Students’ self-regulated learning skills and attitudes in online scientific inquiry tasks

Paula de Barba, Kristine Elliott, Gregor Kennedy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


Teaching students to think and act as scientists through inquiry is at the core of recent science education. Although self-regulated learning (SRL) is acknowledged as crucial to performing scientific inquiry, much is yet to be understood about the specifics of students’ interactions with the scientific process. In the current study, we conducted an exploratory investigation of the role of students’ SRL and related attitudes when completing an online scientific inquiry-based task. A task with a Predict-Observe-Explain learning design was used to examine the role of students’ SRL and attitudes within specific phases of the scientific inquiry process. Participants were 233 students from an online undergraduate course. Four groups were identified with differing levels of SRL skills, challenge and confidence. We found that students with low SRL skills who also perceived a learning situation as challenging and had low confidence in their ability to learn, had difficulties designing effective experiments and correctly interpreting data. Implications and future studies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 36th International Conference on Innovation, Practice and Research in The Use of Educational Technologies in Tertiary Education
Subtitle of host publicationPersonalised Learning. Diverse Goals. One Heart.
EditorsSharleen Chew Yi Wei, Chan Kah Mun, Alfieana Alphonso
Place of PublicationSingapore Singapore
PublisherAustralasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes
EventAnnual Conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education 2019 - Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 2 Dec 20195 Dec 2019
Conference number: 36th (Proceedings)


ConferenceAnnual Conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education 2019
Abbreviated titleASCILITE 2019
Internet address


  • Digital learning environment
  • Scientific inquiry process
  • Self-regulated learning

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