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Self-regulation skills help students concentrate on learning. Self-regulation is the ability to alter and regulate our emotional and behavioral responses flexibly in order to meet a given goal. Self-regulation is a limited capacity resource meaning that it can become depleted over the course of the task or day, or can become drained when learners are spending much of their energy working to focus.
Self-regulation includes recognizing our behavioral responses and aligning them with standards, such as social expectations. Students who can successfully self-regulate their behaviors accomplish this by flexibly monitoring and inhibiting emotions, attention, motivation, actions, or impulses in pursuit of a goal. It is important to note that the perception of appropriate behavior in learning environments may be influenced by dominant social norms in a culture and may not match learners' own cultural norms, attitudes, and beliefs.
Self-regulation can be broken down into three main components:
This type of self-discipline is a strong predictor of positive academic outcomes in adults who are typically in more self-directed instructional settings. These settings (e.g., online, college, community programs, workplace) may offer different levels of support or structure for learners. Adults with Learning Disabilities may experience difficulty with Self-regulation in certain contexts, including the classroom or workplace. The strategies learners employ for studying may also vary by learning context; for example, workplace learning may benefit from being built into employees' individual development plans.