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IES Grant

Title: Enhancing Self-Reflection and Mathematics Achievement of At-Risk Students at an Urban Technical College: A Self-Regulated Learning Intervention
Center: NCER Year: 2006
Principal Investigator: Zimmerman, Barry Awardee: City University of New York (CUNY)
Program: Cognition and Student Learning      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2 years Award Amount: $482,496
Type: Development and Innovation Award Number: R305H060018

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to pilot test instructional practices intended to improve math outcomes for postsecondary students. The instructional practices focused on self-regulated learning practices, which involved teacher demonstrations of coping techniques and exercises designed to encourage self-efficacy, self-evaluation, and self-reflection processes. The researchers proposed to randomly assign 120 at-risk students across 4 semesters to either a self-regulated learning section or a traditional learning section in a remedial or college-level math course. The researchers hoped to demonstrate that students can respond to their academic grades as sources of self-regulated learning rather than as indices of personal limitation.

Structured Abstract


Setting: The project will take place at the New York City College of Technology (NYCCT), the bi-level technical college for the City University of New York.

Sample: Participants will be 480 students in remedial and college-level mathematics courses at NYCCT. NYCCT has an enrollment of over 12,000 students, 90 percent of whom are members of minority groups. The first-year attrition rate of first time, full time, associate degree freshmen at NYCCT averaged 40 percent over the last 8 years.

Intervention: The goal of this program is to help at-risk students in an urban technical college improve their mathematics performance by improving their self-regulation, with particular attention to self-reflection processes. The intervention, recently designed and piloted by the researchers, will involve teacher demonstration of coping techniques and exercises designed to encourage self-efficacy, self-evaluation, and self-reflection processes. In particular, students will be given opportunities to improve their math quiz scores by engaging in a revision process that integrates self-regulation learning. In addition, because traditional grades seldom provide much adaptive help to students and often trigger counterproductive defensive reactions, the researchers will provide the intervention students with the self-regulated learning math reflection form. This form provides students with alternative feedback and opportunities for self-assessment. Finally, intervention instructors will orient students to focus on error detection and correction by giving small groups of students incorrectly solved problems, asking them to find the errors, and having them articulate appropriate strategies to correctly solve the problem.

Research Design and Methods: During each of the program's four semesters, there will be two sections of remedial (one control that is traditional learning and one self-regulated learning) and two sections of college-level math (one control and one self-regulated learning). Different instructors will teach the different sections each semester. Students will be randomly assigned to either control or self-regulated learning conditions. Students in the two groups will be compared on a variety of examination- and course-related self-regulatory processes, including self-efficacy, self-evaluation, self-satisfaction, and learning strategy use.

Control Condition: Students in the control sections will receive traditional remedial or college-level math instruction.

Key Measures: Students will receive content quizzes and in-class math exams during the semester. In addition, students in all conditions will take both pre- and posttests that measures math achievement. All students will complete scales measuring self-satisfaction, self-regulated strategies, and a final examination self-efficacy scale.

Data Analytic Strategy: Analyses will be conducted that take the nested structure of the data into account.


ERIC Citations: Find available citations in ERIC for this award here.

Select Publications:

Journal articles

Zimmerman, B.J., Moylan, A., Hudesman, J., White, N., and Flugman, B. (2011). Enhancing Self-Reflection and Mathematics Achievement of At-Risk Urban Technical College Students. Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling, 53(1): 141–160.