1. Teacher influences in SRL
Teachers have great influence on the students’ self-regulated learning through classroom teaching practices. If teachers stimulate students’ motivation, display their expectations for students, give them appropriate positive support and feedback, encourage their collaborative learning, students are likely to engage in their self-regulation in their learning procedure.
Teachers should apply some teaching technology in their teaching activities, such as Interactive Learning Group System. Teachers divide students into different groups and ask them to work on the task. During the process, teachers play the roles of coach, scaffolding, supervisors, and evaluator. As a coach, teachers give each group instructions about the task when the group members have conflicts; as scaffolding, teachers give group some supports when they need help; as a supervisor, teacher should be clear about the situation of the task in different group; as an evaluator, teachers give each group feedback about their completion of the task. The Interactive Learning Group System creates a context to make students participate, engage, discuss, and collaborate with group members for their task, which is a method to influence their self-regulation, strategies application, cooperation and collaboration.
In addition, some strategies and instructions, teachers give students, still influence their SRL. Firstly, teachers could provide explicit task instructions and task objectives for students, which make students spend less time on understanding task and avoiding misunderstanding about the task, meanwhile, it is better for them to set the goal according to the task objectives. So they can make and implement planning to pursuit their goal smoothly. Secondly, teachers could provide some SRL strategy training to students. For example, SMART process. Teachers would tell students how to search and select important information, activate their prior knowledge, monitor their understanding and comprehension, assembling useful multiple resource and connect ideas, organize and structure different knowledge, link knowledge from different source, practice in several ways and methods, translate things they have learned into their own words. Those strategy training can improve students’ performance, completion of task efficiently, and attain the domain knowledge. Finally, teachers should give some interventions in students’ process of task accomplishment. For instance, make students match their planning and task objective, strategies used in the process, time and effort’s monitoring, and so on. Those interventions could assist students understand the task and situation in a deep level and make some changes to ensure their goal’s achievement. At the same time, teachers’ interventions enhance students to monitor cognition and behavior, utilize strategies, and evaluate their products, which is a better way for students to become a self-regulated learner.
2. Teachers’ instruction for task interpretation
Teachers have an important effect on students’ metacognitive knowledge, conceptions, and self-regulation through their instructions in the classroom. Teachers’ instruction can foster students to learn metacognitive knowledge about task’s purpose, structure, and components, and regulate their own behaviors in the learning procedure. Meanwhile, teachers’ instructions promise students to have active motivation for the task interpretation, have awareness of task interpretation, and have positive value and utility for the task. It is inevitable that teachers’ instruction still have some negative impacts for students. Some instructions hinder students to choose strategies and control behaviors in their own notion for the task, so that it undermines students’ self-regulation and construction of metacognitive knowledge.
So the correct instructions involve following suggestions:
First of all, teachers should provide students some strategy instructions about task interpretation. For example, how to read the problem to know the question asked, how to analyze the specific task, what is the purpose of the task, how about the structure of the task, and what components the task includes, and so on. Teachers should give students explicit strategy instruction to ensure they could learn and apply those strategies in their performance and activities; and many effective models for strategy training in the classroom can also guide students to understand how to use strategies for the particular task interpretation.
Then, teachers need to improve students’ self-regulated learning. Teachers should not only take notice of students to learn how to interpret tasks effectively and accurately, such as clarify clearly about tasks’ purpose, structure, and components, but also focus on promoting students’ self-regulate about their planning, strategies enacting and selecting, behavior and time monitoring, self-evaluation, and reflective explication of feedback coming from teachers and their own.
Finally, teachers could encourage students to make active reflection in the process of accomplishing academic task, which is effective for their task interpretation. For instance, the task can be divided into many subtasks; students will make reflection when they complete one subtask, the reflection could help them to be distinct and explicit for the standard, expectation, and purpose of the task, at the same time, the teachers could give some feedback for their reflection so as to support their interpretation for the next subtask. We should note that the reflection of the subtasks is a pattern which aim is to make students have competence to interpret the task for the whole academic work.
To sum up, teachers’ instruction for task interpretation should be the scaffolding for students, it means that provide students valid strategy instructions and training, and advance their self-regulated learning; in the meantime, refrain from negative influence of instructions to impede the development of students’ self-regulated learning and task interpretation.