define the variable(s) under investigation and describe the evidence for it/them. Be sure to include specifics as if you were explaining this paper to someone who had not read it.
Example :

Metacognition occurs daily when one is thinking. It plays an important role in daily cognitive tasks. Metacognition can happen before, during, or after a cognitive event. Before an event, the learner can assess the situation and decide how to be successful. During the event, the learner can monitor their progress and consider an alternative route. After the event, the learner decides how effective they were and what to do in the future. (Salomon & Perkins, 1989). Many people believe that metacognition is different and “more abstract” than regular cognitive processing. However, this article discusses the difference being about the “topics a learner thinks about, not the processes a learner applies (Winne & Azevedo, 2014, p.3).

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Metacognition about different forms of knowledge

Declarative knowledge: Declarative knowledge is straightforward. Basically, if you know, you know. Many people know that 2+2=4, and they will always know that 2+2=4. This is a factual statement that one can recite verbally without thinking. Metacognitive awareness is very high.

Procedural knowledge: Procedural knowledge can be thought of as an automatic response. It is a step by step thought process in problem-solving situations. At first, the learner is extremely metacognitive aware of the procedure to be able to accomplish the task. After performing the task successfully and routinely, the tasks become mastered and second nature. Metacognitive awareness is very low.

Conditional knowledge: “Without conditional knowledge, declarative and procedural knowledge would not be useful” (Jacobs & Paris, 1987; Paris et al., 1983; Pintrich, 2002; Schneider & Lockl, 2002; Schraw, 2001). Conditional knowledge is being able to appropriately apply declarative and procedural knowledge to specific tasks. The condition is identifying appropriate strategies for problem-solving tasks. Conditional knowledge involves sensitivity to the task or context, as well as sensitivity to strategy selection that is influenced by the task context (Winne & Azevedo, 2014, p.6).

Metacognition about forms of thinking

Metacognitive monitoring: This is the ‘tip of the tongue’ phenomenon where a person knows information but cannot seem to remember that information at a particular moment.

Metacognitive control: Developing with age, this form of thinking changes future responses based on the feedback from one’s environment on previous responses.

Self-regulated learning: “Productive learners need to match what they know to results that unfold as they work through tasks” (Winne & Azevedo, 2014, p.8). This type of learning is a combination of the three forms of learning with the three forms of thinking. The “IF-THEN-ELSE” model is discussed. For example, IF a learner can predict a successful outcome, THEN they apple it. IF that prediction is unsuccessful, then a learner should change that prediction to something ELSE to be successful.

Empirical studies of metacognition in 6 categories:

Studies of calibration: the fit between metacognition and performance.

Calibration is the degree to which a person’s judgment about his or her performance corresponds to his or her actual performance (p.10). This is not easy to achieve. Learners can tend to overestimate or underestimate their sense of mastery. This can be influenced by the difficulty of a task. The authors also studied ‘task authenticity’ and found that lower-achieving students may have more motivation to study for extra point incentives, which affects metacognition. Group work was another idea that was studied and found that, “social comparisons increased the learner’s confidence; greater confidence was associated with higher performance (p.12).

Studies of motivation and metacognition.

Many studies were conducted on motivation and metacognition. Theories were tested on why a person wants to learn: mastery goal orientation vs. performance goal orientation. Studied by Ford, Smith, Weissbein, Gully and Salas (1998), mastery goal orientation is when a person truly wants to learn and performance goal orientation refers to wanting to demonstrate one’s ability to others. Bell and Kozlowski (2008) studied the differences in an exploratory approach vs. a proceduralized approach: exploring material vs. executing a sequence to learn. The exploratory approach led to greater metacognitive control. “Because metacognitive behavior requires deliberate effort, motivation almost surely plays a role in metacognitive monitoring” (p.18).

Self-reports about metacognition: Studies of reported confidence or ease of learning after a learning task is completed.

Ease of learning (EOL) – prediction of how difficult a task may be (how long one must study)

Judgement of learning (JOL) – during learning (recalling information, comprehending information)

Retrospective confidence (RCJ)- happens after learning as occurred (a test of sorts)

Studies of metacognition and self-regulated learning.

Learners may feel that they know something because they recognize it leading them to overestimate and mislead their metacognitive control. “As well, effective self-regulating learners have learning strategies to attain desired learning goals and monitor the effectiveness of these strategies” (Corno, 1986; Purdie et al., 1996; Wolters, 1998, 2005; Zimmerman, 1989).

Studies of domain-general metacognitive abilities.

Metacognition pairs with knowledge as knowledge pairs with being domain specific. Some researchers have found that metacognitive abilities may be based upon how learner’s view themselves (which may not match actuality). How a person views themselves while completing a certain task may be different than how a person views them generally in the world.

Embedded online measures that study metacognitive processing during learning.

Unobtrusive measures – learner is unaware of data gathering

Obtrusive measures – learner is aware of data gathering which may affect performance

MetaTutor was a program that Azevedo and colleagues (2010, in press) used to collect traces of cognitive and metacognitive processes during learning. They were able to watch students highlight sentences, mark paragraphs in text (review this later vs. important). Researchers were able to analyze this data collection to better understand what enhances their metacognitive knowledge.

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