Learn about metacognition, a little known word that is key to increasing learning and improving grades. Metacognition is knowledge about what makes thinking purposeful and productive. Students with metacognition:
- Possess awareness of their thoughts
- Recognize themselves as problem-solvers
- Choose appropriate strategies for thinking and problem-solving
- Match appropriate study strategies for particular types of assessments and assignments
- Monitor their progress as they are learning
- Accurately evaluate the depth of their understanding
- Readjust strategies when current strategies don’t work
- Reflect on the overall effectiveness of their learning
With metacognition, students meet learning goals, improve grades, and retain knowledge longer because they have learned more deeply. Continue reading for strategies that will help you increase your metacognition.
Strategies for Understanding Concepts and Definitions
1. Draw concept maps showing connections between ideas in order to deepen comprehension.
- Resource: Using Concept Maps
- Tools: Conceptboard, Visio, or even sticky notes on paper
2. Make flashcards to aid in repetition and quizzing of things to be memorized.
- Online Tool: Quizlet
- Office Hours Guidance for Students
1. Choose a reading system (e.g., SQ3R, P2R, or S-RUN systems).
1. Work through the reading’s suggested problems and examples; don’t just skim or, worse yet, skip.
2. Always attempt to solve problems, first, without looking at the solution.
Planning the Timing and Appropriate Use of Study Strategies
1. Make a plan for the type of strategies to employ for each type of quiz, paper, exam, lab, or other assignment in the course.
Step 1 – Preview
- Preview your text and other study materials before class to develop a better idea of what you’ll be covering. Skim through the chapter, notating all headings, subheadings, bold words, graphs, pictures and summaries. Develop questions you’d like the lecture to answer for you.
Step 2 – Attend
- Missing even a few classes can be detrimental to your studies and the learning process. Answer and ask questions and take meaningful notes during class. Combined with previewing, attending class will allow you to get more from lectures and take better, more concise notes.
Step 3 – Review
- Preferably right after class, but at least sometime during the day, take about 10 minutes to review your class notes. Fill in gaps, and note any questions that you may have. This process reinforces new concepts and increases confidence.
Step 4 – Study
- To reinforce the new material you learned during class, and to make sure you thoroughly understand the subject matter being taught, read notes and material from the week to make connections. As you study, ask yourself ‘how,’ ‘why,’ and ‘what if’ questions. Don’t forget, repetition is the key.
Step 5 – Assess
- Reflect on and evaluate your mastery and understanding of the material you learned and studied. Ask yourself:
- “Is the information I’m studying making sense?”
- “Am I confident with the new material?”
- “Do I understand the material well enough that I can teach it to someone else?”
Adapted from The Study Cycle. LSU and Frank Christ. http://www.cas.lsu.edu