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Durham e-Theses
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Assessment, development and experimental evaluation of self-regulatory support in online learning

POGORSKIY, EDUARD (2020) Assessment, development and experimental evaluation of self-regulatory support in online learning. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Online learning requires a higher level of self-regulation than face-to-face learning. Learners are likely to differ in their cognitive, metacognitive, affective or motivational resources to meet this demand. Individual differences in self-regulation is one major factor contributing to success or failure in online learning, other factors include characteristics of the online learning environment and the complexity of the learning content itself. Lack of self-regulation is likely to affect learners’ engagement with the course content, may result in sub-optimal learning outcomes, including failure to complete the course. A virtual learning assistant has been designed and developed to support online learners. This research aims at ascertaining the effectiveness of providing adaptive assistance in terms of (a) compensatory and (b) developmental effects. Online learners involved in the empirical part of this study (N = 157) were randomised into one of two experimental conditions. For the intervention group, the online learning assistant provided personalised in-browser notifications. This feature was disabled for the learners in the control condition. Results indicate that the adaptive assistance did not result in noticeable developmental shifts in learners’ self-regulation as assessed via conventional self-report measures. However, learners allocated to the intervention group spent less time online per day in first three weeks of being exposed to the adaptive assistance, reduced their time commitment to entertainment websites during first two weeks, and increased their engagement with educational web resources during the first ten days. In addition to the time-varying effects, these compensatory (behavioural) shifts were moderated by learners’ individual differences in personality. The outcome of this study suggests that the utilisation of a virtual learning assistant that provides adaptive assistance can be effective in compensating for not yet developed self-regulatory skills, and subsequently help facilitating success in learning on short online courses.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2020
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:02 Nov 2020 09:28

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