Author Archives: Lauren Scharff

The Strategy Project

      Comments Off on The Strategy Project

This study presents an instructional method that requires deliberate practice of self-regulated learning strategies including active reading, management of study time and achievement goals, proactive interaction with faculty, and metacognitive reflection within the context of a student-selected course. Four instructors implemented the assignment–called “The Strategy Project”–in their first-year seminar courses, and student reflection papers were analyzed for emerging themes. These themes… Read more »

New Year Metacognition

      Comments Off on New Year Metacognition

In this post Dr. Lauren Scharff shares why you should take a metacognitive approach to your new year’s resolutions in order to maximize your likelihood of accomplishing those goals.

The Challenge of Deep Learning in the Age of LearnSmart Course Systems (Part 2)

      Comments Off on The Challenge of Deep Learning in the Age of LearnSmart Course Systems (Part 2)

In this post, Dr. Lauren Scharff follows up on Part I of her reflections on the challenges of deep learning in Age of LearnSmart Course Systems by sharing her actions with her students and some student data and reflections.

Using Metacognition to select and apply appropriate teaching strategies

      Comments Off on Using Metacognition to select and apply appropriate teaching strategies

In this post, Dr. John Draeger and Dr. Lauren Scharff share highlights from their presentation on metacognitive instruction at the Speaking SoTL conference, held at High Point University, NC in May 2016.

The Challenge of Deep Learning in the Age of LearnSmart Course Systems

In this post, Lauren Scharff suggests that some features of e-text learning applications might promote the likelihood that students prioritize “learning efficiently,” resulting in a short-changing of their long-term, deep learning.

The relationship between goals, metacognition, and academic success

In this article Savia Countinho investigates the relationship between mastery goals, performance goals, metacognition (using the Metacognitive Awareness Inventory), and academic success.

Metacognitive Development in Professional Educators

Stewart, Cooper and Moulding investigate adult metacognition development, specifically comparing pre-service teachers and practicing teachers. They used the Metacognitive Awareness Inventory and found that metacognition improves significantly with age and with years of teaching experience, but not with gender or level of teaching (Pre-K though post-secondary ed levels).

Breaking the Content Mold: The Challenge of Shaping Student Metacognitive Development

Dr. Lauren Scharff shares a personal example to illustrate the challenges in shifting from a focus on content and content-related disciplinary skills to a focus on higher-level thinking and metacognitive skills. She concludes with some suggestions for those desiring to “break the content mold.”

Habits of Mind

      No Comments on Habits of Mind

by Arthur L. Costa, Ed. D. (Professor Emeritus, California State University, Sacramento). This paper summarizes 16 attributes of what human beings do when they behave intelligently, referred to as Habits of Mind.  Metacognition is the 5th mentioned (see a nice summary of all 16 on the final page). Dr. Costa points out that these “Habits of Mind transcend all subject matters commonly taught in… Read more »

Parallels: Instructors’ Metacognition Practices and their Mindsets

This post by Lauren Scharff explores the idea that “While a student focus is extremely important (ultimately students are the target population of our educational efforts), we shouldn’t neglect to acknowledge, study, and develop instructors with respect to their mindset (and their metacognitive practices).”

What Do We Mean by “Metacognitive Instruction”?

In this post, Lauren Scharff shares the Metacognitive Instruction research project investigators’ wrangling with what they meant by metacognition, and how that then maps to “metacognitive instruction.” To start, they claim that metacognition is the intentional and ongoing interaction between awareness and self-regulation. How does this definition resonate with you? Read the full post and share your comments!

Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments

This sometimes humorous article by Justin Kruger and David Dunning describes a series of four experiments that “that incompetent individuals have more difficulty recognizing their true level of ability than do more competent individuals and that a lack of metacognitive skills may underlie this deficiency.”  It also includes a nice review of the literature and several examples to support their study…. Read more »

Incorporating Metacognition in Tutoring

      1 Comment on Incorporating Metacognition in Tutoring

In this post by by Leonard Geddes, Transforming Your Tutoring Program: How to Move Beyond Important to Being Impactful, he makes a case for training tutors so that they can help their clients become metacognitive learners. The post is largely an advertisement for a LearnWell webinar, but the idea of training tutors seems worthwhile. Saturday, February 14, 2015

Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI): The 5 Perspectives

There are a lot of free surveys/inventories “out there” for all sorts of things, most often related to some aspect of personality. If you use them in a reflective manner, they can help you better understand yourself – your . The TPI (also free) offers a chance for you to reflect on your teaching perspectives (one aspect of metacognitive instruction). The TPI… Read more »

The Teaching Learning Group at CSUN

      No Comments on The Teaching Learning Group at CSUN

Two years ago, eight faculty at California State University, Northridge, began studying how people learn as a grassroots effort to increase student success by focusing on what instructors do in the classroom. Our website shares our efforts, Five Gears for Activating Learning, as well as supporting resources and projects developed to date (e.g., documents, videos, and a yearlong Faculty Learning… Read more »

The Six Hour D… And How to Avoid It

      No Comments on The Six Hour D… And How to Avoid It

This great essay by Russ Dewey (1997) evolved from a handout he used to give his students. He shares some common examples of poor study strategies and explains why they are unlikely to lead to deep learning (even if they are used for 6 hours…). He then shares a simple metacognitive self-testing strategy that could be tailored for courses across the disciplines. http://www.psywww.com/discuss/chap00/6hourd.htm… Read more »

Despite Good Intentions, More is Not Always Better

Lauren Scharff suggests that sometimes well-intentioned instructor guidance to help students study is not really helpful. In fact in some cases it can be harmful. She shares some results from a study at my institution that clearly show that even something as intuitively practical as doing additional homework problems in Physics may not be a good study strategy for the students who are struggling the most. See what other strategies might also be less helpful than you might initially imagine, and think about how you provide guidance for your students.