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Math help from the Learning Centre

This guide provides useful resources for a wide variety of math topics. It is targeted at students enrolled in a math course or any other Centennial course that requires math knowledge and skills.

What is Self-Regulated Learning

undefined As a college student, Faye is completing their diploma in hopes of finding a rewarding job. They know that a college education will place them in the path to a rewarding livelihood, but juggling college and distractions at home puts many different demands on their time. Faye is dedicated, but they spend a long time studying. Their mediocre grades are discouraging given the effort they have put in. 

Faye has not realized that her time can be more effective. Learning to direct time and energy to the most productive ways of studying and learning will result in a more rewarding learning experience. 

Self-Regulated Learning

Self-regulated learning describes the process of taking control of and evaluating one's own learning and behaviour (Zimmerman, 1989). A self-regulated learner monitors, directs, and regulates their actions towards goals of learning. 

Proactive learning is a cyclic self-regulating process: a) set goals and plan to learn strategically (forethought), b) self-control and self-observation (performance), c) self-reflect and self-evaluate (Zimmerman, 2002). 


Forethought Phase

1. Understand online learning practices and expectations

Online courses are not an easier way to learn, but rather a more convenient one. To learn successfully online,

  • commit your time
  • consistently attend live lectures
  • be concentrated while studying
  • fully commit to your learning process

You should also keep in mind that your program and instructors expect you to 

  • fully committed and participate in virtual classroom requirements
  • Be, or be willing to become, tech-savvy
  • Work with others effectively
  • Complete your learning tasks and assignments on time
  • Be self-disciplined

2. Check your internet access and equipment

You can loan out laptops from the school. Email with your request. Make sure you find resources for troubleshooting. Programs/apps usually have their troubleshooting support on their website, you can watch videos on how to use programs.

3. Create a study plan and have a dedicated study space

The learning centre and the learning portal have step-by-step instructions on how to create a study plan and tips to dedicate a study space. 

Performance Phase

1. Stay on schedule

Stick to you plan so you do not fall behind in class.

2. Ask for help when you need it

You may not get to ask you questions during a live lecture, but do not hesitate to contact your instructor. Build a relationship with your online instructor to avoid misconceptions and clarify problems. Seek help from the Learning Centre:

Click on the following links to find out how to access each service: 

Tutoring: Available online and in-person up to 4 hours per week

Learning Circles: In person, online and hybrid: check your campus Learning Centre for schedules

Math Drop-in: Available at Progress, Morningside and Ashtonbee campuses. No appointments necessary! 

Learning Strategies (Academic Study Skills or Math): Online and in-person appointments available 

3. Study with a classmate

You can watch live lectures again with a classmate. Pause lectures periodically and ask each other questions to help you clarify problems, or check for understanding. You can test each other by creating questions.

4. Review, revise, repeat

Regular revisions help improve your memory and also help you better understand what you are learning. Use flash cards, quiz yourself instead of highlighting and copying notes word for word.

5. Take study breaks

Your performance will decrease if you are feeling tired or frustrated. Integrate some personal time into your study routine. Go for a walk or a quick breathing exercise to clear your mind.

6. Participate in online discussions

Online learning doesn't mean isolation. Connect with your virtual classmates through the class forum. Create new ways to connect (e.g., a social media class group, study groups) to engage in new ideas and depend your understanding. Check that your writing is complete and clear before posting to avoid misunderstandings and tone mishaps. 

Self-reflection phase

Ask yourself critical questions.

  • Was I able to stay on schedule? Why or why not?
  • Did specific courses require more or less time?
  • Was I able to achieve the weekly learning outcomes stated in the course outline?
  • Am I ready for the test?
  • What unanticipated distractions did I experience?
  • Am I sleeping enough?
  • Was I motivated or was I bored? How can I plan to maintain engagement based on my learning preferences?

Answering such questions and finding the answer tailored to you will help you re-plan your study schedule. Self-reflection can occur after every class, day, or week. Your study schedule will change. Continual self-improvement is a process that will help you achieve your goals.


Zimmerman, B. J. (1989). A social cognitive view of self-regulated academic learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 81(3), 329–339.

Zimmerman, B. J. (2002). Becoming a self-regulated learner: An overview. Theory into Practice, 41(2), 64–70.

What is Self-Regulated Learning? by Matthew Cheung. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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