Date of Award

January 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning

First Advisor

Mary Baker


The ability to self-regulate one’s learning is crucial to the success of all college students, but is particularly important to those who are considered to be underprepared; it puts students on a path towards successful course completion, subsequent course enrollment, and eventual graduation from a postsecondary institution. Those enrolled in remedial coursework are a large portion of students labeled as underprepared. Remedial education is a contentious topic in higher education. Thus, it is critical to investigate the use of classroom strategies to foster a self-regulated environment to support student success in these early classes and move onto the classes needed for their majors. The purpose of this study was to examine if multiple direct instruction, self-regulation interventions had an effect on students’ reported self-regulatory strategy use, students’ reported mathematics self-efficacy, and successful course completion in a developmental mathematics course.

Using Hunter’s (1982) method of direct instruction, a set of interventions focused on self-regulatory skill improvement were embedded into two sections of a community college developmental mathematics course. Interventions addressed time management, exam preparation, exam error analysis, and recognition of maladaptive behaviors. To gauge the impact of the interventions, a web-based survey regarding self-regulatory tendencies and mathematics self-efficacy was distributed twice during the course. Students in the intervention sections as well as students in two other sections not receiving the intervention, which served as a control, completed the survey. Ultimately, 12 participants from each group were included in the main analyses to determine if there was a statistical difference between those who received the set of interventions and those who did not.

Results indicated no statistical differences between the control and intervention groups in regards to metacognitive self-regulation, mastery self-talk, regulating time and study environment, avoiding needed help, and mathematics self-efficacy. There was an interaction between the groups regarding effort regulation. There was a decrease in effort regulation over time in the intervention group, but no change in the control group. There was also a between-groups difference in seeking needed help, as the intervention group had higher mean values both prior to and after the set of interventions.