Ph.D Thesis

Ph.D StudentNareman Mara'e Haj
SubjectSelf-Regulated Learning in Programmable Robots-Based
DepartmentDepartment of Education in Science and Technology
Supervisor Full Professors Hazzan Orit
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Self-regulated learning (SRL) is an active constructive process whereby learners set goals for their learning and monitor, regulate, and control their cognition, motivation, and behavior, guided and constrained by their goals and the contextual features of the environment.

Numerous studies support the importance of SRL skills on school success. SRL skills facilitate students’ effective performance in academic settings and motivation. Students characterized as self-regulated learners are more effective, efficient, and productive students when compared to their peers who fail to self-regulate. Despite the increasing amount of written material on the self-regulated learning, it has little discussed so far in the context of technology education, specifically in robotics-based environment.

The purpose of this study is to understand self-regulated learning processes in robotics-based environment and to explore the common problem-solving strategies pupils use to achieve learning goals. In addition, it aims to investigate the contribution of robotics-based learning environment on motivating SRL processes. The research question is: What are robotics-based learning environment characteristics motivating pupils to self-regulate their learning in three aspects: cognitive, motivation-emotion and behavior, and which strategies do they use to solve problems and regulate these facets?

The participants were eighth-grade pupils who worked collaboratively to develop a project in robotics. Two robotics kits have been used: LEGO Mindstorms and K^NEX. Data collection carried out using qualitative and quantitative instruments including observations, interviews and questionnaires for students.

The results indicate that there is numerous potential in this environment to motivate self-regulation of learning. The most used strategies by students to self-regulate cognitive facet of learning were debugging and result testing, evaluation of progress toward goals, setting goals and hypothesizing. The most used ones related to motivation-emotion facet were emotional regulation and environmental control strategies. Breaking-down problems to sub-problems, increasing collaboration among peers and help seeking were the most used strategies related to behavior facet.

The most effective environment characteristics that promote SRL are collaborative learning, experiential learning, and interaction between environment and learner. Through peers modeling in collaborative learning, student gets explicit examples of how to perform a task, how to reflect on his experience. Experiential leaning plays a valuable significant role in facilitating SRL as it is student-centered learning so student tends to manage learning process autonomously. Interaction with learners also has a central role in promoting SRL because of the multi-facet feedback that is an integral part in each phase of self-regulated learning especially in monitoring phase.