Friday, December 4, 2009

Learning about Metacognition/Reflection

I just read the preprint "Reflection amplifiers in online courses: a classification framework" by Dominique Verpoorten, Wim Westera and Marcus Specht.

The annex is particularly interesting as it contains a very concise overview on 35 approaches on metacognitive/reflection. I am currently teaching French in the SJTU online college and this list gives me some food for thoughts on how I can embed reflection in a meaningful way. Meaningful meaning that my students (and I) actually see a value in it, not just as something that take their time away from learning "the real stuff".

These ones sound interesting (for the full references, please refer to the paper):
  • Indicators of understanding: Learners are asked to qualify their understanding with simple indicators like "lost/foggy/got it" or equivalent. Stadtler & Bromme, 2008
  • Formative assessment: The course offers assessment intended to generate feedback on performance to improve, helping learners to assess their own learning. Nicol & MacFarlane-Dick, 2006
  • Where and Why Is It Wrong? Learners receive pieces of work for which they are asked to say what is wrong and why. Mitrovic & Martin, 2002.
  • Practice of evocation (pausing to reflect) Learners are requested to recall important or puzzling facts/ideas/concepts from the previous learning episode. de La Garanderie, 1989

The Mitrovic & Martin publications is an example that less able students can profit from being helped to select the next exercise to work on, in this case by showing them the systems estimation about their knowledge state. Something teachers should do, too: explaining their students why they should work on a specific topic, and ideally teaching them this skill.

I am looking for more overviews on metacognition/reflection, in particular for language learning. Any suggestions?