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Version 1.2 – Updated June 2023

Student control over learning


  • Influence: Student control over learning
  • Domain: Student Learning Strategies
  • Sub-Domain: Student-focused interventions
  • Potential to Accelerate Student Achievement: Likely to have a small positive impact
  • Influence Definition: Involves students taking responsibility for their own instruction, their pace of learning, how much time they spend on learning each step, and control over where to go next in their learning.


  • Number of meta-analyses: 6
  • Number of studies: 226
  • Number of students: 10,007
  • Number of effects: 383
  • Weighted mean effect size: 0.02
  • Robustness index: 3


Journal Title Author First Author's Country Article Name Year Published Variable Number of Studies Number of Students Number of Effects Effect Size
Journal of Educational Computing Research Niemiec, Sikorski, & Walberg USA Learner-control effects: a review of reviews and a meta-analysis 1996 Student control over learning in ICT 24 0 24 -0.03
Psychological Bulletin Patall, Cooper, & Robinson USA The effects of choice on intrinsic motivation and related outcomes: a meta-analysis of research findings 2008 Control over learning on subsequent control 41 0 14 0.10
Review of Educational Research Karich, Burns, & Maki USA Updated meta-analysis of learner control within educational technology 2014 Control over learning in ICT 18 3,618 29 0.05
Journal of Business Psychology Landers & Reddock USA A meta-analytic investigation of objective learner control in web-based instruction. 2017 Control over learning in ICT 62 2,014 78 0.02
Human factors Carolan, Hutchins, & Wickens USA Costs and benefits of more learner freedom: Meta-analyses of exploratory and learner control training methods. 2014 Control over learning 40 0 144 0.02
Dissertation Parsons USA A meta-analysis of learner control in computer-based learning environments. 1992 Control over learning in ICT 41 4,375 94 -0.04
TOTAL/AVERAGE 226 10,007 383 0.02
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