education

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Social Cognitive Theory on Self Regulation

Online education versus traditional education environment can be constructed by identifying the methods that students can engage and be successful. A student can accomplish their educational goal whether they want to enter a traditional or online setting, it is up to the student to strive and motivate themselves in accomplishing in what their heart desires.

Online education is almost the same as a traditional education and both settings does the same purposes, but in different ways. Individuals, like myself that works and has a family to take care of, the on-line setting makes it much easier and flexible for my busy day out of my life.

Some people might think that on-line course are not accredit and can’t be used in their future career, due to not having the interactions with others face to face, and not knowing the significance of the construction of the online environment, they might feel that on-line environment won’t help them to be successful.

Apply Social Cognitive Constructs of Motivation is an article on how to Enhance Students in Succeeding in Online Distance Education program. According to Miltiadou & Savenye 2003), findings of their review of literature, there were six motivational constructs studied in the traditional environments to online education, which noted the concepts to identify methods to ensure students they can succeed in online courses. The six motivational constructs that students can follow are self-efficacy, locus of control, attributions, goal orientation, intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation and self-regulation, which these six motivational constructs had been investigated in a traditional face to face classrooms and a variety of educational teachers.

The reason for this article is to discuss the areas in the online education and the academic motivation and by ensuring the students the methods on how to be successful in the online environment; it can encourage others that online education setting, can make a student successful in accomplishing in their goals according to the findings of the literature review. (Miltiadou & Savenye, 2003)

Since I have been taking on line courses for over 3 years now, I found the online education setting as a great and dynamic way of learning in today society. The method of learning are the same way of a traditional face to face learning, the only difference of this type of learning is that online students doesn’t have to sit in a classroom, but we still have to interact with others, we really don’t have to sit in a classroom in order to learn. Since entering an online distance learning course, I have learn to interact with my other peers by responding to them on their responses to the discuss questions that are asked by the instructor and it give me a chance on learning new ideas from the responses and they can learn from my responses also.

Online education is known as of the most dynamic forms of learning that exist today and is a subcategory for distance learning. It has been defined of a formal delivery of an instructed and one time was a geographic location that separated students and instructors according to (Holmberg, 1989; Melsaac & Gunawardena, 1996; Verduin & Clark, 1991). Online education overcame in time and had placed constraints which restrict access to the instruction of a traditional educational setting and the cost is very low and gave the availability of computers technologies which increased the pressure that was related to employment, financial and family responsibilities.

Online education offers alternative routes and it provides a life long opportunity to student who traditional setting doesn’t work for them. Online education is offered around the world, whether at an elementary, secondary or higher level, it offers a large range of online courses.

Interaction

According to the literature review there are four types of interaction online distance education course. Moore, M.G (1989) identified three types of interactions, Learner-context, Learner-instructor and Learner-learner, which he meant as:

Learner-context interaction was described of an intellectual interaction that was between the learner and the topic which was the study of (Moore, 1989) and according to Moore, the learner content interaction was one of the important concept of the online environment, due to the change between the learner’s behavior that was toward on their educational goal.

Learner-instructor interaction was between the instructor and the learners, which the instructor or the team of the subject expert who prepared the course materials. The instructor are responsible to stimulate and continue to maintain the learners interest in the topic that motivates the student to learn, their progress and provide them the support and encourage them. (Moore, 1989).

Learner-learner interactions are done among the students on the online environment and it is done with or without the real time presence of the instructor. This type of learner-learner interaction represent the communication between one student with another student or with groups of students, whether it is trough discuss question, chat, or electronic email or messages on the posting board.

The final Four of interactions were by (Hillman, Willis, and Gunawardena, 1994), which was called the Learner-interface interaction, which it was identified “as the process of using tools to accomplish the learner task or assignments”. (Hillman et al., p.34)

Students that don’t use these tools would not be able to succeed in their goal and by not using these tools it would force the students to drop out of the online courses.

Interaction was used to see how students construct with the knowledge in distance education. Several coding scheme was developed to categorize the interaction which was according to the model of the knowledge construction to learn and understand the dialogue that can lead to the students understanding.

According to Gunawadena and colleagues (1998) of the understanding of what was developed on the model and coding scheme for online interaction, they included five stages of knowledge construction of the model coding scheme, which are: Sharing and comparing of other information, discover and exploration of the dissonance or the inconsistency among other’s ideas, concepts, or statements, negotiation of the meaning of co-construction of knowledge, the understanding of testing and modification with the proposed synthesis or construction and finally the fifth coding of scheme statements and applications of the newly constructed meaning. (Gunawadena & Colleagues 1998)

In an online global debate, participants rarely moved beyond the second stage and stop on the first stage of sharing and comparing information. Inconsistency was not often acknowledged, because participants created agreement and did not acknowledge the differences.

Researchers whom investigated interaction, distance education environment considered that it is an important factor that can influence success or failure of the course (Kearsley, 1995; Keegan, 1988, Moore, 1989, Ross, 1996; Tsui & Ki, 1996; Vrasidas & McIsaac, 1999).

According to Kearsley (1995) a higher level of interaction would positively influence the effectiveness of any distance learning courses. Keegan (1988) had also viewed that interaction was the key to effective learning and the information is exchangeable. Moore (1989) considered that interaction is the key of being a very important of the design of distance education. Ross (1996) said that “students who do not have the necessary skills to interact with their peers and the instructor using computers are more aware of technology than of the content of communication”. (1996) Tsui and Ki (1996) noticed that students interact more frequently over the course of the semester, when they become more comfortable using the technology. Vrasidas and McIsaac (1999) noticed the structure, class size, feedback, and students before the experience with CMC are the four major factors that influence students to interact, they consider that interaction plays an important role to ensure the students success in an online course. Research would provide practical suggestion for increasing interaction in order to help students to persist in an online course.

Myself who has been enrolled in an online distance learning education program, learn that the web requires a considerable self-direction, where teachers in a traditional classroom normally provides students with guidance and structure, online students are more independent.

Students’ must take responsibilities’ on managing and controlling their own academic progress.

Theoretical Framework: Social Cognitive Self-Regulation

Self-regulated learning referred to a student that is influenced by their thoughts, feeling, strategies and behaviors, which in other words is self generating themselves in of process that will orient them to achieve in their goals. (Schunk & Zimmerman, 1998. p. VIII), it is also referred to as an academic self-regulation that has been studied in the traditional classrooms. Students’ can learn to understand on how to use their cognitive, motivation and behavior to successfully improve their learning skills. Students who learn to use their motivations beliefs tend to use more of their self-regulation learning strategies. The students’ results of their performance would be less adaptive in their counterparts. (Pintrich, 1999)

Scholars claimed of finding social cognitive models of self-regulation to be very useful in discovering the way students do in the online courses. (e.g., Arino, 2007b; Hodges, 2005; Militiadou & Savenye, 2003)

According to Pintrich, 1999 & Zimmerman, 2000 “ social cognitive models distinguishes themselves from a purely cognitive theory and focuses on the interrelationship among learners’ and their beliefs that uses self-generated learning strategies.” Social cognitive is models that are mainly concern with explaining on how these personal beliefs are associated with behaviors that ultimately influenced by characteristics of the learning environment.” (Pintrich, 1999 & Zimmerman, 2000)

According to Schunk & Zimmerman, 1997 & 1998 in their findings on self-regulated, learners are generally seems as active participants that efficiently control their own learning experiences in different ways, which includes finding a productive work environment and using the resources the right way, participants needs to organize and rehearse the information so they can learn the information. Students who don’t understand the process wouldn’t believe in their positive motivational and their belief can interfere with their power and their values of learning. (Schunk & Zimmerman, 1994, 1998) Online setting have been known that students start to believe in themselves and it probably due to the association of the greater academic success, which will give others in enrolling in a distance learning program.

My daughter use to watch me all the time I had an assignment due and by her observing and notice that I succeeding in getting my Associated Degree and continuing on in getting my Masters Degree, as soon as she finish High School, she decided to enroll in a online education program, it gave her the satisfaction of watching on how well I have been doing and having all the tools that is needed to succeed, this showed her that she can also accomplish in her goal.

Self-regulation can help anybody in succeeding in their goal, but those people would have to put their minds and use time management in order to complete their assignments. Motivation plays an important role in accomplishing; by being motivated a person can keep in mind why they started the process in the first place.

Motivation

Motivation is the key to become successful in accomplishing that a person strives for, without that motivation a person can fail in succeeding in continuing on their journey.

Students’ motivation is an important part of the process of learning in any education environment (Maehr, 1984). According to Maehr, (1984) these questions are usually asked of students, what makes a students engage in accomplishing, why do they pursue and accomplish in certain goals or tasks or why they avoid others, according scholarly inquiry, since the writing of 5th, century BC Greek philosopher such as Plato and Aristotle. (Miltiadou, Mario & Savenye C. Wilhelmina, 2003)

According to Bandura (1977) people’s action are not solely determined by external rewards and punishment and if they did, he or she would behave like a mechanical device that is constantly shifting in different directions to conform the momentary influences of the impact. They would act corruptly with unprincipled individuals and honorable with righteous ones, and liberally with libertarians and dogmatically with authoritarians” (Olson & Hergenhanh 2007, p. 338).

Bandura believes the human behaviors are largely from a self-regulated behavior and among what human’s learn are from direct or vicarious experience. Once people learn their performance standards they become the basis of self-evaluation and if the performance meets or exceeds their standards the evaluation would be positive and if they don’t and fall short their evaluation would become negative.

Students with direct experience and use reinforcement with a high value of behaviors would bring them praise from the relevant individuals in their life, such as their parents. A student who has personal standards can develop vicariously by observing others behaviors that has been reinforced.

Self-evaluation is from the intrinsic reinforcement and is more influential than the extrinsic reinforcement that is dispensed by others. Bandura gave several examples of cases that the extrinsic reinforcement engaged in the activities that reduced the motivation in those cases. After he reviewed the research on the relative effectiveness of the extrinsic (externally administered) those intrinsic (self-administered) reinforcement, Bandura (1977), had concluded that a “self-reward behavior had tend to be maintained more effectively than if it has been externally reinforced”. (Olson & Hergenhanh, 2007 p. 338)

According to Bandura (1977), student’s who has high standard of their performance can have a personal distress, they can self-evaluate their standards which can give them a depressive reaction, discouragement, worthlessness and would have the lack of purpose. He believes working at a goal that is too distant or too difficult can be disappointing and “subgoals of moderate difficulty are therefore likely to be most motivating and satisfying”. (Olson & Hergenhanh 2007, p. 338)

Self-Efficacy

Self-efficacy plays a major component of Bandura’s (1986) social cognitive learning theory, he describe it as an individuals’ that has the confidence in their abilities and knows on how to control their thoughts, feelings and actions and the outcome of their influence. People may think that self-efficacy is low, but in reality it can be high or vice versa. People who constantly attempt to do things among their ability may become frustrated and despair and eventually may not continue on in their attempts to do anything and people who has a high self-efficacy doesn’t challenge themselves and their ability of growth may not be allowed.

After so many years of research on perceived self-efficacy that was done on many ages of groups in laboratory and in the real world setting, Bandura and Locke (2003 pp. 87-88) stated that “Efficacy beliefs prediction are not only on the behavioral functioning that were between individuals at different levels of perceived efficacy, but were also changes in the functioning of the individual that were in different levels of efficacy and overtime and even the variation within the same individuals in the tasks performed and those shunned or attempted but failed.” (Olson & Hergenhanh 2007, 339)

Traditional face to face and online schools have teachers & instructors to support their students to build and maintain their self-efficacy in their learning. Traditional and Online both have set ups of strategies that can enhance student’s self-efficacy and improve the student’s motivation, the two approaches that were suggested in the article, for online instructors can help identify and set up challenging proximal goals. Students who have realistic goals intend to perform and be more motivated then students who doesn’t have a set goal due to not being guided by their instructors or who the instructor just tells them to do their best. (Locke & Latham, 1990)

According to Bandura (1997), students who have set goals are the ones who to experience an initial sense of their self-efficacy and with their abilities to achieve that goal they would become more committed in their attempt to succeed. When students learn the process and engage in the activities they intend to rehearse the information to remember which expends their efforts and be persistence in leading them in attainment to goal. (Schunk, 1991, p.213)

The second strategy to boost a student self-efficacy for learning online courses is to provide them with a timely, honest, and explicit task feed back. (Bandura, 1997; Bangert, 2004; Wang & Lin, 2007). With effective feedback by the instructor of the student’s progress, it gives the students the level or direction of their efforts and it helps the student’s self-efficacy to complete their goal in succeeding in their future.

Since enroll on online distance learning course, I have learn to use the syllabus which is the course program during that five weeks of classes and what the students are going to learn. I learn on how to link on to my assignments and check to see when they are due and can also check on my progress level, which gives me the motivation in completing my goal. If I don’t understand my assignments and what to ask a question, I can easily e-mail the instructor for feedback and suggestion to do better. All of these tools are available to students in succeeding in their completion of their goal; it just takes time and a person motivation to learn on what is provided to them.

According to Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2001) in their finding, students seldom use critical thinking during online discussion and that is because the interactions on the discuss question are to encourage students to be challenge, reform, and synthesize on their current views of knowledge, through the in-depth of interaction with others.( Garrison et al, 2001) Online discussions were indication that student’s interactions were shallow and the students rarely develop into a higher level of communication that was negotiable, co-constructed and agreement, according to (Tallent-Runnels et al, 2006 p. 100) and the explanation that was given that students shallow participation in online discussions is lack of guidance from the instructor. The argument between Christopher, Thomas, and Tallent-Runnels (2004) was lead that online instructors likes to have their own counterparts in traditional classrooms, they must take greater responsibility for organizing and scaffolding their students’ learning within these online discussion. In numbers of studies online (a) self-regulatory scaffolding suggested that scaffolding can be effective way to support and or enhance student’s process of learning on their self-regulatory belief and behavior (Azevedo, Cromley, & Seibert, 2004; Dabbgh & Kitsantas, 2005; Kauffman, 2004; Niemi et al, 2003); (b) adaptive scaffolding like teachers or tutors can continuously diagnosis the students understanding and provide them with timely content and process that relates to scaffolding and it would be more effective way of supporting the development of the student’s conceptual understanding with the deep process strategies than fixing the scaffolding condition with a generic listing learning goals (Azevedo et al., 2004) and (c) scaffolding will be more effective with no voice learners who are under developed of the self-regulatory belief and behavior, than the veteran learners (Niemi et al., 2003)

The instructional implication on scaffolding online discussion is a supplement that can enhance teaching presence, which the teachers can include following behaviors to the students by setting up a learning model with appropriate discussion post, focus on the discussion specific issues, encourage, acknowledge, and reinforce students contribution, identify the areas of agreement and disagreement and seek consensus and understanding, add information from other sources, critically evaluate post and ask for clarification to elaborate the students answers, diagnose and correct student’s misunderstandings ( Anderson et al., 20011; Shea et al., 2005)

Scholars has done numerous studies on using social cognitive that viewed students self-regulations and their characteristic of their success while learning online, in general of the existing empirical literature which supported the established findings from doing research in a more traditional classrooms specifying that academic of self-regulation is important and not necessary for effective learning and performance (Artino, 2007b; Hodges, 2005; Miltiadou & Savenye, 2003; Schunk & Zimmerman, 1994, 1998).

Scholars has done numerous studies on using social cognitive that viewed students self-regulations and their characteristic of their success while learning online, in general of the existing empirical literature which supported the established findings from doing research in a more traditional classrooms specifying that academic of self-regulation is important and not necessary for effective learning and performance (Artino, 2007b; Hodges, 2005; Miltiadou & Savenye, 2003; Schunk & Zimmerman, 1994, 1998).

The table below shows the finding on the idea for online education with the instructional implication, online tools and the techniques implementation, with this table; I believe people would convince and it give them the motivation to decide to enroll on an online education program.

1. The quality and quantity of students’ self-regulatory beliefs and behaviors vary greatly; those with more adaptive profiles experience greater success.

1a. Assess components of students’ regulated learning and supply individualized feedback

1b. Provide students with differential support

2. Students’

motivational

beliefs, such as elf-efficacy and task value, matter

2a. Develop and

support students’ self-efficacy

Utilize online regulated learning

skills (e.g., online version of the

motivated strategies for learning

questionnaire (MSLQ) or the learning

and strategies study inventory (LASSI)

Help students identify and set challenging, proximal goals.

Send frequent emails and/or utilize course management systems to provide students with timely, honest, and explicit performance feedback

Tell students how specific learning tasks will contribute to the realization of their personal goals, interests, and values

Utilize up-to-date online grade books to encourage self-monitoring and self evaluation

Interpret Survey results, provide individualized feedback, and supply links to additional web resource for tips on improving deficient self- regulated learning skills

Sending reflective prompts via email and or course management system to encourage self-monitoring

Create detailed Syllabi, assignment instructions and grading rubrics to assist with goal setting and self evaluation

Using intermediate assignment deadlines to facilitate progression toward task completion.

Employ problem-based learning cycles rooted in authentic issues to

enhance motivation and facilitate transfer; however, carefully consider the complexity of problems and their potential to overwhelm students’ working memory capacity

3. Students

seldom use

critical thinking

skills during

online discussions

4. Students who

seek help from

others and

collaborate

experience

greater success

3. Scaffold online

discussion

4. Utilize peer

models and

encourage

collaboration and

co-regulation

Model appropriate discussion posts that are focused on the specific

issues/concepts under consideration

Encourage, acknowledge, and reinforce student contributions

Model appropriate discussion posts and explicitly acknowledge and

reinforce other students’ well-written posts

Provide samples of exemplary assignments

Utilize group projects that encourage students to work together toward a

mutual goal

Identify areas of agreement/disagreement and seek consensus and

understanding

Add information from diverse sources and critically evaluate student posts

Provide explicit discussion prompts and

clear grading criteria

Conclusion

Online education in my opinion is a wonderful way for a person, who really can’t handle sitting in a classroom. A person doesn’t have to leave their homes and get in their cars to find parking and make it to class on time. A person can stay in their Pajamas and take a break when ever is needed. All the tools and resources are just a click away and if a person has a problem of not understanding there is always e-mail to ask the instructor question and your peers.

I never thought of myself of receiving a degree online, because I thought that I couldn’t afford it and won’t be able to concentrate on my assignments. When I started 3 years ago, I was confused at first using a computer and finding all the tools that were offer from the school and especially for a person that hasn’t been in school for a long time it’s even worse, but I was determine to learn and ask question and I became confident in myself to accomplish in my goal.

The article purpose was to give individuals the motivation on accomplishing on their education goals and online programs are as good as traditional education schooling. People might look at online degree not the same as going to a face to face traditional setting and it took me a while to believe that online courses are as good. Now when people ask me questions about online programs, I can let them know that it is accredit and it is the same as going to traditional setting and they should research on topics regarding the success of others who received their degree, I can let them know the only difference is a person who decides to go this route has more responsibility, they have to motivated, self-regulated, self-efficient, and self-directed in achieving.

Online education is all over the world and has became so popular that a lot of people are started to become interested and if anybody were to ask me if they should do it or not, I can guarantee that it would be the best move they ever did in their life.


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