Self-explaining steps in problem-solving tasks to improve self-regulation in secondary education
The ability to learn in a self-regulated way is important for adolescents' academic achievements. Monitoring one's own learning is a prerequisite skill for successful self-regulated learning. However, accurate monitoring has been found to be difficult for adolescents, especially for learning problemsolving tasks such as can be found in math and biology. This study investigated whether a self-explaining strategy, which has been found effective for improving monitoring accuracy in learning from text, can improve monitoring and regulation-choice effectiveness, and problem-solving performance in secondary biology education. In 2 experiments, one half of the participants learned to solve biology problems by studying video-modeling examples, and the other one half learned by giving step-by-step selfexplanations following the video-modeling examples (Experiment 1) or by following the posttest problem-solving tasks (Experiment 2). Results showed that in contrast to earlier studies, self-explaining did not improve monitoring and regulation-choice effectiveness. However, the quality of selfexplanations was found to be related to monitoring accuracy and performance. Interestingly, the complexity of the problem-solving tasks affected monitoring and regulation-choice effectiveness, and problem-solving performance. These results are discussed in relation to the cognitive demands that monitoring and regulating learning to solve problems combined with self-explaining pose on learners.