The relational, co-temporal, contemporaneous, and longitudinal dynamics of self-regulation for academic writing

Mohammed Saqr, Ward Peeters, Olga Viberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Writing in an academic context often requires students in higher education to acquire a new set of skills while familiarising themselves with the goals, objectives and requirements of the new learning environment. Students’ ability to continuously self-regulate their writing process, therefore, is seen as a determining factor in their learning success. In order to study students’ self-regulated learning (SRL) behaviour, research has increasingly been tapping into learning analytics (LA) methods in recent years, making use of multimodal trace data that can be obtained from students writing and working online. Nevertheless, little is still known about the ways students apply and govern SRL processes for academic writing online, and about how their SRL behaviour might change over time. To provide new perspectives on the use of LA approaches to examine SRL, this study applied a range of methods to investigate what they could tell us about the evolution of SRL tactics and strategies on a relational, co-temporal, contemporaneous and longitudinal level. The data originates from a case study in which a private Facebook group served as an online collaboration space in a first-year academic writing course for foreign language majors of English. The findings show that learners use a range of SRL tactics to manage their writing tasks and that different tactic can take up key positions in this process over time. Several shifts could be observed in students’ behaviour, from mainly addressing content-specific topics to more form-specific and social ones. Our results have also demonstrated that different methods can be used to study the relational, co-temporal, contemporaneous, and longitudinal dynamics of self-regulation in this regard, demonstrating the wealth of insights LA methods can bring to the table.

Original languageEnglish
Article number29
Number of pages22
JournalResearch and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Academic writing
  • Epistemic network analysis
  • Learning analytics
  • Process mining
  • Self-regulated learning
  • Sequence mining
  • Social network analysis
  • Temporal networks

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