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Self-regulated learning in a college course: Examining student metacognitive study strategies, grit, self-efficacy, and performance

Zepeda, Cristina (2018) Self-regulated learning in a college course: Examining student metacognitive study strategies, grit, self-efficacy, and performance. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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A goal of cognitive and educational psychology is to understand how people learn. Much progress has been made in separately identifying the motivations and learning strategies that impact student learning. However, it is unclear how these motivations and strategies relate with each other over time. The goal of this dissertation was to integrate and expand upon these separate lines of prior work in an educational context, the college classroom. In the first part of this dissertation, I examined the types of study strategies students reported prior to three separate exams and their subsequent exam performance. Students spontaneously reported using a variety of study strategies. Only a subset of those strategies was related to exam performance and those relations differed across the exams. In the second part, I examined the relation of these study strategies within a self-regulated learning framework. Specifically, I investigated the relations amongst students’ grit, study strategies, exam performances, and self-efficacy for the course. Student’s initial grit was positively related to using more constructive strategies, self-efficacy for the course, and exam performance. However, the relation between grit and exam performance was mediated by more proximal factors such as constructive strategy use. This finding suggests that although grit is associated with beneficial learning outcomes, it is mediated by other more proximal factors. In the third part, I evaluated whether these relations held true when a students’ ethnic background (minority vs. majority) was entered as a moderator. There was a trend in which some of the relations between grit and performance were not present for students from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds. Taken together, this work suggests that a student does not have to be gritty to be self-regulated as the use of constructive strategies and self-efficacy beliefs can assist students in obtaining those outcomes, especially for students from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Zepeda, Cristinacdz7@pitt.educdz7000-0001-8081-5805
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairNokes-Malach, Timothynokes@pitt.edu0000-0001-9707-1726
Committee MemberSchunn, Christianschunn@pitt.edu0000-0003-3589-297X
Committee MemberWallace, Tannertwallace@pitt.edu0000-0001-9668-4061
Committee MemberFraundorf, Scottsfraundo@pitt.edu0000-0002-0738-476X
Date: 26 September 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 26 April 2018
Approval Date: 26 September 2018
Submission Date: 9 July 2018
Access Restriction: 2 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 2 years.
Number of Pages: 169
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Metacognition, motivation, self-regulated learning, study strategies
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2018 23:25
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2020 05:15

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