A Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) Assessment System for Electromechanical Technology Students

Engineering (55) Intellectual Merit. This project is adapting a social cognitive self-regulated learning model to assist students to develop and assess their SRL skills more effectively. For six years, the SRL program at NYCCT has concentrated on developing students' metacognitive skills in ways that enable them to become motivated, goal-oriented, resilient, and successful. Using the SRL model as a framework, a variety of instructional interventions have been implemented with successful outcomes for first-year students enrolled in remedial math and writing courses. The SRL program has also incorporated the use of technology by developing a SRL software application for personal digital assistants and a student-focused SRL website. This project is building on earlier initiatives by developing and implementing an individualized SRL assessment system for a sequence of first-year electromechanical courses. Many incoming students at institutions like NYCCT are academically under prepared, resulting in high rates of poor academic achievement and attrition. (Within the school's EM program, only 15% of the students earn an associate degree within 5 years.) Students who become skilled self-regulated learners develop a greater understanding of how to monitor and manage their learning processes. Attainment of SRL skills has been shown to have a higher correlation with academic success than previous grades or SAT scores.

We expect students to be able to more accurately assess changes in their SRL skills and link these changes to performance based outcome measures including weekly quizzes and major examinations. Because self-regulated learning entails the cyclical use of feedback to plan, implement, and evaluate learning activities, the SRL Performance Assessment System focuses on providing detailed, content-specific feedback to the student within multiple learning opportunities. The project is creating an assessment form designed to help students develop and track the effectiveness of their SRL skills and improve self-evaluative beliefs. Ultimately, this form will be integrated with an EM/SRL Website that will provide each student with a personal profile.

A comprehensive evaluation plan is being implemented throughout the project, including formative and summative elements. The SRL Performance Assessment System's predicted outcomes include: 1) improved academic achievement, 2) higher self-efficacy ratings on quizzes, 3) shifts in attributions for incorrectly solved EM problems from uncontrollable to controllable causes, 4) improved selection and articulation of appropriate academic strategies, 5) more accurate estimates of academic performances, and 6) greater self-satisfaction with academic performance.

Broader Impacts. Throughout the project, dissemination efforts at the local, regional, and national level have been made. On a local level, the SRL program is working with the Dean and faculty of the School of Technology to incorporate the assessment system into other academic departments. Based on past success with the math and English departments and the anticipated success in electromechanical engineering, we plan to work with colleagues to achieve transfer into other academic departments. On a regional level, the assessment work is being shared at educational research and technology meetings, e.g., the Annual CUNY Technology and the Classroom Conference. On a national level, the findings are being shared at forums such as the annual meetings of the American Education Research Association and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. We are also writing scholarly articles for publication in refereed journals.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Myles G. Boylan
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CUNY New York City College of Technology
United States
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