The Effects of Metacognitive Training on Performance in Self-Directed Learning Situations

Conrad Gleber
Florida State University

The purpose of this pilot study was to determine the effects of teaching metacognitive strategies on performance and knowledge acquisition in a self-directed learning situation. The study was designed as a related sample of 56 university students enrolled in a beginning photography course for non-art majors. All participants were treated equally and were subject to the same conditions. The treatment was designed to introduce metacognitive strategies into the exercises used to teach photography Metacognitive awareness was measured twice by survey, prior to and after the treatment and lessons. They determined the extent to which students had developed or used new metacognigive strategies. Results indicated that the treatment had no effect on learning. Also, the differences between the subjects pre-condition and post-condition metacognitive awareness was normally distributed based on a self report survey of 55 question. The significant quantitative differences in participants’ performance and development led the researchers to conclude that instructional strategies which teach students to practice metacognitive skills contribute to an overall increase in performance in a course where students are expected to manage their own direction for learning.

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