Introductory Challenge

Are you aware of how you learn? Do you sometimes think about how you learn?

Thinking about how we learn actually helps us learn better. But how, exactly, can we think about how we learn?

Review the list below. It shows some of the different ways people learn. It includes things people do in order to plan to learn, actually learn, monitor their learning, and reflect about their learning. The list will help you see what “metacognition” is all about.

As you review the list, circle the rating in the column next to it that best fits with your situation. The ratings are (1) I definitely do this, (2) I do this sometimes, (3) I definitely don’t do this, and (4) I’m not sure if I do this. The list is color-coded. Items in the yellow section relate to planning to learn. Those in the peach section relate to the learning process itself. The items in the blue section focus on monitoring learning, and those in the green section focus on reflecting about learning.

Remember, there are no right answers! You are just giving yourself information about how you typically learn.

Metacognitive Strategies: Self-Assessment

COLOR CODING: yellow = planning to learn, peach = executing learning, blue = monitoring learning, and green = reflecting about learning

 

Learning Activity

 

 

Self-Assessment

Ask myself questions about the topic, such as:

  • What do I already know about the topic?
  • Is there anything about the topic that scares me?
  • What difficulties do I think I might have with the topic?
  • What other stuff do I know that might help me learn this?
  • I definitely do this.
  • I do this sometimes.
  • I definitely don’t do this.
  • I’m not sure if I do this.
Ask others questions about the topic, such as:

  • Are there vocabulary words I can learn ahead of time to help me understand this new material?
  • Have we studied anything in the past that connects to the new material?
  • What do you like about this topic?
  • I definitely do this.
  • I do this sometimes.
  • I definitely don’t do this.
  • I’m not sure if I do this.
Make an agenda of activities for learning the new material, such as:

  • A timetable for completing specific tasks
  • A checklist for noting the completion of tasks
  • A plan for taking notes
  • I definitely do this.
  • I do this sometimes.
  • I definitely don’t do this.
  • I’m not sure if I do this.
Skim a reading assignment first; then read it carefully.
  • I definitely do this.
  • I do this sometimes.
  • I definitely don’t do this.
  • I’m not sure if I do this.
Take notes.
  • I definitely do this.
  • I do this sometimes.
  • I definitely don’t do this.
  • I’m not sure if I do this.
Rewrite my initial notes.
  • I definitely do this.
  • I do this sometimes.
  • I definitely don’t do this.
  • I’m not sure if I do this.
Emphasize important ideas with highlighters, underlining, or sticky notes.
  • I definitely do this.
  • I do this sometimes.
  • I definitely don’t do this.
  • I’m not sure if I do this.
Keep a list of questions that come to mind as I am reading, doing problems, completing tasks, or studying.
  • I definitely do this.
  • I do this sometimes.
  • I definitely don’t do this.
  • I’m not sure if I do this.
Listen to a recording of written material or ask someone else to read the material to me.
  • I definitely do this.
  • I do this sometimes.
  • I definitely don’t do this.
  • I’m not sure if I do this.
Find a video on the same topic and watch it.
  • I definitely do this.
  • I do this sometimes.
  • I definitely don’t do this.
  • I’m not sure if I do this.
Think about how what I’m learning applies to other areas of life.
  • I definitely do this.
  • I do this sometimes.
  • I definitely don’t do this.
  • I’m not sure if I do this.
Develop memory tricks (mnemonic devices) if the information won’t “stick.”
  • I definitely do this.
  • I do this sometimes.
  • I definitely don’t do this.
  • I’m not sure if I do this.
Talk to other people about what I’m learning.
  • I definitely do this.
  • I do this sometimes.
  • I definitely don’t do this.
  • I’m not sure if I do this.
Ask myself questions about my emerging level of understanding, such as:

  • Do I really understand this concept?
  • Which part of the material do I understand and which part is still a little foggy?
  • I definitely do this.
  • I do this sometimes.
  • I definitely don’t do this.
  • I’m not sure if I do this.
Use quizzes from textbooks or websites to check my level of understanding.
  • I definitely do this.
  • I do this sometimes.
  • I definitely don’t do this.
  • I’m not sure if I do this.
Use a checklist for keeping track of the concepts I’ve learned or the learning tasks I’ve completed.
  • I definitely do this.
  • I do this sometimes.
  • I definitely don’t do this.
  • I’m not sure if I do this.
Find additional learning materials as a way to review concepts that still seem unclear.
  • I definitely do this.
  • I do this sometimes.
  • I definitely don’t do this.
  • I’m not sure if I do this.
Expand my understanding of the topic by reading additional articles or books, looking at additional websites, viewing related videos, and so on.
  • I definitely do this.
  • I do this sometimes.
  • I definitely don’t do this.
  • I’m not sure if I do this.
Write a journal entry to capture my ideas about what I’ve recently learned.
  • I definitely do this.
  • I do this sometimes.
  • I definitely don’t do this.
  • I’m not sure if I do this.
Talk to someone else about what I’ve recently learned.
  • I definitely do this.
  • I do this sometimes.
  • I definitely don’t do this.
  • I’m not sure if I do this.
Ask myself questions about what I’ve learned, such as:

  • How do these new ideas relate to what I already know?
  • Do these new ideas contradict something I already thought I knew?
  • Can these new ideas be connected to something else I want to learn?
  • I definitely do this.
  • I do this sometimes.
  • I definitely don’t do this.
  • I’m not sure if I do this.
Purposefully use the newly acquired skill or knowledge in a real-world situation.
  • I definitely do this.
  • I do this sometimes.
  • I definitely don’t do this.
  • I’m not sure if I do this.