A meta-analysis of self-regulated learning in work-related training and educational attainment: What we know and where we need to go.

Sitzmann, Traci and Ely, Katherine
Psychological Bulletin, Vol 137, Issue 3, pages 421-442

Researchers have been applying their knowledge of goal-oriented behavior to the self-regulated learning domain for more than 30 years. This review examines the current state of research on self-regulated learning and gaps in the field’s understanding of how adults regulate their learning of work-related knowledge and skills. Self-regulation theory was used as a conceptual lens for deriving a heuristic framework of 16 fundamental constructs that constitute self-regulated learning. Meta-analytic findings ( k = 430, N = 90,380) support theoretical propositions that self-regulation constructs are interrelated—30% of the corrected correlations among constructs were .50 or greater. Goal level, persistence, effort, and self-efficacy were the self-regulation constructs with the strongest effects on learning. Together these constructs accounted for 17% of the variance in learning, after controlling for cognitive ability and pretraining knowledge. However, 4 self-regulatory processes—planning, monitoring, help seeking, and emotion control—did not exhibit significant relationships with learning. Thus, a parsimonious framework of the self-regulated learning domain is presented that focuses on a subset of self-regulatory processes that have both limited overlap with other core processes and meaningful effects on learning. Research is needed to advance the field’s understanding of how adults regulate their learning in an increasingly complex and knowledge-centric work environment. Such investigations should capture the dynamic nature of self-regulated learning, address the role of self-regulation in informal learning, and investigate how trainees regulate their transfer of training.