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ERIC Number: ED577052
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jul
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Peering Inside the Black Box of Undergraduate Study Habits: The Centrality of Self-Regulated Learning in a Digitized World. WCER Working Paper No. 2015-3
Hora, Matthew T.; Oleson, Amanda K.
Wisconsin Center for Education Research
Research suggests which study strategies are effective but little descriptive research focuses on how undergraduate students study in real-world settings. Thus, the mechanisms of students' actual learning remain a black box for the field of higher education, with far more attention paid to inputs and outputs of the learning process. Using a situative theory of cognition and learning, we analyzed data from 22 focus groups (N = 60 students). Results indicate studying is a multi-faceted process that is initiated by instructor or self-generated cues, followed by marshaling resources and managing distractions (or not), and then study behaviors that include selecting time, setting, and specific strategies. Underlying these behaviors are contextual factors including course material and students' personal lives. The results highlight the importance of self-regulation skills, particularly managing digital distractions, and we suggest that the development of these skills should be more frequently incorporated into instructional design and student support services.
Wisconsin Center for Education Research. School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1025 West Johnson Street Suite 785, Madison, WI 53706. Tel: 608-263-4200; Fax: 608-263-6448; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Center for Education Research
Identifiers - Location: Canada; United States
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A