What is Self-Regulated Learning?

Self-regulated learning (SRL) is a cycle, where a learner plans for a task, checks their own performance, and then reflects on the outcome. Then the cycle repeats itself as the learner uses the reflection to adjust and prepare for the next task. So what does this mean for the adult learner and continuing education? Learning Science Weekly recently explored this topic in their issue on Organizational Learning Culture.

The results of a recent study suggest that although the general SRL process seems to be similar in formal and informal learning environments, there are important implications for informal learning contexts — specifically when it comes to cognitive learning strategies. Organizational learning culture, autonomy, and feedback “can motivate and empower employees to use their time at work not only to accomplish their tasks but to further develop themselves by applying the strategies of SRL” (Kittel et al., 2021, p. 15).

Because of this, researchers encourage strengthening employees’ abilities to optimize their own informal learning. The following recommendations are a direct result of this research:

  • Provide formal training on self-regulated learning strategies.
  • Incorporate SRL elements, like goal-setting and reflection, into the work routine.
  • Establish an organizational learning culture that supports the employees’ learning. (A strong organizational learning culture has been shown to increase employee performance and job satisfaction)
  • Provide feedback and enable autonomous work.

So how can you start to incorporate these informal learning strategies into your own life, and into your organization?

Read More: Kittel, A.F.D., Kunz, R.A.C., & Seufert, T. (2021). Self-Regulation in Informal Workplace Learning: Influence of Organizational Learning Culture and Job Characteristics. Frontiers in Psychology, 12.