Virtual learning lab title - Becoming an expert learner

8 Essential Lessons, Unit 2: How Beliefs/Behaviors Influence Learning


Educational research has indicated that learners’ self-perceptions about learning play an important role in determining their academic success. Self-perceptions refer to the attitudes, values, and beliefs that students bring to the learning environment. For example, some students have the belief that procrastination is a personality trait that can't be changed. Other students believe that changes in personal behavior can reduce procrastination and lead to the attainment of certain goals

Academic success in college requires the use of certain learning and motivational strategies. Dembo and Seli (2008) point out that successful learners are not simply individuals who know more than others. They also possess more effective learning strategies for accessing and using their knowledge, can motivate themselves, and can make changes in their behavior when they have difficulty learning.

You learned in Unit 1 that educators describe these students as self-regulated. Learners with self-regulation skills find a way to learn and remove obstacles that interfere with their learning. Before you learn how to self-regulate your behavior, you must first be able to observe and evaluate your present academic behavior. This task is very important. Self-reflection is an essential basis for identifying your strengths, weaknesses and areas you want to develop.

In addition, you may determine that you need to acquire some new learning strategies to help you succeed in college. Another component of this unit is to help you self-observe and self-evaluate your present academic learning and motivational strategies.

Unit Objectives

At the end of this unit, you should be able to:

  1. Evaluate your self-perceptions about learning and motivation.
  2. Discuss how self-perceptions can impact academic success.
  3. Evaluate your academic strengths and weaknesses.
  4. Strengthen academic weaknesses by learning new strategies needed to attain academic, vocational, and personal goals.