Metacognitive awareness of learning strategies in undergraduates

Mem Cognit. 2011 Apr;39(3):462-76. doi: 10.3758/s13421-010-0035-2.


Two studies examined undergraduates' metacognitive awareness of six empirically-supported learning strategies. Study 1 results overall suggested an inability to predict the learning outcomes of educational scenarios describing the strategies of dual-coding, static-media presentations, low-interest extraneous details, testing, and spacing; there was, however, weak endorsement of the strategy of generating one's own study materials. In addition, an independent measure of metacognitive self-regulation was correlated with scenario performance. Study 2 demonstrated higher prediction accuracy for students who had received targeted instruction on applied memory topics in their psychology courses, and the best performance for those students directly exposed to the original empirical studies from which the scenarios were derived. In sum, this research suggests that undergraduates are largely unaware of several specific strategies that could benefit memory for course information; further, training in applied learning and memory topics has the potential to improve metacognitive judgments in these domains.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Association Learning
  • Attention*
  • Awareness*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Internal-External Control
  • Judgment*
  • Male
  • Mental Recall*
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Serial Learning
  • Social Control, Informal
  • Students / psychology*
  • Young Adult