Year 9 student voices negotiating digital tools and self-regulated learning strategies in a bilingual managed learning environment

Ulla Freihofner, Simone Smala, Chris Campbell

    Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review


    The increase in the use of educational technologies in Australian high schools has sparked this investigation into howYear 9 (13 to 14 years of age) students experience and negotiate a new technology enhanced learning environment in abilingual classroom setting. The paper is about examining the students’ language practices in German and English whileusing a Managed Learning Environment (MLE). The study aims to unearth how such translanguaging practices (usingboth German and English to communicate in bilingual education settings) contribute to and shape self-regulated learning in a scientific open inquiry process. This is corroborated by insights into student reflections on using the MLE in two languages, with data gained from a student survey. The study further analyses the relationship between bilingual language practices and adaptive tool use. The effectiveness of online learning environments depends on the students’ adaptive tool-use (Barzilai & Zohar, 2006; Lust, Vandewaetere, Elen, & Clarebout, 2014) and the ability to engage in self-regulatory learning practices (Zimmerman, Bembenutty, & Schunk, 2013). Data were collected via voice recordings,a student-designed questionnaire and focus group interviews with 22 Year 9 students covering 18 Biology lessons during 6 weeks, over two consecutive years. The study revealed that students’ self-regulatory practices during open inquiry processes developed in specific ways through the exposure to a bilingual classroom setting, e.g. by being exposed to unknown terms in German which led them to search for translations and then on to further self-initiated and self-regulated research to find explanations online However, when biology content knowledge was pre-prepared (in the second language of German) by the teacher in guided customized simulations on a computer software tool, students seem to favor such guided practices over self-initiated and self-regulated research as shown during the open inquiry task.However, independent of the specifics of bilingual language use in open or guided inquiry, the tool-use also appeared to be reliant on students’ prior disposition. Consequently, results of this study might have interesting implications for the future customization of online learning spaces for high school students and educators in bilingual settings as well as other fields.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th International Conference on cognition and exploratory learning in digital age (CELDA 2016)
    EditorsDemetrios G Sampson, J Michael Spector, Dirk Ifenthaler, Pedro Isaias
    PublisherIADIS Press
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Electronic)9789898533555
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    Event13th International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age: CELDA 2016 - Mannheim University, Mannheim, Germany
    Duration: 28 Oct 201630 Oct 2016 (Conference program) (Conference proceedings)


    Conference13th International Conference on Cognition and Exploratory Learning in Digital Age
    Internet address


    Dive into the research topics of 'Year 9 student voices negotiating digital tools and self-regulated learning strategies in a bilingual managed learning environment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this