Convergence Of The Virtual And The Living Realities: A Constructivist Grounded Theory On University Students’ Self-Regulated Learning

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Abstract

Studies of informal learning at universities have indicated that social online network Facebook is used for learning purposes. Understanding of self-regulated academic learning processes in which students and their instructors are involved is very important for successful application and use of online social networks in university teaching and learning. This aims to reveal the learning that takes place in online social networks beyond the boundaries of universities such as Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin and related. Research object is the conditions and strategies of self-regulated learning of university students. Research question in this study is the following: “What situations, actions, interactions and consequences construct the content of self-regulated learning in a social network account?” The methodology of constructivist Grounded theory was implemented in the study. The theoretical sampling was conducted in order to involve the research participants into the study and receive the answers to the research question. For data collection were used the individual semi-structured interviews. Convergence of the virtual and the living realities is the core of university student’s self-regulated learning within the virtual space. In total in the study participated 12 research participants. Findings showed that convergence of the virtual and living realities explains university students’ self-regulated learning within the two contexts: the first, academic communication and the second, virtual learning. Self-regulated learning is affected and formed by the learner dependent and the organization dependent conditions. Two learning contexts emerged from analysis of our research data: virtual learning and academic communication. University students SRL strategies can be separated into two categories: self- oriented strategies and strategies, oriented towards others. The research findings revealed four types of intervening factors: technological, image formation, personal and psychosocial. By concluding it could be highlighted that professors and instructors are important players in the process of self-regulated learning of university students. The data grounded in the voices of academics, instructors and administrative staff can provide a deeper understanding of students’ self-regulated learning and enrich the learning results.

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