Academic journal article International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education

On-Line and Off-Line Assessment of Metacognition

Academic journal article International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education

On-Line and Off-Line Assessment of Metacognition

Article excerpt


The study investigates the interrelationships between different on-line and off-line measures for assessing metacognition. The participants were 47 fifth grade elementary students. Metacognition was assessed through two off-line and two on-line measures. The off-line measures consisted of a teacher rating scale and a self-report questionnaire. The on-line measures were thinking aloud protocols and accuracy ratings of text comprehension. The results showed positive significant correlation between data from two off-line measures and negative significant correlation between data from two on-line measures. The off-line metacognitive measures had non-significant correlations with all on-line measures. Principal Component Analysis, performed on four metacognitive measures, yielded a two-factor solution and this two-factor solution accounted for 71.5 % of the sample variance. The data from two off-line measures loaded on the first component with a variance proportion of 38.6 % and the data from two on-line measures loaded on the second component with a variance proportion of 32.9%. The findings of the study showed that metacognitive processes form a complex structure that needs to be assessed using various methods. However, in the multi-method studies, using on-line and off-line measures together will be appropriate rather than using only on-line measures or only off-line measures.

Keywords: Metacognition, on-line/off-line assessment, think aloud, accuracy rating, self-report, teacher ratings.


Over the past thirty years, there has been growing interest among researchers in the study of metacognition. Flavell (1979), defined metacognition as "the individuals' knowledge about cognitive processes and the application of this knowledge for controlling the cognitive process". Metacognition has been postulated as a multifaceted and overarching structure made up of sub-elements, each having different features. Flavell (1979) classified metacognition into two dimensions, as metacognitive knowledge and metacognitive experiences; and Brown subsumed metacognition under two dimensions namely, knowledge of cognition and regulation of cognition. In both classifications, the second dimensions are defined similarly as an individual's monitoring, controlling and regulating his/her own cognitions. According to Efklides (2006; 2009) metacognition has three subcomponents, namely, metacognitive knowledge, metacognitive experiences and metacognitive skills. Recent research shows that metacognition is taken as a three-faceted structure being metacognitive knowledge, metacognitive monitoring and metacognitive control (Dunlosky & Metcalfe, 2009).

Metacognitive knowledge involves knowing one's own cognitive characteristics (knowledge of person), the nature of different cognitive tasks (knowledge of task) and the possible strategies that enable the fulfilment of different cognitive tasks (knowledge of strategy). Because metacognitive knowledge is stored in the long-term memory, by nature, it is relatively static and declarative knowledge (Flavell, 1979; 2000). Metacognitive monitoring refers to assessing or evaluating the ongoing progress or current state of particular cognitive activity. Metacognitive control pertains to regulating on ongoing cognitive activity (Dunlosky & Metcalfe, 2009).

It's obvious that how metacognition is modelled is closely related to both the assessment methods of metacognition and the results that are concluded from these assessments about the metacognitive processes. For this reason, it is important to examine the methods for assessing metacognition. Metacognition can be assessed by many different methods. These methods are usually classified as on-line or off-line according to when they are collected (Desoete, Roeyers & De Clercq, 2003; Pintrich, Wolters & Baxter, 2000; Veenman, 2005).

On-line Measures

On-line measurements are collected while the individual is engaging a specific task in hand. …

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