The term "self-regulated" indicates that the person to whom this term is applied has acquired knowledge of techniques or practices that effectively match his/her own preferred styles of learning. Any type of learner may be a self-regulated learner. The term is based on the use of self-awareness and application of the insights gained to structure learning activities, not on a specific type of learner or style of acquiring information.
Becoming aware of the ways in which one thinks is called "metacognition." As a learner evaluates his/her learning process, s/he analyzes various types of methods that may be used to acquire, retain, and apply information. When a learner recognizes that a particular cluster of activities are particularly effective in helping with that acquisition, retention, and application, that learner is determining the general style of learning that is most effective in meeting his/her individual needs. Continued use of the methods that work best for that person makes him/her a self-regulated (and efficient, effective) learner.