Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education


Community Services, Education and Social Sciences


Communications and Multimedia




This article was originally published as: McMahon, M. & Oliver, R. (2001). Promoting self-regulated learning in an on-line environment. In C. Montgomerie & J. Viteli (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2001 (pp. 1299-1305). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. Original article available here


Self-Regulation has long been seen as a desirable but difficult to achieve instructional aim. This is particularly true of on-line learning, where users have limited instructional support and where attrition rates tend to be greater than in face-to-face teaching. This paper examines the nature of self-regulation, identifying affective and cognitive skills which make for self-regulated learners. The broad psychological states of metacognition and self-concept are identified as well as the motivational and cognitive processes that underpin them. The volitional, learning, and regulatory strategies which learners use are delineated. These are placed within the context of online learning. Aspects which characterise learning environments which support self-regulation are identified, and suggestions are made as to how self-regulation can best be enhanced within on-line courses.