Motivation and Learning Strategies for College Success: A Focus on Self-Regulated Learning

Motivation and Learning Strategies for College Success: A Focus on Self-Regulated Learning

by Myron H. Dembo, Helena Seli

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Combining theory, research, and applications, this popular text guides college students on how to become self-regulated learners. Students gain knowledge about human motivation and learning as they improve their study skills. The focus is on relevant information and features to help students to identify the components of academic learning that contribute to high achievement, to master and practice effective learning and study strategies, and then to complete self-regulation studies that teach a process for improving their academic behavior. A framework organized around motivation, methods of learning, time management, control of the physical and social environment, and monitoring performance makes it easy for students to recognize what they need to do to become academically more successful. Pedagogical features include Exercises, Follow-Up Activities, Student Reflections, Chapter-end Reviews, Key Points, and a Glossary.

New in the Fifth Edition

  • Discussion of the importance of sleep in learning and memory
  • Revised and updated chapter on self-regulation of emotions
  • Current research on impact of students’ use of technology including digital learning platforms and tools, social media, and online learning
  • Updated Companion Website resources for students and instructors

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781317531951
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 06/21/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 348
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Myron H. Dembo is Emeritus Professor of Educational Psychology in the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California, USA.

Helena Seli is Associate Professor of Clinical Education in the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California, USA.

Table of Contents


Preface Acknowledgments Figure and Table Credits


Chapter 1 Academic Self-Regulation

What Is Academic Self-Regulation?

What Is the Difference Between High School and College?

Why Are Some Students Less Successful Learners?

They Hold Faulty Beliefs about Their Ability, Learning, and Motivation

They Are Unaware of Their Ineffective Learning Behavior

They Fail to Sustain Effective Learning and Motivational Strategies

They Are Not Ready to Change Their Learning and Study Behavior

How Can I Manage My Academic Behavior?


Methods of Learning

Use of Time

Physical and Social Environment

Monitoring Performance

The Six Components of Academic Self-Regulation

Exercise 1.1: Self-Observation: Assessing Your Self-Regulatory Skills

How Can I Change My Behavior?

How Does Self-Regulation Occur in an Academic Context?

Key Points

Follow-Up Activities

Chapter 2 Understanding Motivation

Motivational Problems

What Is Motivation and What Factors Influence It?

Motivated Behaviors

Sociocultural Factors

Classroom Environmental Factors

Exercise 2.1: Self-Observation: Analyzing My Personal and Sociocultural Background

Exercise 2.2: Self-Observation: Analyzing Classroom Experiences

Internal Factors

Exercise 2.3: Possible Selves: My Hopes, Expectations, and Fears

about the Future

Exercise 2.4: Identifying Mastery and Performance Goal


Am I Motivated to Change My Academic Behavior?

I Can’t Change

I Don’t Want to Change

I Don’t Know What to Change

I Don’t Know How to Change

Key Points

Follow-Up Activities

Chapter 3 Understanding Learning and Memory

Where Does Learning Take Place in the Brain?

Is Intelligence Fixed or Malleable?

Why Is a Growth Mindset More Beneficial than a Fixed Mindset?

Exercise 3.1: Self-Observation: Analyzing My Mindset

How Does the Information-Processing System Explain Learning?

Short-Term Sensory Store

Working Memory

Exercise 3.2: Demonstrating the Capacity of Working Memory

Long-Term Memory

What Are the Flaws in Human Memory?

What Is the Difference between Rote and Meaningful Learning?

Which Learning Strategies Promote Learning and Retention?

Rehearsal Strategies

Elaboration Strategies

Organizational Strategies

Exercise 3.3: Demonstrating the Importance of Categorizing Knowledge

Exercise 3.4: Identifying Learning Strategies

Key Points

Follow-Up Activities


Chapter 4 Goal Setting

Exercise 4.1: Self-Observation: Identifying Your Values

Why Is Goal Setting Important?

What Properties of Goals Enhance Motivation?

What Are the Steps in the Goal-Setting Process?

Step 1: Identifying and Defining the Goal

Exercise 4.2: Writing Personal Goals

Step 2: Generating and Evaluating Alternative Plans

Step 3: Making Implementation Plans

Step 4: Implementing the Plan

Step 5: Evaluating Your Progress

Key Points

Follow-Up Activities

Chapter 5 Self-Regulation of Emotions

Exercise 5.1: Self-Observation: Assessing Emotions

What Do We Know about College Students’ Mental Health?

What Types of Solutions Are Available for Emotional and Mental Health Issues?

What Causes our Emotions?

How Does Self-talk Affect My Emotions and Behavior?

Exercise 5.2: Identify Irrational Thinking Patterns

What Do We Know about Stress and Anxiety Among College Students?

What Are Some Self-Regulatory Solutions for Stress and Anxiety?

What Do We Know About Depression Among College Students?

What Are Some Self-Regulatory Strategies to Address Depression?

What is the Impact of Boredom on Academic Performance?

What Are Self-Regulatory Strategies to Address Boredom?

Key Points

Follow-Up Activities


Chapter 6 Time Management

What Is Time Management?

How Do You Use Your Time?

Exercise 6.1: Self-Observation: Assessing Time Wasters

Exercise 6.2: Self-Observation: Assessing Use of Time

What Are Some Good Time-Management Strategies?

Set Regular Study Periods

Create an Environment that Is Relatively Free of Distractions and Interruptions

Schedule Tasks So They Can Be Accomplished in 30- to 60-Minute Blocks of Time

Take Short Breaks

Be Specific in Identifying How You Plan to Use Your Time

Alternate Subjects When You Have a Long Time Block Available

for Study

Estimate the Time Needed for Each Assignment

Prioritize Tasks

Do the Assignments for the Course You Dislike First

Work Ahead of Your Assignments When Possible

Take Down Any Appointments as Soon as You Make Them in Your Smartphone or Calendar

Use Technology to Manage Your Time

How Do I Develop a System of Time Planning and Management?

Semester Calendar

Weekly Priority Tasks List

Weekly Schedule

What Is Procrastination?

Procrastination and the Internet

What Are the Causes of Procrastination?

What Can I Do about My Tendency to Procrastinate?

Procrastination Elimination Strategies

Challenging and Changing Beliefs and Misperceptions

Exercise 6.3: Challenge Irrational Beliefs

Key Points

Follow-Up Activities

Chapter 7 Self-Regulation of the Physical and Social Environment

What are the Costs of Multitasking?

Is There a Difference between Attention and Concentration?

Exercise 7.1: Self-Observation: Evaluating Study Environments

What Factors Influence Attention and Concentration?

Exercise 7.2: Self-Observation: Becoming Aware of Misdirected Attention

Exercise 7.3: Self-Observation: Becoming Aware of Your Listening Habits

How Can I Improve My Attention and Concentration?

Exercise 7.4: Dealing with Distracters

How Do I Seek Academic Help?

Do Students Have Different Motives for Communicating with Their Instructors?

How Can I Work More Effectively in Groups?

How Can I Help Make My Study Group More Productive?

How Can I Improve My Communication Skills?

Sending Messages Effectively

Receiving Messages Effectively

Key Points

Follow-Up Activities


Chapter 8 Learning from Textbooks

What Does Research Tell Us about Skillful Readers?

Exercise 8.1: Self-Observation: Assessing Reading Strategies

What Learning Strategies Can I Use to Improve My Reading Comprehension and Retention?

Before Reading

Exercise 8.2: Understanding the Importance of Prior Knowledge

During Reading

After Reading

How Can I Construct Representations?

Exercise 8.3: Representations in Academic Content

Exercise 8.4: Constructing Different Representations for the


Key Points

Follow-Up Activities

Chapter 9 Learning from Class

Exercise 9.1: Self-Observation: Analyzing Note-Taking Strategies

How Can I Take Better Class Notes?

Before Class

During Class

After Class

Exercise 9.2: Practicing the Note-Taking Strategy

How Can I Ask Good Mirror Questions?

Exercise 9.3: Identifying the Different Levels of Questions in Class

How Do I Deal with Particular Note-Taking Problems or Issues?

Key Points

Follow-Up Activities

Chapter 10 Preparing for Exams

Exercise 10.1: Self-Observation: Assessing Exam Preparation

How Do I Develop a Study Plan?

Step 1: Determine the Content Coverage and Question Format of

the Exam

Step 2: Organize and Separate the Content into Parts

Step 3: Identify Specific Study Strategies

Step 4: Identify the Amount of Time Needed for Each Strategy

Step 5: Allocate Time for Each Study Strategy in a Weekly Schedule

Step 6: Modify the Plan as Necessary

An Example of a Study Plan

Content Coverage and Question Format

Organize the Content for Study

Identify Specific Study Strategies

Identify the Amount of Time Needed for Each Strategy

Allocate Time for Each Study Strategy in a Monthly or Weekly Schedule

Key Points

Follow-Up Activities

Chapter 11 Taking Exams

Exercise 11.1: Self-Observation: Assessing Test-Taking Strategies

What Strategies Can I Use to Answer Objective Test Questions?

How Should You Manage Your Time?

How Should You Approach Each Question?

When Should You Change an Answer?

Strategies for True–False Questions

Exercise 11.2: Identifying Key Words

Strategies for Matching Questions

Strategies for Fill-in-the-Blank Questions

Strategies for Multiple-Choice Questions

Exercise 11.3: Taking a Multiple-Choice Exam

What Strategies Can I Use for Answering Essay Writing Prompts?

Read the Directions Carefully and Do Exactly What Is Asked

Read Each Prompt Carefully to Determine What Is Expected in

the Response

Determine How You Will Use Your Time

Determine the Order in Which You Will Respond to the Prompts

Organize Your Response by Making an Outline or Representation (Map)

Write Your Answer Following Specific Procedures

If Given an Opportunity, Review Your Exam Results

Evaluating the Two Essay Responses

Exercise 11.4: Evaluating Responses to an Essay Prompt

Key Points

Follow-Up Activities



Methods of Learning/Monitoring of Performance

Use of Time

Physical and Social Environment



Appendix A: A Guide for Completing a Self-Regulation Study

Appendix B: Examples of Self-Regulation Studies



Author Index

Subject Index

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