We are thrilled to announce that we have been funded by the Spencer Foundation to conduct research entitled: “Investigating the Role of Self-Regulatory Ego-Depletion in Online Learning with Multiple Sources.” Here’s a brief summary:
An increasing number of people rely upon online sources for their news, including social media. However, many report feeling overwhelmed and challenged when they encounter views differing from their own. Such feelings may prevent productive exploration of important issues. My research has shown that online learning requires that people both self-regulate their learning, and that they enact specific kinds of critical thinking, called epistemic cognition. These feelings of being overwhelmed may prevent people from enacting self-regulated learning or epistemic cognition, but there has been no empirical research on this phenomenon. We will study this phenomenon by integrating theory and methods from self-regulatory ego depletion research into our work on self-regulated learning and epistemic cognition in online learning environments. Through a study using an authentic online learning task, we will test my hypothesis that ego-depletion has significant effects on the quantity and quality of online learning, as well as learning performance. If the hypotheses are supported, the findings will seed larger projects into the nuances and moderators of these ego-depletion effects, and how educators can prepare learners to overcome them, to ensure effective, critical consumption of information in the digital age.