The aim of the intervention based on the selfregulation theory by Zimmerman (2000) was to promote a powerful learning environment for supporting selfregulated learning by using learning materials. In the study, primary school teachers were asked to implement specific learning materials into their regular mathematics lessons in grade four. These learning materials focused on particular (meta)cognitive and motivational components of selfregulated learning and were subdivided into six units, with which the students of the experimental group were asked to deal with on a weekly basis. The evaluation was based on a quasiexperimental pre/postcontrolgroup design combined with a time series design. Altogether, 135 fourth graders participated in the study. The intervention was evaluated by a selfregulated learning questionnaire, mathematics test, and process data gathered through structured learning diaries for a period of six weeks. The results revealed that students with the selfregulated learning training maintained their level of selfreported selfregulated learning activities from pre to posttest, whereas a significant decline was observed for the control students. Regarding students’ mathematical achievement, a slightly greater improvement was found for the students with selfregulated learning training.
According to Boekaerts et al. [
Regarding theories and models of selfregulation, there are different approaches to describe the construct. Some models regard selfregulation as consisting of different layers (e.g., [
As components of the
In the next phase—the
Another important component of the performance phase concerns the ability of selfobservation, which is described as the systematic observation and documentation of thoughts, feelings, and actions regarding goal attainment [
Subsequent to the performance phase, the completion of a task is the initial point of the
Phases and processes of selfregulation [
As selfregulated learning has become a key construct in education in recent years because of its importance in influencing learning and achievement in school and beyond [
The abovementioned studies represent different approaches to enhance selfregulated learning by training either students themselves or other relevant persons, such as teachers or parents. Thereby, selfregulated learning was combined with different academic subjects such as reading comprehension, text understanding or mathematical modelling, and problemsolving. This approach is in line with the results of a metaanalysis conducted by Hattie et al. [
As the intervention was designed in order to improve selfregulated learning strategies of fourth grade students, the purpose of the study dealt with the influence of selfregulated learning interventions on students’ selfregulated learning. In addition, an effect was expected on students’ mathematics achievement because the intervention was conducted with respect to mathematical contents and conducted during regular mathematics lessons. In the framework of the study, a training to improve selfregulated learning was developed and implemented into regular mathematics lessons for a period of six weeks. In this process, the teachers received learning materials and instructions on how to train their students. It was expected that training particular selfregulatory processes could have an effect on students’ selfregulated learning. Longitudinally, there should be an increase in selfregulated learning strategies in the trained group compared to the control group. In detail, the variables goal setting, strategic planning, intrinsic value, attention focusing, and causal attribution, as well as selfregulated learning, should be enhanced in the experimental group. As the training was linked to the contents of the mathematics curriculum, an effect of the intervention on the mathematical achievement of the trained students was expected, too. There should be found a stronger increase in mathematics achievement in the trained group compared to the control group. As the training effects were expected to be stable, there should be no significant changes of variables between posttest and followup measurement in the experimental group.
Beyond the pre/posttests, the students of the experimental group were also asked to complete a structured diary task addressing their selfregulated learning. Therefore, process data could be analyzed by means of interrupted time series analyses. With regard to the trained variables goal setting, strategic planning, intrinsic value, attention focusing, and causal attribution, intervention effects were assumed. In addition, it was expected that variables, which were not part of the training but dealt with within the diary, improved over the intervention period. This should be the case for the variables selfefficacy, selfrecording, and selfevaluation as well as for selfregulated learning in general.
The study was conducted in seven German primary schools with altogether 135 fourth graders. The participation was voluntary and the students’ legal guardians were asked for their consent. In the experimental group (EG), 63 students took part, whereas 72 students were assigned to the control group. The mean age of the participants was 9.26 (
The study was evaluated by a time series design combined with a longitudinal design, including pretesting and posttesting of an experimental group (EG) and a control group (CG). The experimental group was trained in selfregulated learning and each student was asked to fill out a learning diary for the duration of the training. The control group was a group receiving neither training nor diaries.
Based on the study of Perels et al. [
The learning materials focused on the abovementioned strategies and were differentiated between six units. Each of these units—excluding the first—referred to one particular selfregulated learning strategy. In order to impart these selfregulatory contents to the students in a playful and childoriented manner, a fictitious character named Kalli Klug was developed with which the students could identify themselves, and which guided them through the different units. The first unit aimed to introduce the fictitious character to the students; therefore, a onepage profile of Kalli Klug was handed out to the students. The students learned that the character was an endearing bear of the age of nine, which had learned several strategies that helped him to improve his learning behavior and who wanted to relay this information to the students. In this context, a learning diary was introduced as one method to optimize learning behavior. The contents of units 2 and 3 were related to cognitive and metacognitive strategies. In detail, the third unit of the learning materials includes cognitive and metacognitive strategies because the students were asked to apply particular cognitive learning strategies such as organizing as well as metacognitive strategies like comprehension monitoring. The units 4 and 6 dealt with motivational strategies, such as selfmotivation and favorable attributional styles. The fifth unit focused on volitional strategies, such as attention focusing. Table
Overview of the contents of the different units.
Session/unit  Content 

1st unit  Introduction of Kalli Klug/learning diary 
2nd unit  Goal setting 
3rd unit  Strategic planning 
4th unit  Intrinsic value 
5th unit  Attention focusing 
6th unit  Causal attribution 
Every unit was designed for the duration of one lesson (45 minutes). The teachers received the learning materials in the form of units according to the number of students in the classroom and the instruction plans on how to impart the contents. Additionally, they received supporting documents which explained the theoretical background of the units. Every unit followed the same procedure: each began with a short repetition of the preceding unit. Then, the teachers demonstrated a new problem with which the character had been confronted (e.g., how to deal with distractions that restrict one from learning). Following this, the students had to think about this problem and find strategies to solve the problem. Alternatively, they learned the strategies which the character used in order to solve the problem by itself. In addition, the students had to transfer these strategies to their own learning behavior. The units finished with a task that had to be done for homework.
The teachers were asked to work on these learning materials together with their students during their regular mathematics lessons. In order to support the implementation of the contents, the teachers received instructions with recommendations for proceeding. It was the teachers’ task to transfer these interdisciplinary strategies to the mathematical contents of their lessons. For example, the second unit focused on goal setting. The students learned how to set goals and were prompted to set their personal goals for their mathematics learning for the following week. Therefore, it can be said that the teachers were actively and personally involved in the implementation of the training.
The learning materials were made available to the teachers a week before the official start of the training. As the students had to work on one unit per week, there was enough time for the teachers to familiarize themselves with the learning materials. Further support was available in the form of a mentor, available at a teacher’s discretion [
Within the framework of the study, a questionnaire was used to measure fourth grade students’ selfregulated learning. A first version of this questionnaire was tested and revised in a pilot survey with a parallel student target group (
Overview of the scales of the selfregulated learning questionnaire regarding the sources, authors, and changes.
Scale  Changes  Source  Author 

Goal setting  Simplified formulation of the items  SELVES  Otto [ 
Strategic planning  Simplified formulation of the items 
SELVES  Otto [ 
Intrinsic value  Simplified formulation of the items  Otto [  
Attention focusing  Simplified formulation of the items 
SELVES  Otto [ 
Selfrecording  Simplified formulation of the items  SELVES  Otto [ 
Selfevaluation  Simplified formulation of the items  SELVES  Otto [ 
Causal attribution  Simplified formulation of the items 
Bruder [ 
Reliabilities of the selfregulated learning questionnaire.
Phase  Scale 

Cronbach’s alpha  

Pretest  Posttest  Followup  
Forethought phase  Goal setting  4  .54  .61  .74 
(e.g. “Before I start with a mathematics task, I plan how to begin”)  Strategic planning  3  .58  .71  .65 
Intrinsic value  6  .80  .85  .79  
Performance or volitional control  Attention focusing  6  .76  .79  .74 
(e.g. “When doing a complex mathematics task, I control whether my proceeding is reasonable”)  Selfrecording  3  .65  .76  .81 
Selfreflection  Selfevaluation  4  .56  .80  .71 
(e.g. “If I failed a mathematics task, I reflect on what to change next time”)  Causal attribution  5  .67  .65  .58 
Overall scale  Selfregulated learning  31  .90  .92  .88 
The questionnaire was applied during regular classes and instructed by qualified experimenters in a standardized way. On the one hand, the questionnaire was designed to represent the several contents of the units; on the other, the instrument was developed with respect to the phases and processes of Zimmerman’s selfregulation model [
In order to measure selfregulated learning on the state level, the students of the experimental group were also asked to fill out paperandpencil diaries for a period of six weeks. The items of the diary had to be filled out before and after performing homework tasks and were related to items of other instruments, which were already developed in this context (see [
A splithalf reliability was calculated (oddeven coefficient) by dividing the days for each person into two groups, one with even numbers and one with odd numbers. The mean values of each person were correlated for the variables. Table
Splithalf reliabilities of diary scales, evaluated with the oddeven method.
Scale 


Forethought phase  
Goal setting  .92 
Strategic planning  .69 
Intrinsic value  .95 
Selfefficacy  .96 
Volitional control phase  
Attention focusing  .90 
Selfrecording  .93 
Selfreflection phase  
Selfevaluation  .95 
Causal attribution  .83 
All items:
Additionally, the students had to work on a standardized mathematics test [
As the training was carried out by teachers, it was interesting to measure teachers’ evaluation of the learning materials including the instructions. The teachers’ assessments of the learning materials were used as an indicator for the implementation of the materials. Therefore, a kind of teacher’s register was handed out to teachers in order to evaluate each unit regarding design, applicability, and comprehensibility. With respect to a teacher’s daily work routine, the evaluation system followed the German system of notation (1:
Following the succession of the hypotheses, the results of the longitudinal data are reported firstly followed by the tests of time series hypotheses.
The research questions postulated that training on selfregulated learning leads to an improvement of selfregulated learning variables. We expected no changes for the untrained group (control group). The differences between the experimental group and control group were calculated by means of analyses of variance, with time as a repeated measurement factor. As it was not possible to randomly assign the students to the conditions, the pretest differences were controlled first. Regarding selfregulated learning variables, significant pretest differences between the groups were found for the scales strategic planning,
Descriptive data of the selfregulated learning variables and results for the interaction time × training.
DV 



time * training  Group  Pretest  Posttest 



Overall scale  
Selfregulated learning  CG  3.16 (.40)  3.02 (.58)  1, 133  6.58*  .05 
EG  3.12 (.42)  3.16 (.50)  
Scales  
Goal setting  CG  3.42 (.45)  3.42 (.48)  1, 133  3.99*  .03 
EG  3.29 (.55)  3.46 (.52)  
Strategic planning^{a}  CG  3.38 (.55)  3.16 (.71)  1, 133  5.74*  .04 
EG  3.12 (.62)  3.28 (.59)  
Intrinsic value  CG  3.17 (.64)  2.96 (.71)  1, 133  6.68*  .05 
EG  3.35 (.66)  3.37 (.64)  
Attention focusing  CG  3.24 (.50)  3.13 (.56)  1, 133  .95  .01 
EG  3.26 (.60)  3.25 (.65)  
Selfrecording^{a}  CG  3.33 (.59)  3.08 (.78)  1, 133  4.51*  .03 
EG  3.12 (.64)  3.20 (.66)  
Selfevaluation  CG  2.88 (.68)  2.86 (.79)  1, 133  .03  .00 
EG  2.94 (.61)  2.90 (.85)  
Causal attribution  CG  3.08 (.67)  3.00 (.64)  1, 133  1.19  .01 
EG  3.06 (.61)  3.12 (.61) 
CG: control group (
^{ a}Because of pretest differences, MANCOVA with pretest values as covariate was conducted.
*
Regarding the overall scale selfregulated learning, there was a small nonsignificant increase among the students of the experimental group, whereas a significant decline was found for the students of the control group,
Interaction time × group for the overall scale selfregulated learning as well as for mathematical achievement. Mathematical achievement measures could take values from 0 to 10; selfregulated learning was rated on a fourpoint scale.
Regarding the mathematical competencies of the students, the experimental group as well as the control group should improve their mathematics achievement because both groups were continuously taught in mathematics. However, the experimental group should benefit from training on selfregulated learning strategies in terms of a greater increase in their mathematics achievement. The results of the
In addition, it was examined if a training effect could be found. As there were significant pretest differences between the groups of the overall measure (sum over all tasks of the test), an analysis of variance was conducted with pretest values as covariate. The results showed no significant training effect.
The students of the experimental group received the same questionnaire again in order to measure the stability of the training’s effect after a period of twelve months. The data of the variables should be stable, which means that no significant additional effects were expected and that the values should not decrease significantly. Therefore, the assumption that there were no changes regarding goal setting, strategic planning, intrinsic value, selfrecording, selfevaluation, attention focusing, causal attribution, and the overall scale selfregulated learning was tested and the alphalevel was increased to 20% [
Results of the



Scale  Posttest  Followup 




Goal setting  3.47 (.51)  3.44 (.53)  57  .49  .62  .15 
Strategic planning  3.29 (.58)  3.16 (.60)  57  1.41  .16  .18 
Intrinsic value  3.39 (.62)  3.46 (.55)  57  −.84  .40  .11 
Attention focusing  3.27 (.62)  3.15 (.53)  57  1.69  .10  .21 
Selfrecording^{b}  3.21 (.67)  3.06 (.73)  57  1.63  .11  .22 
Selfevaluation  2.93 (.83)  2.83 (.76)  57  .92  .36  .12 
Causal attribution  3.11 (.61)  3.04 (.61)  57  .65  .52  .09 
Overall scale  
Selfregulated learning  3.16 (.46)  3.08 (.40)  57  1.49  .14  .19 
^{ a}−indicates an increase, +indicates a decrease.
In order to describe the training evaluation based on process data of the experimental group, interrupted time series were conducted for the trained selfregulated learning variables related to the units of the learning materials and trend analyses were conducted for the untrained variables selfefficacy, selfrecording, and selfevaluation. As 70% of the diaries were filled out with more than 22 data points (>73%), data for the variables of the learning diary were aggregated from 44 students and included into analyses. Therefore, the mean of the variable computed across all participants could be generated for each day. In order to examine the training effects for the components related to the units based on the learning diary data, a multiple baseline design was used and interrupted time series analyses were conducted. Step functions were expected to show an immediate impact and to continue over the long term. In order to analyze ARMA processes, the residuals were used [
In Table
Results of the interruption time series analysis to examine the effects of the intervention.



ARMA models  ARMA 
 

Kickoff: baseline  
1st unit: goal setting  2.91  .66  4.64**  W.N.  
2nd unit: strategic planning  3.39  .18  .98  W.N.  
3rd unit: intrinsic value  3.12  .45  2.65*  W.N.  
4th unit: attention focusing  3.48  .11  .58  W.N.  
5th unit: causal attribution  3.61  −.24  −1.31  AR (1,0)  .68  4.86** 
*
The results showed that after the first training unit, students reported having been able to improve their goal setting strategies (
Additionally, trend analyses were conducted for the variables that were not explicitly trained but should have been influenced by the intervention. Because of the reactivity effect (see [
Trajectory and linear trend for selfregulated learning measured on a fourpoint scale.
The teachers’ assessment of the learning materials regarding their design, application, and comprehensibility ranged between 1.60 and 1.67 (design:
The aim of the intervention was the enhancement of fourth grade students’ selfregulated learning by working on interdisciplinary teaching materials, which were related to particular strategies of Zimmerman’s selfregulation model [
Regarding the results within the groups, it could be pointed out that the overall scale selfregulated learning did not change in the expected direction. Instead of a significant increase for the experimental group, there was a significant decrease for the control group, whereas for the experimental group the overall scale remained stable. Regarding the experimental group, this result for the overall scale was supported by the results of the scales strategic planning, intrinsic value, attention focusing, selfrecording, selfevaluation, and causal attribution. Except for the scale goal setting, a significant increase was found as expected. For the control group, the results of the scales strategic planning, intrinsic value, and selfrecording showed a significant decline as did the overall scale selfregulated learning. Twelve months after training, the students of the experimental group filled out the same questionnaire again, in order to measure stability of intervention effects. There should be no significant change of the data according to an increase or decline. The results show that all scales were stable after a period of twelve months.
Besides the improvement in students’ selfregulated learning, we also expected an effect with respect to students’ mathematical achievement. As the learning materials were related to mathematical contents and implemented during regular mathematics lessons, we dealt with the question of whether there was a supportive effect of selfregulated learning on students’ mathematics achievement [
On the level of process data, interrupted time series analyses indicated an increase in value of some of the trained variables in the expected direction after the training. In detail, this was the case for the variable goal setting after the second unit, as well as for the variable intrinsic value after the fourth unit. Regarding strategic planning, attention focusing, and causal attribution no significant changes were found. Additionally, linear trends were performed for the nontrained variables selfefficacy, selfrecording, and selfevaluation, as well as for the overall scale selfregulated learning. Although these variables were not part of the training, the students had to answer items corresponding to them by filling out the diary each day. Therefore, we expected an influence in terms of the reactivity effect [
In summary, the results lead to the assumption that the learning materials seemed to be beneficial with regard to fourth grade students’ selfregulated learning and mathematics achievement. However, the results of the pretest and posttest measurements for selfregulated learning have to be discussed critically. Regarding the experimental group, there was only a small, nonsignificant increase found for the overall scale and the scales strategic planning, intrinsic value, attention focusing, selfrecording, selfevaluation, and causal attribution. Additionally, no interaction effects were found for the variables attention focusing, selfevaluation, and causal attribution. As the variables selfrecording and selfevaluation were not involved as part of the training, this result was not unexpected. Obviously, it was not possible to improve these variables by training other specific processes of selfregulated learning. With respect to the other variables, the lack of effects was not expected. It can be discussed as to whether there was enough time to practice and transfer the strategies of these units, which were very complex. The students worked on the teaching materials for the duration of one lesson per week and had to deal with one task per training session. It would probably have been useful if the students had worked on more than one task during each training session to make sure that they transferred the learned strategies to their everyday work. Furthermore, it may be possible that the imparted strategies initially interfere with already existing strategies [
Moreover, there are limiting factors and unanswered questions regarding this study: for the assessment of selfregulated learning, only selfreport methods (questionnaire and learning diary) were used. These selfreport methods only measured students’ evaluation of their use of strategies, but not their actual use [
Additionally, there is another question concerning the measurement of selfregulated learning. By using learning diaries, we were able to assess and analyze students’ selfregulated learning on a daily basis. Following Schmitz and Wiese [
Another limitation concerns the state aspect of Zimmerman’s model [
Furthermore, the implementation of the developed learning materials has to be discussed because the contents of the units were imparted by the teachers themselves. From the teachers’ point of view, the learning materials and the instructions were evaluated as very good to good with respect to design, applicability, and comprehensibility. Furthermore, the teachers estimated the motivation of their students while working on the learning materials to be very positive. These estimations indicate that the developed teaching materials could be successfully implemented in the regular classroom situation. In fact, an innovation such as these learning materials can be evaluated as being successfully introduced as soon as the teachers have adopted it [
Another limitation refers to the question of how the students were assigned to the experimental and the control group. As the learning materials needed to be implemented by teachers into students’ regular learning environment, it was not possible to realize a randomized assignment of the students to experimental and control group. Therefore, students’ pretest values of selfregulated learning and mathematical achievement were controlled.
Finally, the significant interaction effect for the overall scale selfregulated learning and the scales goal setting, intrinsic value, strategic planning, and selfrecording mainly occurred due to the significant decline of the control group. This decline was not expected and cannot be explained in the framework of this study. For further intervention research, it might be worthwhile to assess more information concerning the control group.
In this context, it also might be of interest to design an intervention which involves more or even all of the postulated strategies of Zimmerman’s selfregulation model [
In summary, present findings show that it is possible to maintain a rather high level of selfregulated learning by using selfregulated learning materials which were implemented by teachers. To our opinion it is worth emphasizing that the embedding of specific selfregulated learning strategies into regular mathematics lessons was not at the cost of students’ mathematical achievement, but supported it. Thus, it might be assumed that if an improvement of students’ selfregulated learning occurs, this improvement might be related to improvements in mathematical achievement. Further studies should investigate if and under what conditions this assumption holds true. Therefore, the learning materials should be optimized and the evaluation instruments adapted to other subjects.
The present study implies practical consequences of creating powerful learning environments for supporting selfregulated learning. As the results show, it is possible to embed selfregulated learning strategies in regular lessons by using interdisciplinary learning materials. As selfregulated learning represents an important factor for academic and lifelong learning [
This research was supported by grants from the DFG (German Research Foundation).