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Wednesday, June 17 • 4:00pm - 5:30pm
POSTER.20 - Exploring undergraduates' learning strategies and metacognition in an introductory science course

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In introductory science and math courses, several students struggle with adopting appropriate study strategies for learning the course material (Grove & Bretz, 2012; Lynch & Trujillo, 2011). As such, scholars call for curriculum and pedagogy that improves students’ learning strategies and metacognition (Tanner, 2012). That is, for curriculum and pedagogy that encourages students to control, evaluate, plan, and monitor their learning (Anderson & Nashon, 2007). This presentation will provide an overview of a mixed methods research project that investigated the catalysts for metacognitive change in a large, second-year organic chemistry course. This course has a reputation of being difficult and as such, the instructor developed several formative resources (i.e. in-class quizzes, study strategy workshops) to provide students with explicit feedback on their learning strategies. A case study approach employing a metacognitive instrument, classroom observations, and one-on-one interviews offered a window into the supports and barriers students perceived as prompting them to address and/or change their approaches to learning. Analysis of the data revealed summative assessments (i.e. midterm and final examinations) as overshadowing the use and usefulness of the resources designed specifically to enhance student learning and metacognition. As such, several students struggled with the course content and found it hard to make effective adjustments to their learning strategies. Ideally, the presentation of this research will engage STLHE scholars in discussions about how we may balance formative and summative assessment in higher education to enhance students’ learning strategies and metacognition.

Anderson, D., & Nashon, S. (2007). Predators of knowledge construction: Interpreting students' metacognition in an amusement park physics program. Science Education, 91(2), 298-320.

Grove, N. P., & Bretz, S. L. (2012). A continuum of learning: from rote memorization to meaningful learning in organic chemistry. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 13, 201-208

Lynch, D. J., & Trujillo, H. (2011). Motivational beliefs and learning strategies in organic chemistry. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 9(1351-1365).

Tanner, K. (2012). Promoting student metacognition. CBE - Life Sciences Education, 11(2), 113-120.

Wednesday June 17, 2015 4:00pm - 5:30pm PDT
Bayshore Foyer

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