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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Who’s Stopping You? – Using Microanalysis to Explore the Impact of Science Anxiety on Self-Regulated Learning Operations


Research shows that anxiety can disrupt learning processes, but few studies have examined anxiety’s relationships to online learning behaviors. This study considers the interplay between students’ anxiety about science and behavior within an online system designed to support self-regulated science inquiry. Using the searching, monitoring, assessing, rehearsing, and translating (SMART) classification schema for self-regulated learning (SRL), we leverage microanalysis of self-regulated behaviors to better understand how science anxiety inhibits (or supports) different learning operations. Specifically, we show that while science anxiety is positively associated with searching behaviors, it is negatively associated with monitoring behaviors, suggesting that anxious students may avoid evaluation, opting instead to compensate with information-seeking. These findings help us to better understand SRL processes and may also help us support anxious students in developing SRL strategies.

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