Self-regulated learning

Being able to learn in a self-directed or self-regulated way is considered a key competence of great relevance throughout one’s entire educational career. It is positively associated with learning success and achievement. Self-regulated learning (SRL) competences are considered particularly essential during university studies and working life, where tasks, content and the learning environment tend to be largely unstructured. SRL means that learners independently set goals for their learning process, select and apply strategies to obtain these goals, monitor their learning process, evaluate the outcomes of their actions, and are able to put this knowledge to use in future learning. SRL is especially important in challenging situations.

SRL does not necessarily develop with age, and many studies show that school and university students frequently exhibit deficits; they particularly have problems actually applying their knowledge of learning strategies. Thus, targeted support is needed to develop SRL competences, ideally beginning in primary school.

Our research examines SRL from two different perspectives. First, we are interested in what school and university students know about SRL strategies and whether and why they (do not) apply this knowledge in everyday learning, in the sense of transfer. Are there inter-individual differences in this regard? How can we successfully motivate university students to apply productive strategies? Second, we are interested in how SRL can be promoted by teachers and appropriate instructional designs in the school context. Here, the goal of our research is to empower teachers with the ability to promote SRL in the classroom.


PRO-SRL-TRANSFER: Transfer project for product- and process-oriented modeling and recording of competencies for self-regulated learning in studies - subproject Vienna

  • Project management: Marko Lüftenegger, Barbara Schober & Christiane Spiel
  • Project staff: Elisabeth Pelikan
  • Funding: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research

PRO-SRL-EVA: Product- and process-oriented modeling and assessment of competencies for self-regulated learning in higher education - Extended validations with focus on competence-performance-assessment - Subproject Vienna

  • Project management: Barbara Schober & Christiane Spiel
  • Project staff: Nora Först
  • Funding: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Promoting and diagnosing lifelong learning (LLL) in schools. Development of an ecologically valid diagnostic instrument for the assessment of LLL mediation competencies of teachers

  • Project management: Christiane Spiel & Barbara Schober
  • Funding: Anniversary Fund of the Austrian National Bank


Först, N. M., Jöstl, G., Spiel, C., & Schober, B. (2017). Knowledge versus Action: Discrepancies in University Students’ Knowledge about and Self-Reported Use of Self-Regulated Learning Strategies. Frontiers in Psychology. 8:1288. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01288

Klug, J., Lüftenegger, M., Bergsmann, E., Spiel, C., & Schober B (2016). Secondary school students' LLL competencies, and their relation with classroom structure and achievement. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 680. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00680

Panadero, E., Klug, J., & Järvelä, S. (2015). Third wave of measurement in the self-regulated learning field: when measuring and intervening come hand in hand. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 1-13. doi: 10.1080/00313831.2015.1066436

Dresel, M., Schmitz, B., Schober, B., Spiel, C., Ziegler, A., Engelschalk, T., Jöstl, G., Klug, J., Roth, A., Steuer, G. & Wimmer, B. (2015). Competencies for successful self-regulated learning in higher education: Conceptual model and empirical evidence from expert interviews. Studies in Higher Education, 1-17. doi: 10.1080/03075079.2015.1004236

Schober, B., Klug, J., Jöstl, G., Spiel, C., Dresel, M., Steuer, G., Schmitz, B., & Ziegler, A. (2015). Gaining substantial new insights into University Students’ SRL-Competences – What do we need to succeed? In S. Blömeke, J.E. Jan-Eric Gustafsson, and R. Shavelson: Special Issue Assessment of Competencies in Higher Education. Journal of Pychology, 222 (1), 64-65. doi: 10.1027/2151-2604/a000201

Klug, J., Krause, N., Schober, B., Finsterwald, M., & Spiel, C. (2014). How do Teachers Promote their Students’ Lifelong Learning in Class? Development and First Application of the LLL-Interview. Teaching and Teacher Education, 37, 119-129. doi: 10.1016/j.tate.2013.09.004

Wagner, P., Schober, B., Gradinger, P., Reimann, R., & Spiel, C. (2010). E−Learning unterstützte Förderung von selbstreguliertem Lernen an der Universität. Zeitschrift für Pädagogische Psychologie, 24, 289−303. doi: 10.1024/1010-0652/a000022