Exploring online graduate students’ responses to online self-regulation training

Karee Dunn
University of Tennessee

Glenda Rakes
University of Tennessee at Martin


In this study, online graduate students participated in four brief online self-regulatory trainings for self-efficacy, achievement goal orientation, learning strategies, and attributional thinking. These variables are critical to success in learning environments, but perhaps even more so in the online academic environment (Rakes, Dunn, & Rakes, 2013). Self-regulation also plays an important role in curtailing dropout rates that tend to be high for online classes and programs (Lee & Choi, 2011, 2014). Trainings included brief explanations of these variables and self-reflection activities. After the completion of the course, students were asked to reflect upon the impact of the trainings on their self-regulatory abilities. Qualitative analyses identified student-perceived self-regulatory strengths and weaknesses. Moreover, findings revealed that these online students believed they improved with regard to these self-regulatory weaknesses after completing the four brief online trainings. The findings of the current study suggest that with limited effort, online instructors may help the understudied population of online graduate students improve upon these essential learning variables.

About the Author(s)...

Karee E. Dunn is an Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Her research interests include self-regulation in post-secondary students and teacher adoption of new innovations. She teaches undergraduate and graduate level educational psychology courses in traditional classroom and online formats. E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Glenda C. Rakes is a Professor of Educational Studies at the University of Tennessee at Martin. Her research interests include the role of self-regulation in successful online learning and teacher adoption of technology-based innovations in their classrooms. She teaches online graduate research and technology courses.

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