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citl.illinois.edu
Teaching Metacognition
Helping Students Self-Assess
Their Own Learning
Jim Wentworth
Center for Innovation in Teaching and...
When you think of the
term metacognition,
what comes to mind?
Metacognition
involves an active
awareness of the
processes of thinking
and reasoning that
we engage in when
attempting to...
Why Teach Metacognition?
Not all students enter the
university with the
necessary skills to succeed
in their chosen discip...
There is almost no
relationship between how well
students think they know
material and how well they
perform on an exam.
P...
Over the past four decades there has been a dramatic
rise in the number of freshman students that rate
their abilities
abo...
“Ignorance more frequently
begets confidence than does
knowledge”
- Charles Darwin
Why Teach Metacognition?
By teaching metacognitive skills we
can help students to overcome any
bad study habits and gaps i...
The ideal: Self-Regulated
Learning
Plan & Set
Learning Goals
Apply Strategies &
Monitor Progress
Evaluate & Adapt
Behavior
Helping students to recognize and retain what
they’ve learned
Helping students compare their
understanding to that of thei...
Key Ideas
 Building off of prior knowledge is
essential for all learning
 Formative feedback is necessary for
students t...
Three critical steps to teaching
metacognition:
 Remind students that their ability to learn
involves skills that can be ...
Beliefs Have Consequences
Students enter college with preconceived ideas about
school and about their own abilities.
“I’ve...
Three critical steps to teaching
metacognition:
 Remind students that their ability to learn involves
skills that can be ...
Teaching Students to Plan, Monitor and
Evaluate Their Learning
Discuss assignments' learning goals and design rationale before
students begin each assignment
Invite students to particip...
Transparency in Teaching and Learning
Share Bloom’s taxonomy with students and make them
aware of the level of thinking sk...
Transparency in Teaching and Learning
Three critical steps to teaching
metacognition:
 Remind students that their ability to learn
involves skills that can be ...
Metacognitive Tools & Activities
Self-Assessment Quizzes
Grading Rubrics
Assignment Wrappers
Formative Feedback
Authentic ...
Metacognitive Activities Large
Lecture
Course
Small
Blended
Course
Online
Course
Self-Assessment Quiz X X X
Grading Rubric...
Four Example Strategies
 Online Self-Assessment Quizzes
 Grading Rubrics
 Exam Wrappers
 Student Response / Peer Instr...
Self-Assessment Quiz
 Use LMS to deliver online quizzes
 Selective response and short answer
questions can be computer g...
Online Self-Assessment Quiz
Formative Feedback
Item Analysis in Compass 2g
c
Revealing Unknown Unknowns
McGraw Hill’s LearnSmart system attempts to reveal to students
their lack of awareness of unkno...
“Ignorance more frequently begets
confidence than does knowledge”
- Charles Darwin
c
The system tracks the responses along...
Grading Rubrics
Show of hands – who has used a
grading rubric in the past, either as
a student or an instructor?
What are ...
Grading Rubrics
 Provide grading rubrics for high-stakes
assignments outlining exact
expectations and grading criteria
 ...
Rubrics in Compass 2g
Grading Rubrics
Online Discussion Grading Rubric
Ensuring Students Review the
Grading Rubric
Assignment Wrapper
Assignment and exam wrappers are tools
developed at Carnegie Mellon to assist
students with developing ...
Assignment Wrapper
Marsha Lovett – Carnegie Mellon University
Classroom Response Systems
Use a classroom response system in
combination with discussion & peer
instruction to help stude...
Student Response Systems & Peer Instruction
Eric Mazur – Harvard University
Key Ideas
 Building off of prior knowledge is
essential for all learning
 Formative feedback is necessary for
students t...
Questions?
Feel free to e-mail me: jwentwor@illinois.edu
For additional resources, links and videos email me
and ask to be...
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Teaching Metacognition

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  • My backgroundOpening comments: introduction and brief personal historyCurrently work for CITES Academic Technology Services supporting the transition to Illinois Compass 2g Moved here from the University of Colorado Boulder where I consulted with faculty on the design and development of online and blended coursesI also taught multimedia courses within the visual arts program at the University of Colorado DenverI began developing and teaching several fully online courses more than10 years agoI should also mention that I will be moving to the new as yet, un-named teaching and learning unit that is scheduled to open on campus in August of this year
  • Poll everwhere poll – respond at pollev.com/metacognition, limited to 40 responses, no repeats please, switch to browser view to see incoming poll results
  • Pull together key terms to arrive at a definition
  • Students have different skillsetsWe tend to assume that all students come to our courses with roughly the same set of study skills and metacognitive abilities. The truth is that students vary greatly in their approaches to studying and mastering the content in our courses. Some students are naturally more organized in their lives and in their approaches to studying. Others need guidance and the instructor's assistance in building these skills. The good news is that students can learn how to better regulate and improve their own cognitive activities and we can help by requiring and reinforcing these skills.
  • Over-confident studentsEvery year the Higher Education Research Institute completes a survey of incoming freshman across the county. Over the past four decades there has been a dramatic rise in the number of freshman students who rate their abilities above average. There are many possible reasons suggested for this trend, such as the self-esteem culture that grew out of the 1970s. Regardless of the reason, I think we can agree that this is not solely the result of our primary education system getting progressively better over the past four decades. For whatever reason, our students have developed an inflated sense of their academic abilities. Which reminds me of a favorite quote – Source = Does confidence really breeds success? William Kremer BBC News Magazine – analysis by Twenge, campbell and gentile.
  • This quote is attributed to Charles Darwin and I think it hints at a very important point, that the less we know, the less we realize the gaps in our knowledge. It’s not until you start to become an expert within a discipline that you can determine what knowledge your peers possess that you may be lacking.
  • Rid students of bad habits and inaccurate knowledgeThere are numerous advantages to teaching metacognition. We realize that our students may not be able to recognize their own weaknesses, but those weaknesses can be pretty evident to the instructor. It’s in everyone’s best interest to help our students rid themselves of misconceptions and bad habits and start to assume responsibility for their own learning. The earlier we can help them develop their own metacognitive skills, the greater chance they’ll have at excelling in their discipline.
  • The ideal student self-regulatesThe ideal is to create a student who is capable of self-regulation. Our standardized testing culture has created students that are focused primarily on grades. They know very well how to calculate the scores they’ve received to earn the grade they believe they deserve, wouldn’t it be nice if we could get them to be more reflective about what they are actually learning in courses?Expert vs novice learners – provide examples of how an expert learning prepares for an exam, focusing thoughts using some structure such as cause > effectCan expert learners be made? Can we teach our students to develop these strengths
  • So we’ve introduced you the concept and basic practices of metacognition. As we progress through the rest of the talk we’ll be focusing on these three key ideas. If you remember nothing else from today, focus on these key ideas.
  • Three steps to teaching metacognition – step one remind students that their ability to learn is not fixed, they can improveI’ll introduce three critical steps to teaching metacognition – but we’ll really only look at one of these in any depth today, we’ll quickly breeze through the first two. First it’s important to instill in students the fact that their ability to learn is not fixed, it can be continually improved.
  • Get past student’s preconceived ideas about their abilitiesStudents enter college with preconceived ideas about their own abilities and about the roles and expectations of both teachers and students. It’s important to instill in them a desire to improve on their learning strategies. By giving them assignments that help them build metacognitive skills, we are enabling them to see past these preconceived ideas and reflect more accurately on their own learning and thinking processes.
  • Step two – stress goal setting, monitor and evaluation strategiesEffective learning involves planning and goal-setting, monitoring one's progress, and adapting as needed. Since most of us in this room ended up working in academia, we may not be the best test group, but think about your own processes you use when attempting to learn something unfamiliar to you. How do you know if you’ve made progress unless you set goals and evaluate whether or not your strategies are helping you achieve your goals?NEED MORE HERE!!!!!!!!
  • Get them thinking about their own processes by asking reflective questionsThink about ways you might get your students to respond to the following questions. We’ll look at a number of tools today that may be helpful including things like assignment and exam wrappers that require students to summarize a learning experience and consider how they tackled the assignment. Consider using online discussions to ask these types of questions. Instead of always focusing on content related questions, you could require students to discuss a question like What confusions do I have that I still need to clarify? This would require students to consider their own weaknesses and would also allow other students to help provide guidance in the form of discussion responses.
  • Campus Programs on Teaching and LearningResearch study on this campus looking at how making learning explicit helps improve outcomesOn this campus you may be aware of the Transparency in Teaching research project that has been ongoing for some time now. This study uses instructor and student surveys to uncover transparent teaching strategies that are improving learning outcomes. A few of the best practices uncovered by this research are listed here.Participating instructors implement one or more methods for engaging students in explicit (or transparent) dialogue about learning processes and teaching practices, and later survey students about their learning experiences. Results from many types of courses, institutions, students and faculty are compiled and studiedhttp://www.teachingandlearning.illinois.edu/components_of_transparency.html
  • Expose them to Bloom’s taxonomyMost instructors are at least familiar with Bloom’s taxonomy. We need to also make our students aware of the level of thinking skills we want them to engage in. In foundation classes it’s key that students can recall critical concepts and terminology so it’s appropriate to begin at the lower levels of this scale. But we should also require students to apply and analyze the concepts they are learning. In order for them to develop critical thinking skills, we need to require they higher order thinking skills. It’s not good enough to memorize the facts, you have to know when to apply those facts.
  • Expose them to Bloom’s taxonomyMost instructors are at least familiar with Bloom’s taxonomy. We need to also make our students aware of the level of thinking skills we want them to engage in. In foundation classes it’s key that students can recall critical concepts and terminology so it’s appropriate to begin at the lower levels of this scale. But we should also require students to apply and analyze the concepts they are learning. In order for them to develop critical thinking skills, we need to require they higher order thinking skills. It’s not good enough to memorize the facts, you have to know when to apply those facts.
  • Third step – give them opportunity to practice monitoring their own learningThe third critical step is to be sure to provide students ample opportunity to practice monitoring their learning and adapting as necessary to meet their learning goals. The rest of the presentation will focus primarily on this aspect of metacognition and hopefully you’ll leave here today with a few new ideas or possible tools you might want to explore.
  • List of tools and ideas generated from online research
  • Another lens we can use to consider these strategies is classroom format. Not all strategies will work equally well in a large classroom for instance.Before we dive into a few specific examples let’s consider how these different tools might work in different classroom settings.NEED MORE HERE!!!!!!!
  • Lots of online quiz tools out there including those available through the learning management system and others available from the publisher web sites.They have basic concept in common, auto-graded quiz items that include feedback for correct and incorrect responses.
  • Lots of online quiz tools out there including those available through the learning management system and others available from the publisher web sites.They have basic concept in common, auto-graded quiz items that include feedback for correct and incorrect responses.
  • Feedback example – the student is provided with the correct response along with feedback to help them correct their thinking. Combined with tools like randomized question delivery and question pools, self-assessment can be a great drill and practice tool for students.
  • Feedback example – the student is provided with the correct response along with feedback to help them correct their thinking. Combined with tools like randomized question delivery and question pools, self-assessment can be a great drill and practice tool for students.
  • Analytics information more available then everMcGraw Hills adaptive learning tools not only measure overall student knowledge within a domain, but they attempt to measure the students confidence and awareness of their knowledge. This example
  • Grading rubrics help students focus on assignment criteria
  • Grading rubrics help students focus on assignment criteria
  • Example of a typical rubric
  • Example of a typical rubric
  • Adaptive release settings help hold students accountableUsing an LMS to accept assignments has the benefit of creating some level of accountability. Not only can I provide an interactive rubric for students to review, in this example you can see that students will not be able to access the link to upload their essay assignments until they have indicated that they have reviewed the associated rubric. Using this technique of adaptive release is a useful way to be certain that student take accountability for knowing the criteria used to grade their work.
  • Assignment wrappers help student to reflect on their learning
  • Educause webinar – highly editedI edited this video a lot so I apologize for any rough cuts. This originally was presented as an online Educause webinar and the entire presentation can still be found on the Educause archives.
  • Clicker use in the classroom to gauge understandingI must admit that I never had the opportunity to use clickers or a student response system in the classroom. Back when I was teaching visual literacy as a graduate student, we didn’t yet have clicker technology. So I can’t claim to be an expert on these technologies, but I do believe they have great value, particularly in a large lecture setting. To compensate for my own lack of use, I’ll being in a expert in the form of Eric Mazur at Harvard. I have a short excerpt of a lecture he gave which we’ll see in a minute.
  • Learning requires the assimilation of knowledge.In this short video we’ll look at the process Eric Mazur uses as part of his large lecture classroom. To set up this short clip I should mention that this has been excerpted from a much longer video that details how professor Mazur came to realize that lecturing alone was not leading to learning within his classes. Students were just learning to apply rules that they did not fully understand so they were able to grasp the concrete physics examples provided in the textbook, but could not apply the same strategies to solve more conceptual problems that did not follow the step-by-step recipe provided within the texts. He also reached the conclusion, that the instructor as the expert on the subject is not necessarily the best person to help the novice learner overcome common hurdles.
  • So we’ve introduced you the concept and basic practices of metacognition. As we progress through the rest of the talk we’ll be focusing on these three key ideas. If you remember nothing else from today, focus on these key ideas.
  • Transcript of "Teaching Metacognition"

    1. 1. citl.illinois.edu
    2. 2. Teaching Metacognition Helping Students Self-Assess Their Own Learning Jim Wentworth Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning citl.illinois.edu
    3. 3. When you think of the term metacognition, what comes to mind?
    4. 4. Metacognition involves an active awareness of the processes of thinking and reasoning that we engage in when attempting to learn
    5. 5. Why Teach Metacognition? Not all students enter the university with the necessary skills to succeed in their chosen discipline.
    6. 6. There is almost no relationship between how well students think they know material and how well they perform on an exam. Plotnik & Kouyoumdijan, 2011
    7. 7. Over the past four decades there has been a dramatic rise in the number of freshman students that rate their abilities above average.
    8. 8. “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge” - Charles Darwin
    9. 9. Why Teach Metacognition? By teaching metacognitive skills we can help students to overcome any bad study habits and gaps in their understanding and we can encourage them to assume responsibility for their own learning.
    10. 10. The ideal: Self-Regulated Learning Plan & Set Learning Goals Apply Strategies & Monitor Progress Evaluate & Adapt Behavior
    11. 11. Helping students to recognize and retain what they’ve learned Helping students compare their understanding to that of their classmates Helping students review and assess their work against a set of stated expectations Student Benefits
    12. 12. Key Ideas  Building off of prior knowledge is essential for all learning  Formative feedback is necessary for students to address their own weaknesses  Expert knowledge can get in the way of teaching
    13. 13. Three critical steps to teaching metacognition:  Remind students that their ability to learn involves skills that can be continuously improved upon  Stress the importance of goal-setting, monitoring and evaluation strategies  Provide students ample opportunity to practice monitoring their learning and adapting as necessary
    14. 14. Beliefs Have Consequences Students enter college with preconceived ideas about school and about their own abilities. “I’ve always been an A student” “Being smart is innate” “I just don’t get philosophy” “I could never learn to draw” An important early lesson for these students is that there ability to learn is not fixed, it can be improved.
    15. 15. Three critical steps to teaching metacognition:  Remind students that their ability to learn involves skills that can be continuously improved upon  Stress the importance of goal-setting, monitoring and evaluation strategies  Provide students ample opportunity to practice monitoring their learning and adapting as necessary
    16. 16. Teaching Students to Plan, Monitor and Evaluate Their Learning
    17. 17. Discuss assignments' learning goals and design rationale before students begin each assignment Invite students to participate in class planning, agenda construction Engage students in applying the grading criteria that you’ll use on their work Explicitly connect "how people learn" data with course activities when students struggle at difficult transition points http://www.teachingandlearning.illinois.edu/components_of_transparency.html Illinois Initiative on Transparency in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
    18. 18. Transparency in Teaching and Learning Share Bloom’s taxonomy with students and make them aware of the level of thinking skill you are expecting
    19. 19. Transparency in Teaching and Learning
    20. 20. Three critical steps to teaching metacognition:  Remind students that their ability to learn involves skills that can be continuously improved upon  Stress the importance of goal-setting, monitoring and evaluation strategies  Provide students ample opportunity to practice monitoring their learning and adapting as necessary
    21. 21. Metacognitive Tools & Activities Self-Assessment Quizzes Grading Rubrics Assignment Wrappers Formative Feedback Authentic Assessment Classroom Critique Peer Review / Assessment Small Group Discussion Student Response Systems One-Minute Paper Muddiest Point Reiterative Projects Portfolios Weekly Reports Process Analysis Student-Generated Quiz Questions Background Knowledge Probe Categorizing Grid One Sentence Summary Project Prospectus Analytic Memo Chain Notes Reflective Journal Concept Maps
    22. 22. Metacognitive Activities Large Lecture Course Small Blended Course Online Course Self-Assessment Quiz X X X Grading Rubrics X X X Assignment Wrapper X X Reflective Journal X X One Minute Paper X X Muddiest Point X X Classroom Critique X Peer Evaluation / Assessment X X X Small Group Discussion X X X Student Response Systems X X Authentic Assessment X X Reiterative Projects X X
    23. 23. Four Example Strategies  Online Self-Assessment Quizzes  Grading Rubrics  Exam Wrappers  Student Response / Peer Instruction
    24. 24. Self-Assessment Quiz  Use LMS to deliver online quizzes  Selective response and short answer questions can be computer graded to provide immediate scoring for students  Comprehensive feedback can be included to redirect student’s thinking  Item analysis in Compass 2g can provide data on commonly missed questions revealing content that may require further clarification
    25. 25. Online Self-Assessment Quiz
    26. 26. Formative Feedback
    27. 27. Item Analysis in Compass 2g c
    28. 28. Revealing Unknown Unknowns McGraw Hill’s LearnSmart system attempts to reveal to students their lack of awareness of unknown content by asking them to evaluate their confidence before responding to each question
    29. 29. “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge” - Charles Darwin c The system tracks the responses along with the level of confidence to reveal those questions that students don’t realize they do not know. Revealing Unknown Unknowns
    30. 30. Grading Rubrics Show of hands – who has used a grading rubric in the past, either as a student or an instructor? What are the benefits?
    31. 31. Grading Rubrics  Provide grading rubrics for high-stakes assignments outlining exact expectations and grading criteria  Allow students to help construct the grading rubric to define outcomes that are meaningful to them  Be sure students have reviewed the grading rubric prior to submitting an assignment
    32. 32. Rubrics in Compass 2g
    33. 33. Grading Rubrics Online Discussion Grading Rubric
    34. 34. Ensuring Students Review the Grading Rubric
    35. 35. Assignment Wrapper Assignment and exam wrappers are tools developed at Carnegie Mellon to assist students with developing their metacognitive skills. A wrapper is essentially a secondary task or requirement that accompanies an assignment or exam and asks students to reflect on their learning processes.
    36. 36. Assignment Wrapper Marsha Lovett – Carnegie Mellon University
    37. 37. Classroom Response Systems Use a classroom response system in combination with discussion & peer instruction to help students gauge their understanding in relation to that of their classmates. These systems are also helpful in uncovering commonly held misconceptions or inaccurate information.
    38. 38. Student Response Systems & Peer Instruction Eric Mazur – Harvard University
    39. 39. Key Ideas  Building off of prior knowledge is essential for all learning  Formative feedback is necessary for students to address their own weaknesses  Expert knowledge can get in the way of teaching
    40. 40. Questions? Feel free to e-mail me: jwentwor@illinois.edu For additional resources, links and videos email me and ask to be added to the Teaching Metacognition online course. The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled - Plutarch
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