Student Voices engaging within a CLIL LMS impacting on self-regulation and the uptake of learning strategies

Year: 2018

Author: Freihofner, Ulla

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Little research has focused on student perspectives and experiences regarding student motivation, self-regulated learning and self-efficacy beliefs initiated by a learning management system (LMS) design in combination with technological tool-use and their application in a content and language integrated learning (CLIL) environment. Empirical research has mainly reported on the delivery of content knowledge and less on pedagogy involved using electronic learning technologies. How children handle this learning has been largely overlooked (Schraw & Robinson, 2008; Bonnet, 2012). Therefore, this study affords students expert status as informants for the understanding of future educational practices and the design of online learning spaces following suggestion from Mockler & Groundwater-Smith (2015) who argue for dialogic conditions incorporating the consultation of students to contribute to human capital in democratic ways (Mockler & Groundwater-Smith, 2015). Accordingly, this study investigated how student’s translanguaging practices (using German and English in a CLIL setting teaching Biology) contribute to the self-regulation of their learning and LMS use. Data were collected via voice recordings, a student designed questionnaire and focus group interviews with 22 Year 9 students who studied 18 Biology lessons during 6 weeks, and over two consecutive years.
The study revealed that students’ self-regulatory practices developed in specific ways through the exposure to scientific open inquiry processes in a bilingual LMS setting.  By engaging, for example, with unknown terms in German the students were motivated to search for translations and then further self-initiated and self-regulated research took place to find explanations online. Students favoured the teacher prepared German language biology content in guided customised simulations using computer software in comparison to their own self-initiated practices. The tool-use also appeared to be reliant on students’ prior disposition and student’s access to social language genre’s facilitating this type of learning. Thus, the results of this study have implications for the future design of customization of online learning spaces for high school students and educators in bilingual settings as well as in other fields.