Self-regulated Learners: Masters of Their Own Learning: Part 5

Photo credit: A. McKenzie

I am now about halfway through working through my inquiry project for PME 800. Here is an update.

Additional Resources for Inquiry Project

There are a lot of mountain biking (MTB) videos out there. Some are down right scary in so many ways! Luckily I found a whole series of MTB videos that are produced by Global Mountain Bike Network that are really solid in regards to technique and recommendations for being safe on your bike.

Here are the ones I have been focusing on:

Building Confidence MB video

Top 10 Ways to build confidence video

MB handling tips video

How to ride a pump track video

Beginner Guide to Riding Roots

10 MTB Tips for Beginners

How to corner with confidence video

Here are some articles

6 Ways to Gain Mountain Biking Confidence (article)

The article below (not about MTB) is a really interesting read from a university prof  (UMD) that did an 8 year research project on promoting self-regulation and critical reflection with her students. (I used it to help me think about self-reflection questions I wanted to ask myself following every ride in my journal). 

Promoting Self regulation and Critical Reflection article (Jenson,2011)      htt

This article is about MTB but was another interesting read  (research article) about why people ride.

Why Do You Ride?: A Characterization of Mountain Bikers, Their Engagement Methods, and Perceived Links to Mental Health and Well-Being 

People resources:

Rachel (my daughter)

She has been MTB riding since she was 11 (so for 13 years now). She can MTB anything and is a great support and mentor. She has also worked hard to overcome some serious very injuries; she understands what it means to face the fear of MTB.

What is going well for me? 

I am on track with meeting proximal goals and should therefore be on track for meeting distal goal. The strategies I have been applying to help me meet proximal learning goals have been effective in helping me develop the skills I require to be effective at MTB the easier trails in my area; there has been a reduction in the scared scale ratings following trail rides from 4 down to a 1-3 and I am getting faster completing the MTB trail rides (I am faster riding up and coming down).

Where are areas where I am struggling?

My old truck broke down and will not be available for at least another 2-3 weeks, thereby limiting accessibility to trails and hindering bike transportation (my other vehicle is a very small car). I have therefore needed to come up with alternative arrangements like leaving my bike (30 km away where most of the trails are) at my daughter’s place or, stuffing my bike in my car provided I am driving alone (I need to take both wheels off of the bike to get it in and put all the remaining seats down). This has limited when and where I can ride and requires more coordination with my husband as he needs the car as well.

One of my strategies I had come up with was to ride with a variety of different people to make riding fun and social. Unfortunately, my son came to visit last week and badly sprained his ankle MTB with me on his 2nd day here. A friend has been very busy and will now be away for 3 weeks. My husband has a MTB that is in need of repairs and is not able to have it fixed at this time. This has meant that I am riding alone or with my daughter who has had a very busy work schedule and a lot of visitors over the summer holidays.

What supports would assist me?

I think that I can manage with the transportation situation for now as there are enough trails in town that I can access by bike alone. I will, however, need to get my bike today and bring it to where the trail is that I have set as my final goal to ride so that I can practice.

In terms of riding with other people, I am not sure that I can come up with alternative arrangements in a week’s time. I think that riding alone will be a good challenge as it will help me to further develop my confidence (I am hoping anyways . . .)

How are my SRL skills increasing?

Taking the time to outline proximal goals and identifying and analyzing specific strategies to help meet these has increased my awareness of the key elements of the learning that is required for each step. This has increased my ability to self-monitor and assess for successful execution of the targeted skills.

Writing in a journal after every ride and going through a set list of questions designed to develop my critical reflection skills is increasing my ability to assess the effectiveness of strategies used, examine for other elements that might impact learning that I had not considered before and to better select appropriate strategies for the next time I ride. Validating my fear through the scared scale has allowed me to identify the root cause of the source of the fear and then to be able to provide strategies to reduce the fear. (The scared scale has proven to be an objective way to self-monitor the effectiveness of the strategies applied).

I also now appreciate the need for finding different ways of getting feedback when doing self-directed learning. (I have found that video and objective self-monitoring tools are helpful).

I have also had the opportunity to appreciate how increasing my self-efficacy through the use of supportive strategies like validation, positive self-talk and realistic proximal goals has lead to an increase in motivation (I am having fun riding and want to learn more!) and have not resorted to the use of self- punitive/negative motivation strategies (I have to do this or else . . .).

Finally, doing this inquiry project has me thinking about how these skills can be used to help students learn and apply SRL in their lives.

Self-regulated Learners: Masters of Their Own Learning: Part 6 is the completed monitoring document for my PME 800 inquiry project.  

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