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E. González Gascón1, M.D. De Juan Vigaray2, N. Mendoza3

1Universidad Miguel Hernández de Elche (SPAIN)
2Universidad de Alicante (SPAIN)
3University of Texas at El Paso (UNITED STATES)
Theories of self-regulated learning (SRL) fall within the theoretical framework that allows us to analyze those elements that facilitate the students’ learning, and therefore better academic results, helping the students to become competent professionals. SRL refers to the students’ active process of learning, and can be defined as the deliberate planning and monitoring of the cognitive and affective processes that are involved in the successful completion of academic tasks [ 1]. This implies the self-monitoring and self-correction of the three main aspects of learning: self-regulation of behavior, self-regulation of motivation, and self-regulation of cognition [ 2].

During their academic life, students move along a continuum. At one end, we find proactive students who are involved in their learning process; at the other end are those who lack initiative and responsibility for this process. The existing literature supports that proactive and involved students achieve better results in their formal education and also in lifelong learning. They reach a higher cognitive engagement, which turns into the key to success in their careers. Generally speaking, self-regulated learners tend to become competent and efficient managers afterwards.

SRL can help us to understand the way students face their problems, apply strategies, self-control their performance, and interpret the results of their efforts. Traditional models, where the instructor prescribes and the students just follow instructions, do not support SRL. However, with models of active learning, where students are responsible for their own learning, they need motivation to implement and regulate suitable learning strategies and behaviors, and therefore, to engage in cognitive and metacognitive learning strategies. SRL theories explain how cognitive, motivational and contextual factors influence the learning process.

Taking all this into consideration, we pose the following research questions: Which variables directly or indirectly affect SRL? Is the way they affect the students’ behavior significant? To answer these questions, we examine how SRL strategies are related to the students’ motivation and the learning climate in the classroom, among other variables.

Our research is based on a sample of students in different marketing courses of several universities. We propose a number of hypotheses, describe the methodology used, and discuss and analyze the results. Finally, we draw conclusions and suggest some activities that instructors can use to improve the teaching and the efficiency of the learning process in marketing.

[1] Corno, L. and Mandinach, E.B. (1983), “The role of cognitive engagement in classroom learning and motivation”,
Educational Pyschology, 18:88-108.
[2] Zimmerman, B.J. (1995), “Self-efficacy and educational development”. In Bandura, A. Self-efficacy and Changing Societies, Cambridge University Press: New York. 202-231. Educational Psychologist, 28 (2): 117-48.