Metacognition and the Effect on GPA
There are a number of ways in which metacognition is defined, the most common of which is “thinking about thinking.” Metacognition is an essential element of taking charge of one’s learning but what is the value to students to pursue metacognitive learning? Ultimately, employing active learning techniques such as critical thinking leads to higher performance, as determined by grades and retention of learned subjects during studies. This can be attributable to increased identification of student learning objectives, self awareness of strengths, and processes to follow to overcome weaknesses, thus allowing learners to achieve their goals. If teachers were to incorporate metacognitive assessment into their curriculum, across the board improvements could be had. In order to justify using a metacognitive approach to learning, it is first important to understand Metacognition, its importance, and how one assess’ it. Many in the educational field describe metacognition as “thinking about thinking” as I stated previously. After all the research I have completed in my effort to complete this paper, the description I have found to be more accurate is “monitoring and control of thought.” Metacognition refers to higher order thinking which involves active control over the cognitive processes engaged in learning. Activities such as planning how to approach a given learning task, monitoring comprehension, and evaluating progress toward the completion of a task are metacognitive in nature. Because metacognition plays a critical role in successful learning, it is important to study metacognitive activity and development to determine how students can be taught to better apply their cognitive resources through metacognitive control. Metacognition is an important aspect of student learning. It allows individuals to plan, sequence, and monitor their learning in a way that directly improves performance. It involves self regulation, reflection upon an individual’s performance strengths, weaknesses, learning and study strategies. Metacognition is the foundation upon which students become independent readers and writers. It also underlies student’s abilities to generalize math problem solving strategies. It is a strong predictor of academic success. The most reliable method of assessment is the 52-item Metacognitive Awareness Inventory (MAI). This is a long, comprehensive survey assessing various facets of metacognition. It has good reliability and validity for metacognition assessment. It effectively covers various aspects of metacognition in-depth and can also be used to obtain scores for individual areas of metacognition, such as monitoring, planning, comprehension, and so on. Participants respond to each item on a 7-point scale ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (7). There is a correlation between the total score on the MAI and end course grades of college level students.  There was a correlation between the total score of the MAI and end of course grades. Breaking this down into the two factors of knowledge of cognition and regulation of cognition a correlation was found between each of these factors and end of course grades. There was a correlation between GPA and the knowledge of cognition factor and also between GPA and regulation of cognition factor. These results show a relation between both the knowledge of cognition and regulation of cognition factors of the MAI and broad measures of academic achievement. It was found that the MAI is better correlated to broad measures of academic achievement like GPA or end course grades versus ingle test performance. It is possible that single test performance is affected by variables outside of one’s use of metacognitive regulation and knowledge skills. Some examples of outside influence affecting performance are physical illness, one’s motivation, and...
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 Coutinho, S. (2007). The relationship between goals, metacognition, and academic success. Educate~, 7(1), 39 - 47. Retrieved on 19 May 2013 from http://www.educatejournal.org/index.php/educate/article/view/116/134 (doi: unavailable)
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