Academic journal article Cognitie, Creier, Comportament

Why Prompting Metacognition in Computer-Based Learning Environments

Academic journal article Cognitie, Creier, Comportament

Why Prompting Metacognition in Computer-Based Learning Environments

Article excerpt

Self-regulated learning (SRL) is a central construct in education, especially in the context of the widespread use of learning technologies (Bannert & Reimann, 2012; Winters, Greene, & Costich, 2008). SRL is defined as an active process in which students plan, monitor, and control their cognitive, metacognitive, and motivational processes as they pursue their own learning goals (Winne & Hadwin, 1998; Zimmerman, 1990). For SRL to be effective, students need to make accurate judgments about whether they understand what they are learning (i.e., to accurately monitor their understanding or knowledge), and whether they need to change their plans, goals or strategies (Azevedo, 2008; Winne & Jamieson-Noels, 2002). Research has shown that these SRL processes are especially important in computerbased learning environments (CBLEs), because they present challenges that can hinder learning, even for the best students, such as the need to decide on their own whether, when, and how to use the multiple information resources (e.g., texts, graphics) provided by CBLEs. Students cannot use effectively the resources provided by CBLEs if they are not able to accurately monitor and evaluate their own performance, as well as regulate their learning processes in order to reach the desired goals (Azevedo & Witherspoon, 2009). Within this context, understanding how students use SRL processes in CBLEs and which of these regulatory processes are the most important for improving learning may provide a better perspective on how to support students' self-regulation (Vrugt & Oort, 2008). Therefore, the goal of this paper is to provide a short overview of research on metacognitive processes, detailing the role of monitoring accuracy in SRL. A complete review of research on metacognition is beyond the goal of this paper. Rather than doing this, we will provide some insight that have originated from research in metacognition and are particularly relevant for SRL while using CBLEs. More specifically, we will focus on two questions that can arise regarding self-regulation in CBLEs: (i) what are the problems associated with metacognitive judgments during SRL; (it) why (and how) prompting metacognitive judgments of students while using CBLEs?

1. SRL and metacognition

Although a number of SRL models have been proposed (e.g., Boekaerts, 1997; Pintrich, 2000; Winne & Perry, 2000; Zimmerman, 2000) employing different perspectives on self-regulation, all of them agree that SRL involves three main processes: goal setting or planning, monitoring and the use of meta(cognitive) strategies. For example, whereas Zimmerman's (2000) model of SRL assumes that self-regulation involves three sequential phases: (1) a forethought or pre-action phase, (2) a performance or action phase, and (3) a self-reflection or post-action phase, the COPES model proposed by Winne and Hadwin (1998) assumes four learning phases, which follow one after the other in a repeated, loose manner: (1) task definition, (2) goal setting and planning, (3) enacting study tactics and strategies, and (4) metacognitive adjustments or adaptation. All phases in the COPES model rely on the following facets of learning: conditions (C) that refer to the cognitive factors (e.g., students' prior knowledge or their beliefs) and the task conditions (e.g., instructional time), which affect the way students engage in the learning process, operations (O) that include the cognitive processes and strategies used by students (e.g., searching, monitoring), products (P) that refer to the observable results of the learning process (e.g., the actual performance), and standards (S) that refer to the criteria that students believe to be the ideal or optimal end stages of their learning process and against which products are compared (e.g., a standard can be represented by students' past performance in similar tasks). Based on these components, the COPES model assumes that self-regulation is inherent to all learning activities (Winne, 1995) and occurs in relation to the interactions between external task conditions and internal learner conditions. …

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