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When students repeatedly reflect on their learning, academic practices, and performance, it can enhance their metacognitive abilities, which include the self-regulatory skills of planning, monitoring, and evaluating their learning for lifelong purposes. Metacognition can be described as “knowing about one’s knowing” or “thinking about one’s thinking.” In a Fluid Mechanics course for undergraduates at a large southeastern university, in-class problem-solving in a flipped classroom was coupled with intentional metacognitive skills instruction and repeated reflection to enhance student metacognition. As part of this NSF IUSE study, intentional, step-by-step instruction in planning, monitoring, and evaluation was provided in conjunction with weekly problems to support metacognitive skills development and problem-solving skills. Each week, students intentionally planned, monitored, and evaluated their problem-solving and were asked to reflect in writing about these self-regulatory skills used during their problem-solving efforts. For example, the following planning reflection was posed during week 4: How can I do a better job on this week’s in-class problem-solving based on my work on the in-class problems during weeks 1-3? The following evaluation question was later asked during week 8: What have I learned from working on the in-class exercises in Fluids since the start of the semester? Each week, the reflective responses were coded by two analysts using a structured content analysis to identify the recurring themes and patterns in the themes over time. Results obtained from a subset of the reflections covering planning, monitoring, and evaluation are presented and discussed to illustrate the serious nature of the students’ reflections, the recurring themes, and evidence of the development and/or reinforcement of self-regulating behaviors for academic management. To enable assessment of the impacts of the systematic reflection, a flipped classroom was also implemented (during a different semester) for this course, but without the metacognitive instruction and repeated reflection (i.e., metacognitive support). The two cohorts completed similar final exams. Statistical analysis was done to compare the two cohorts in terms of final exam scores. A separate analysis was completed for the multiple-choice versus the free-response questions on the final exam. A statistically and practically-significant difference between the two cohorts was found with the free-response scores in favor of the cohort that had received the metacognitive support (p < 0.0005; d = 0.97). Preliminary results are discussed in this paper along with lessons learned, including lessons related to asking reflection questions related to planning, monitoring, and evaluation.
Clark, R., & Kaw, A., & Guldiken, R. (2022, August), Do Metacognitive Instruction and Repeated Reflection Improve Outcomes? Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://peer.asee.org/41900
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