The Role of Metacognition in Enhancing Learning Skills

Year: 1985

Author: Biggs, J.B.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

A model of student learning is outlined in which the importance of metacognitive processes is emphasised, in particular, that students be aware of their motives, of task demands, and of their own cognitive resources, and exert control over the strategies appropriate for handling the task. Three common approaches to learning are described, deep, achieving, and surface, with deep and achieving requiring most metacognition. Two intervention studies are described, one with at-risk university students, and the other with two classes of Year 11 students, which involved teaching study skills in a context emphasising metacognitive awareness. In both studies, pre- and post-treatment comparisons
showed an increase in deep and achieving approaches, with long term improvements in academic performance.