Metacognition is “awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes.” Metacognition can apply to everyday thinking, “Did I turn off the oven?” or “Did I remember to put in my briefcase everything I will need for today?” It is also important to the learning process. For instance, while reading, individuals may have a subtle awareness that they are “storing information in memory so that they can retrieve it later?”
Metacognitive thinking can be trained. As I get older and my mind is less “nimble,” I’ve developed strategies for storing and retrieving information in memory. These days, I jot down more information, I work on strategies for recalling a string of six numbers, necessary for noxious verification codes, and when I park my car, I consciously look for a Lot # or a Return Station so when I wheel my grocery cart into the lot, I don’t have to spend 15 minutes looking for my car. These examples demonstrate strategies that students need to use when studying for a test.
Another type of metacognitive thinking skill is comprehension monitoring. Everyone has the experience of reading a passage and realizing they haven’t processed or remembered the information. Most people will re-read with greater deliberation, making sure they understand and are storing information in memory. Good readers do this automatically; however, less abled readers need instruction and training to develop this skill.
For my dissertation (“Activating Students’ Metacognitive Reading Processes) at the University of Pittsburgh, I developed a training device. It uses technology #edtech to reinforce students’ correct answers and to provide wait time for incorrect answers. During wait time, the user interface instructs students to re-read the paragraph. This application (Accomplish Reading App) activates and trains students’ comprehension monitoring skills. Improved comprehension monitoring leads to improved reading comprehension.
Anyone who is interested in comprehension monitoring can find additional information on my website. Website information explains how “Accomplish Reading” (a training app) acts as a personal tutor #personaltutor to promote good reading comprehension skills. If you want to see how this training device works, you can download the App for free to Android and Apple Tablets. www.accomplishonline.com