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Friday, June 19 • 10:45am - 11:15am
CON12.04 - Using reflective activity to improve student metacognition and attitudes in post-secondary education

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This study presents the construction of and research into a term-long, weekly reflective activity designed to enhance students’ metacognition and attitudes toward mathematics in a university course offered both face-to-face and online. While the course is in mathematics, the design and principles of the reflective activity can be adapted to any course “by helping students learn about themselves as learners in the context of acquiring content knowledge” (Bransford et al., 2000, p. 78). The weekly reflective activity is sequential: instructor provides reflection prompt, student responds, instructor selects feedback. The prompts “serve a cueing purpose to enhance the students’ cognitive and metacognitive capabilities and lead to the behaviors associated with a deep learning approach” (Chin & Brown, 2000, p. 133). The student provides a response by analyzing how the concept/exploration is affecting and changing her knowledge, thinking and learning. Then the instructor selects one predetermined feedback (based on expressing confidence, frustration, language barrier, etc.) to each student response as support for the metacognitive analysis. Preliminary research into the effectiveness demonstrate that the benefits are threefold: (1) improvement of students’ metacognition; (2) positive change in attitude toward mathematics; and (3) achievement of (1) and (2) in both versions of the course regardless of who the instructor is. The audience itself is given an exploration followed by a reflective activity. The discussion that will ensue will hopefully support that the design of the reflective activity allows its adaptation by instructors of a wide variety of post-secondary courses. 

Bransford, J., Brown, A. L., & Cocking, R. R. (2000). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school (expanded edition). Washington, DC: National Research Council.

Chin, C., & Brown, D. E. (2000). Learning in science: A comparison of deep and surface approaches. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37(2), 109-138.

Zohar, A., & David, A. B. (2009). Paving a clear path in a thick forest: A conceptual analysis of a metacognitive component. Metacognition and Learning, 4(3), 177-195.

avatar for Petra Menz

Petra Menz

Senior Lecturer, Simon Fraser University
I am particularly interested in helping students transition from high school to post-secondary education as well as teaching mathematics to students who want to become elementary teachers.

Friday June 19, 2015 10:45am - 11:15am
Seymour Room

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