Unifying Cognitive Load and Self-Regulated Learning Research: Monitoring and Regulation of Effort (MRE)

Although learning in the 21st century is highly similar to learning in previous eras, it differs greatly in learners’ access to information and to digital services and devices. This transition evokes novel research questions, in particular related to how learners know when to invest and when to discontinue effort when information is abundant. As we argued in the recent Special Issue in Learning and Instruction (De Bruin & Van Merriënboer, 2017), this topic elates to matters of cognitive load and to matters of self-regulated learning. The aims of the Monitoring and Regulation of Effort (MRE) EFG are:

  1. To map the opportunities, challenges, and scope of a joint CLT-SRL research agenda, with a particular focus on monitoring and regulating effort.
  2. To design a joint MRE research paradigm
  3. To conduct, share, and discuss pilot research on the MRE research paradigm


  • September 2018 - January 2019
    Creating Monitoring and Regulation of Effort (MRE) Wiki
  • February 2019
    Unconference meeting: Sketching promising research directions; Establishing the pilot MRE paradigm
  • February – August 2019
    Run pilot studies; Share & discuss pilot data
  • September 2019 – August 2020
    Run 2nd round of pilot studies; Share and discuss 2nd round of pilot data

Team Members

Anique de Bruin, Maastricht University, The Netherlands

Alexander Renkl, University of Freiburg, Germany

Jeroen van Merriënboer, Maastricht University, The Netherlands


Rakefet Ackerman, Technion University, Israel

Shirley Agostinho, University of Wollongong, Australia

Martine Baars, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Felicitas Biwer, Maastricht University, The Netherlands

Tino Endres, University of Freiburg, Germany

Luotong Hui, Maastricht University, The Netherlands

Eva Janssen, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

Fred Paas, Erasmus University Rotterdam/University of Wollongong

Ernesto Panadero, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain

Andrey Podolskiy, National Research University, Russia

Juliane Richter, Leibniz Institut für Wissensmedien, Germany

Julian Roelle, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany

Javier Fernandez Ruiz, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain

Darya Savel’eva, National Research University, Russia

Katharina Scheiter, Leibniz Institut für Wissensmedien, Germany

Stoo Sepp, University of Wollongong, Australia

Yael Sidi, Technion University, Israel

Ferdinand Stebner, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany

Melanie Trypke, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany

Tamara van Gog, Utrecht University NL/ Leibniz Institut für Wissensmedien GE

Julia Waldeyer, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany