The four studies presented in this dissertation aimed to examine which aspects of self-regulated learning (think of planning, time management, and motivation) best predict academic performance in higher education, and whether and how self-regulated learning might be improved for better academic performance.
Study 1 (Chapter 2) resulted in an overview of self-regulatory processes (SRPs), such as planning, monitoring, and motivation, for effective learning in higher education.
In Studies 2 and 3 (Chapters 3 and 4) a certain subset of SRPs was established that most strongly predicts freshmen retention (Study 2) and freshmen performance (Study 3; delay/leaving versus first-year completion): metacognitive strategies (consisting of planning, monitoring, and time management), attention, motivation, and effort. Furthermore, critical thinking was found to predict freshmen leaving.
In Study 3 (Chapter 4), it was concluded that freshmen-rated SRPs were predictive of whether they would delay or leave the educational program during their first year of study. At the same time, mentor-rated SRPs were found to be predictive of which freshmen would complete their first year of study in time, but less of which freshmen would delay/leave. Therefore, a self-assessment of freshmen entrance-level SRPs is considered to be helpful for mentors to identify shortcomings in their freshmen SRPs, and for intervening for better SRPs, better freshmen retention, and for better freshmen performance (delay/leaving versus first-year completion).
Based on the findings of Study 4 (Chapter 5), it was concluded that the degree to stay focused during training (attention) and planning, monitoring, and time management (metacognitive strategies) indeed can be improved by recommending freshmen and their mentors interventions based on freshmen self-assessed entrance level SRPs: attention and metacognitive strategies. In addition, there are indications that freshmen retention was improved by means of the intervention as conducted in Study 4.

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M.Ph. Born (Marise) , W. Schoonman (Wouter)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Department of Industrial and Organizational Psychology

de Bruijn-Smolders, M. (2017, November 16). Self-Regulated Learning and Academic Performance : a Study among Freshmen. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from