The effectiveness of student-centered educational methods for self-regulated learning: What works and for whom?

Project Details

Layman's description

This review study concerns an NRO-funded systematic review and meta-analysis on the effectiveness of the student-centered, problem-driven learning methods, problem-based and project-based learning, on self-regulated learning in higher education. A comparison is made with lecture-based learning. Student-centered learning methods can differ greatly in design and implementation, such as the level of student control vs teacher direction that is offered. Other student characteristics (e.g., motivation) and implementation factors (e.g., group size) could also affect self-regulated learning. This review, therefore, aims to give more insight into what works and for whom regarding the improvement of self-regulated learning in student-centered, problem-driven learning methods.

Extended description

Learning methods with student-centered and inquiry elements, such as problem-based learning (PBL), project-based learning (PjBL), case-based learning, challenge-based learning, team-based learning, and inquiry-based learning, are common in higher education. Within these learning environments, students receive ample opportunity to formulate their own learning objectives or choose their own learning sources. It is often believed that this will foster students’ self-regulated learning (SRL) skills. However, these effects are not always found. Possibly mixed results are due to the great demands these learning methods place on students’ SRL skills to plan, monitor, and regulate their learning process, which are often suboptimal. Hence, on the one hand, it is assumed that student-centered learning can support the development of SRL skills, but at the same time, these skills are also required for successful learning in these learning environments. Moreover, the way in which student-centered learning methods are designed and implemented differs largely per study program and educational institution. For example, the degree of student control vs. teacher-directiveness often differs (e.g., the extent to which students can determine their learning questions or sources). Other student characteristics (e.g., motivation) and implementation factors (e.g., group size) could also affect SRL in these learning methods. Therefore, this scientific review (meta-analysis and systematic review) aims to gain a better understanding of what works and for whom regarding the promotion of SRL in the student-centered, problem-driven learning methods, PBL and PjBL. This review can provide important insights and solutions to problems encountered by higher education programs, teachers, and educational advisors.
Effective start/end date1/09/2231/08/23


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