A Metacognitive Instructional Guide to Support Effective Studying Strategies


Metacognition—the processes whereby learners assess and monitor their progress in learning (metacognitive monitoring, MM) and use these judgements of learning to make choices about what to study in the future (metacognitive control, MC)—has been shown to be beneficial to learning. However, effective learning also relies on metacognitive knowledge (MK)—that is, students’ knowledge about effective study strategies and how to employ them. Few students receive explicit in-class instruction on these topics. Here, we explore if an online instructional guide, which includes information about evidence-based study strategies, example questions for self-testing, and a study calendar to help regulate timing of studying can effectively teach MK to improve performance.While it is unclear if the online instructional guide was related to increases in MK, MM, and MC, we did observe benefits to student performance, particularly in highly anxious students on high-stake assessments such as the final examination. Future research should seek to understand how students were engaging with the guide and how the nature of the engagement impacted their study strategies.

The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning