich, J., Pasquini, L.A.: The life between big data log events. AERA Open 2(3), 1–10 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lee, D., Watson, S.L., Watson, W.R.: Systematic literature review on self-regulated learning in massive open online courses. Australas. J. Educ. Technol. 35(1), 1449–5554 (2019)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Park, T., Cha, H., Lee, G.: A study on design guidelines of learning analytics to facilitate self-regulated learning in MOOCs. Educ. Technol. Int. 17(1), 117–150 (2016)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Davis, D., Chen, G., Jivet, I., Hauff, C., Houben, G.: Encouraging metacognition & self-regulation in MOOCs through increased learner feedback. In: Proceedings of CEUR Workshop, LAK 2016, pp. 17–22 (2016)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Müller, N., Faltin, N.: IT-support for self-regulated learning and reflection on the learning process. In: Proceedings of 11th International Conference on Knowledge Management and Knowledge Technologies - i-KNOW 2011, pp. 1–6. ACM Press (2011)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Shih, K.-P., Chen, H.-C., Chang, C.-Y., Kao, T.-C.: The development and implementation of scaffolding-based self-regulated learning system for e/m-learning. Educ. Technol. Soc. 1, 80–93 (2010)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Nussbaumer, A., Kravcik, M., Renzel, D., Klamma, R., Berthold, M., Albert, D.: A Framework for Facilitating Self-Regulation in Responsive Open Learning Environments. arXiv Preprint (2014)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Winne, P.H., Hadwin, A.F.: nStudy: tracing and supporting self-regulated learning in the internet. In: Azevedo, R., Aleven, V. (eds.) International Handbook of Metacognition and Learning Technologies. SIHE, vol. 28, pp. 293–308. Springer, New York (2013). Scholar
  15. 15.
    Azevedo, R., et al.: MetaTutor: Analyzing Self-Regulated Learning in a Tutoring System for Biology. In: Proceedings of AIED, pp. 635–637 (2009)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Guerra, J., Hosseini, R., Somyurek, S., Brusilovsky, P.: An intelligent interface for learning content: combining an open learner model and social comparison to support self-regulated learning and engagement. In: Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces - IUI 2016, pp. 152–63 (2016)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Broadbent, J., Poon, W.L.: Self-regulated learning strategies & academic achievement in online higher education learning environments: a systematic review. Internet High. Educ. 27, 1–13 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Sunar, A.S., Abdullah N.A., White, S., Davis, H.C.: Personalisation of MOOCs: the state of the art. In: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Computer Supported Education, pp. 88–97 (2015)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Pérez-Álvarez, R., Maldonado-Mahauad, J.J., Sapunar-Opazo, D., Pérez-Sanagustín, M.: NoteMyProgress: a tool to support learners’ self-regulated learning strategies in MOOC environments. In: Lavoué, É., Drachsler, H., Verbert, K., Broisin, J., Pérez-Sanagustín, M. (eds.) EC-TEL 2017. LNCS, vol. 10474, pp. 460–466. Springer, Cham (2017). Scholar
  20. 20.
    Alario-Hoyos, C., Estévez-Ayres, I., Sanagustín, M.P., Leony, D., Kloos, C.D.: MyLearningMentor: a mobile app to support learners participating in MOOCs. J. Univ. Comput. Sci. 21(5), 735–753 (2015)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Jivet, I., Scheffel, M., Specht, M., Drachsler, H.: License to evaluate: preparing learning analytics dashboards for educational practice. In: International Conference on LA and Knowledge LAk 2018, pp. 31–40 (2018)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Perez-Sanagustin, R., Maldonado, M.J.J.: How to design tools for supporting self-regulated learning in MOOCs? Lessons learned from a literature review from 2008 and 2016. In: 2016 XLII Latin American Computing Conference (CLEI), pp. 1–12 (2016)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Verbert, K., Govaerts, S., Duval, E., Santos, J.L., Van Assche, F., Parra, G., et al.: Learning dashboards: an overview and future research opportunities. Pers. Ubiquitous Comput. 18, 1499–1514 (2014)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Bodily, R., Verbert, K.: Trends and issues in student-facing learning analytics reporting systems research. In: Proceedings of Seventh International Learning Analytics & Knowledg Conference - LAK 2017, pp. 309–18 (2017)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Schwendimann, B.A., et al.: Perceiving learning at a glance: a systematic literature review of learning dashboard research. IEEE Trans. Learn. Technol. 10, 30–41 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Jivet, I., Scheffel, M., Drachsler, H., Specht, M.: Awareness is not enough: pitfalls of learning analytics dashboards in the educational practice. In: Lavoué, É., Drachsler, H., Verbert, K., Broisin, J., Pérez-Sanagustín, M. (eds.) EC-TEL 2017. LNCS, vol. 10474, pp. 82–96. Springer, Cham (2017). Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kitchenham, B.: Procedures for Performing Systematic Reviews, pp. 1–26. Keele University 24(TR/SE-0401) (2004)Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Sambe, G., Bouchet, F., Labat, J.-M.: Towards a conceptual framework to scaffold self-regulation in a MOOC. In: M.F. Kebe, C., Gueye, A., Ndiaye, A. (eds.) InterSol/CNRIA -2017. LNICST, vol. 204, pp. 245–256. Springer, Cham (2018). Scholar
  29. 29.
    Tang, Y., Fan, A.: An integrated approach to self-regulated learning platform enhanced with Web 2.0 technology. In: 2011 IEEE 3rd International Conference on Communication Software and Networks, pp. 236–239 (2011)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Marquez-Barja, J.M., et al.: FORGE: enhancing elearning and research in ICT through remote experimentation. In: Proceedings of Global Engineering Education Conference, pp. 1157–1163 (2014)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Mohamed, A., Yousef, F., Chatti, M.A., Danoyan, N., Thüs, H.: Video-mapper : a video annotation tool to support collaborative learning in MOOCs video-mapper design. In: Proceedings of the Third European MOOCs Stakehold. pp. 131–40 (2015, Summit)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Onah, D.F.O., Sinclair, J.E.: A multi-dimensional investigation of self-regulated learning in a blended classroom context: a case study on eLDa MOOC. In: Proceedings of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, pp. 63–85 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Tabuenca, B., Kalz, M., Drachsler, H., Specht, M.: Time will tell: the role of mobile learning analytics in self-regulated learning. Comput. Educ. 89, 53–74 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Huang, T.C., et al.: Developing a self-regulated oriented online programming teaching and learning system. In: Proceedings of IEEE International Conference Teaching, Assessment, and Learning for Engineering, Learning for the Future Now, TALE 2014, pp. 115–120 (2015)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Azevedo, R., Johnson, A., Chauncey, A., Burkett, C.: Self-regulated learning with metatutor: advancing the science of learning with metacognitive tools. In: Khine, M., Saleh, I. (eds.) New Science of Learning, pp. 225–247. Springer, New York (2010). Scholar
  36. 36.
    Siadaty, M., et al.: Learn-B: a social analytics-enabled tool for self-regulated workplace learning. In: Proceedings of LAK 2012, pp. 115–119 (2012)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Yau, J.Y.-K., Joy, M.: A self-regulated learning approach: a mobile context-aware and adaptive learning schedule (mCALS) tool. Int. J. Interact. Mob. Technol. 2, 52–57 (2008)Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Kopeinik, S., Nussbaumer, A., Winter, L.C., Albert, D., Dimache, A., Roche, T.: Combining self-regulation and competence-based guidance to personalise the learning experience in moodle. In: Proceedings of the IEEE 14th International Conference on Advanced Learning Technologies, ICALT 2014, pp. 62–64 (2014)Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Alexiou, A., Paraskeva, F.: Managing time through a self-regulated oriented eportfolio for undergraduate students. In: Conole, G., Klobučar, T., Rensing, C., Konert, J., Lavoué, É. (eds.) EC-TEL 2015. LNCS, vol. 9307, pp. 547–550. Springer, Cham (2015). Scholar
  40. 40.
    Chang, C.-C., Tseng, K.-H., Liang, C., Liao, Y.-M.: Constructing and evaluating online goal-setting mechanisms in web-based portfolio assessment system for facilitating self-regulated learning. Comput. Educ. 69, 237–249 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Wang, M., Peng, J., Cheng, B., Zhou, H., Liu, J.: Knowledge visualization for self-regulated learning. Educ. Technol. Soc. 14(3), 28–42 (2011)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer SciencePontificia Universidad Católica de ChileSantiagoChile
  2. 2.University of Costa Rica, Sede Regional del PacíficoPuntarenasCosta Rica
  3. 3.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of CuencaCuencaEcuador
  4. 4.Université Toulouse III Paul SabatierToulouseFrance

Personalised recommendations