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Project Proposal

Metacognitive Study Strategies for College Students

  • A mini course designed to introduce students to metacognition and provide guidance for using metacognitive study strategies for effective learning.
  • Topics to be addressed:
    • What is metacognition?
    • Learning Styles, Multiple Intelligences and Goal Setting
    • Learning from a Metacognitive Approach
    • Metacognitive Reading & Writing Strategies

Needs Assessment

1. Instructional problem:

In modern America, many people believe that to achieve upward mobility and personal independence one must earn a college degree. High school students are funneled toward post-secondary education by schools and parents as a natural next step in the developmental process, and displaced workers oftentimes turn to education as a solution to their struggles to find gainful employment. Regardless of the situation that the student has come from, not all students that enroll in college have the skills necessary to be academically successful and persist to graduation. As a result, underprepared students often do not understand why they are not achieving success and rather than seek out assistance, they either choose not to return to school or find themselves academically dismissed.

2. The nature of what is to be learned:

Students will learn strategies for assessing their own learning processes and approaches for academic success.

3. About the learners:

This course will be designed for new college students, returning college students who return on academic probation and also continuing college students who find themselves academically at risk of being dismissed from school.

4. Instructional content:

Students will work through a series of lessons that will introduce them to the concept of metacognition, get them to link the importance of metacognition to their personal and career goals, and then will be introduced to strategies for studying, writing, and approaching projects from a metacognitive perspective.

Lessons will be arranged in a similar format: an introduction to gain student interest, explaination of lesson objectives, presentation of new information, student use of the information, instructor feedback and reinforcement. Readings, videos and journaling will be the primary instructional tools for this mini-course.

Learner Analysis

This course will address the needs of students across different disciplines; focusing on basic skills that all students will be able to apply to any course to better understand and apply the content.

Students that will most benefit from this course will demonstrate a willingness to learn, they possess basic learning skills, literacy, basic computer and information literacy skills, basic writing skills - but may not have had the opportunity to develop those skills beyond a basic level. They may lack the ability to identify or articulate what they know about a subject or process and what they need to know, how to go about finding the answer and finally, to assess the learning experience as a whole.

Many of these students are conditioned to a traditional pedagogical model and have not had experience with self-directed learning environments, so a key factor of this project will be to expose students to the self-directed learning model so that they have the confidence and experience to carry these skills forward to other courses and learning experiences.

Task Analysis

1. Course Purpose:

The successful participant in this course will acquire an understanding of metacognition and methods for applying critical thinking skills for academic success.

2. Learning Outcomes: After completing this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Through journaling, explain the connection between their metacognitive processes and academic success.
  2. When given a learning activity, demonstrate understanding and implementation of metacognitive approaches to learning, reading and writing.

3. Prerequisite Skills

  • Ability to monitor actions and events
  • Ability to describe monitored actions and events in writing
  • Knowledge of personal goals
  • Ability to recognize success and failure
  • Ability to verbalize thoughts, ideas and attitudes

Curriculum Map

Module 1: What is Metacognition?

Objectives 1, 2

Content: Investigating what metacognition is, learning about personality types, connecting the two through journaling.

Module 2: Learning Styles and How to Learn

Objectives 1, 2

Content: Investigation of Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences and learning styles, application of new knowledge to current coursework, reflection through journaling

Module 3: Metacognitive Learning

Objectives 1,2

Content: Goal setting with SMART method, investigating methods to develop metacognitive proceses, application of new knowledge to current coursework, reflection through journaling

Module 4: Metacognitive Strategies for Reading and Writing

Objectives 1,2

Content: KWL method for reading comprehension, writing process, application of new strategies to current coursework, reflection through journaling

Module 5: Reflective Assessment

Objective 1

Content: Complete reflective journal on mini course, assessemble and review Personal Learning Plan, debreif and plan for the future


Brace, R. (2010). Learning traits in Postsecondary CTE: A Discussion on Classroom and Career. Techniques: Connecting Education & Careers, 85(5), 34-36. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.

Cornford, I. (2002). Learning-to-learn strategies as a basis for effective lifelong learning. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 21(4), 357-368. doi:10.1080/02601370210141020.

Georghiades, P. (2000). Beyond conceptual change learning in science education: focusing on transfer, durability and... Educational Research, 42(2), 119. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.

Loizidou, A., & Koutselini, M. (2007). Metacognitive monitoring: an obstacle and a key to effective teaching and learning. Teachers & Teaching, 13(5), 499-519. doi:10.1080/13540600701561711.

Pierce, W. (2003). METACOGNITION: Study Strategies, Monitoring, and Motivation. Retrieved from

Spada, M., Nikcevic, A., Moneta, G., & Ireson, J. (2006). Metacognition as a Mediator of the Effect of Test Anxiety on a Surface Approach to Studying. Educational Psychology, 26(5), 615-624. doi:10.1080/01443410500390673.

Stewart, J., & Landine, J. (1995). Study skills from a metacognitive perspective. Guidance & Counseling, 11(1), 16. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.

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