Motivation and Learning Strategies for College Success
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Motivation and Learning Strategies for College Success

A Focus on Self-Regulated Learning

Helena Seli

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eBook - ePub

Motivation and Learning Strategies for College Success

A Focus on Self-Regulated Learning

Helena Seli

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About This Book

Motivation and Learning Strategies for College Success provides a framework organized around motivation, methods of learning, time management, control of the physical and social environment, and monitoring performance that makes it easy for students to recognize what they need to do to become academically successful. Full of rich pedagogical features and exercises, students will find Follow-Up Activities, opportunities for Reflection, Chapter-End Reviews, Key Points, and a Glossary. Seli and Dembo focus on the most relevant information and features to help students identify the components of academic learning that contribute to high achievement, to master and practice effective learning and study strategies, and to complete self-regulation studies that teach a process for improving their academic behavior. Combining theory, research, and application, this popular text guides college students on how to improve their study skills and become self-regulated learners.

New in the Sixth Edition:

  • General updates throughout to citations and research since the previous edition

  • Additional coverage of digital media and mobile technology, and the impact of technology on productivity

  • Added coverage of metacognition and test anxiety, and consideration of non-traditional students

  • Updated companion website resources for students and instructors, including sample exercises, assessments, and instructors' notes

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Part 1

Foundations of Learning and Motivation

Chapter 1: Academic Self-Regulation
Chapter 2: Understanding Motivation
Chapter 3: Understanding Learning and Memory
The purpose of this unit is to explain how you can become a more successful learner by taking charge and regulating your own learning. To accomplish this goal, you need to understand how you learn and the factors that determine your motivation to learn. Learning and motivation are interrelated processes. Simply learning a new skill does not mean that you will use it unless you are motivated to do so. Therefore, our objectives are to present some new learning strategies and to convince you that there are payoffs for using them. These payoffs include the possibility of higher grades, more time to participate in enjoyable activities, and the confidence to become a successful learner in any course. The three chapters in this unit provide a framework for understanding why you need to use different strategies to manage the factors influencing your academic achievement. The remaining units teach you how and when to use these strategies.
Academic Self-Regulation: The strategies students use to control the factors influencing their learning.
Chapter 1 presents a model for­academic self-regulation, identifying six components that you control—motivation, methods of learning, use of time, physical and social environment, and monitoring performance (Zimmerman & Risemberg, 1997). These components are organized by categories—motivational, behavioral, and learning and study strategies. Finally, a four-step process is described to help you change aspects of your academic career.
Cognitive: Explanations of learning and motivation that focus on the role of the learner’s mental processes.
Chapters 2 and 3 provide an overview of learning and motivation from a­cognitive andsocial cognitive perspective. Cognitive psychologists believe thatbehavior is always based on cognition—an act of knowing or thinking about the situation in which the behavior occurs. As a result, they believe that learning can be explained by how knowledge is processed and organized. This means that the way one learns is an important factor in how much is remembered.
Social Cognitive: Explanations of learning and motivation that explain learning and motivation as an interaction between cognitive, behavioral, and contextual factors.
The social cognitive view of learning and motivation focuses on how an individual’s internal state (i.e., his or her goals, beliefs, perceptions, and emotions), as well as external, contextual circumstances, influence behavior.


Academic Self-Regulation

As readers of this book, you are a diverse group with varied backgrounds and goals. Some of you are beginning your education at a college or university, whereas others have selected a community college. Some of you may have taken college courses last term, whereas others are returning to school after an absence. Some of you are full-time students, whereas others may have significant other responsibilities such as a job and caring for dependents. You may even be taking all your courses online. Some of you are taking a learning and study skills course because it is required, whereas others are enrolled in the course as an elective. Some of you are looking forward to taking the course, whereas others may doubt its usefulness. Wherever you are on your journey as a student, we have one goal: to help all those who read this book become more successful learners. Once you learn how to learn, you can apply these skills to any academic or work setting in which you participate.
Who is a successful learner? Most of us know, read about, or have observed successful and expert individuals in some field or profession (e.g., a musician, athlete, plumber, teacher, or artist). These individuals have special knowledge and skills in a particular field. Similarly, successful learners also possess special knowledge and skills that differentiate them from less successful learners.
Successful students are not simply individuals who know more than others. They also have more effective and efficient learning strategies for accessing and using their knowledge, can motivate themselves, and can monitor and change their behaviors when learning does not occur.
Just as individuals cannot learn to become expert musicians, dancers, or golfers without practice, learning to be a successful learner requires more than simply reading and listening to class lectures. For this reason, you will be asked throughout this book to respond to questions and exercises, and to actually practice some new ways of learning. The key to success is practicing the learning strategies taught here so they become automatic. As you practice, you will be able to learn more material in less time than prior to using these new strategies. Thus, you will learn to study “smarter,” not necessarily harder.
Most of you have expertise in some activity or hobby. You have spent considerable effort and persistence in acquiring knowledge and developing your skills, and probably feel competent and motivated to excel. Much of the same self-discipline and self-motivation you apply to your present area(s) of expertise will be needed in your pursuit of academic excellence. After studying this chapter, you will be able to:
  • identify specific behaviors that influence the level of academic success;
  • use a process to self-regulate your academic behavior.

What Is Academic Self-Regulation?

At one time, it was thought that intelligence was the main factor in determining academic success. After years of research in learning and motivation, educators have found that students can learn how to become more successful learners by using appropriate strategies to manage their motivation, behavior, and learning.
The word self-regulation is a key term in understanding successful learners. Self-regulation involves self-reflective, motivational, and behavioral processes (Zimmerman, 2015). Self-regulated learners control the factors influencing their learning. They establish optimum conditions for learning and remove obstacles that interfere with their learning. Educators use a variety of terms to describe these students (e.g., self-regulated, self-directed, strategic, and active). No matter whatterm is used, the important factor is that these students find a way to learn. It does not matter if the instructor is a poor lecturer, the textbook is confusing, the test is difficult, the room is noisy, or if multiple exams are scheduled for the same week, successful learners find a way to excel.
Let’s look at an example of how one student managed his academic learning:
What acti...

Table of contents

Citation styles for Motivation and Learning Strategies for College Success
APA 6 Citation
Seli, H., & Dembo, M. (2019). Motivation and Learning Strategies for College Success (6th ed.). Taylor and Francis. Retrieved from (Original work published 2019)
Chicago Citation
Seli, Helena, and Myron Dembo. (2019) 2019. Motivation and Learning Strategies for College Success. 6th ed. Taylor and Francis.
Harvard Citation
Seli, H. and Dembo, M. (2019) Motivation and Learning Strategies for College Success. 6th edn. Taylor and Francis. Available at: (Accessed: 15 October 2022).
MLA 7 Citation
Seli, Helena, and Myron Dembo. Motivation and Learning Strategies for College Success. 6th ed. Taylor and Francis, 2019. Web. 15 Oct. 2022.