Metacognition And Learning: Strategies For Instructional Design

“Metacognitive strategies facilitate learning how to learn. You can incorporate these, as appropriate, into eLearning courses, social learning experiences, pre- and post-training activities and other formal or informal learning experiences.”

Source: theelearningcoach.com

This article provides ten strategies for incorporating metacognitive strategies into teaching and learning.

  1. Ask Questions
  2. Foster Self Reflection
  3. Encourage Self Questioning
  4. Teach Strategies Directly
  5. Promote Autonomous Learning
  6. Provide Access to Mentors
  7. Solve Problems with a Team
  8. Think Aloud
  9. Self-Explanation
  10. Provide Opportunities for Making Errors

One simple thing you can do is have the students write two or three points that they felt were important during class that day.  Once they have had a chance to write, you as the instructor can give your two or three points that you thought were important and model how students can begin to understand what is important in your course.

“Thinking About One’s Thinking” Metacognition | Center for Teaching | Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University

Source: cft.vanderbilt.edu

This link has two articles in it. It defines what Metacognition is and gives some practical ways to implement it in learning.  How often do you stop during a lecture (or other activity) and give students a chance to process what you have been saying or doing?  Sometimes, we get so caught up in fitting everything in an 50 minute slot that we forget processing time. Those are the days that students leave dazed, with notes but maybe not a clear understanding of what the lesson was actually about.  Taking time to pause and reflect is one way to help students connect with content and with their own learning strategies.

Our Tools Shape Us

The educational tools that we choose often shape how we educate our students, so let’s choose them wisely with one eye on the future.

Source: www.edutopia.org

This same concept applies to a lot of lab courses. There’s some big machine which drives the lab activity because it’s there, we’ve paid for it, and it’s all we know. Don’t let the tools that we have limit the way we think about teaching.

Learning Objectives – Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation – Carnegie Mellon University

Source: www.cmu.edu

What is the most important thing in your course for students to know or do in five years? That’s the question that we use to start the first consultation we have with instructors.  It is important to understand what you expect of students. This becomes the foundation that instructors build their course.  Once they know what the consider to be the most important part of their course, they can begin to build the learning objectives that will guide students in their learning. 

This website has great resources on building good learning objectives that are student centered and help to guide students.  This website also shows the importance of alignment.  This is where you align your assessments and learning activities with specific learning objectives.  This helps to eliminate confusion and keep students on track with what the instructor finds to be the most important parts of the course.

The NMC Horizon Report: 2013 Higher Education Edition

The NMC Horizon Report > 2013 Higher Education Edition is a collaborative effort between the NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE Program.
The tenth edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, a decade-long research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in higher education. Six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next o

Source: www.editlib.org

The Horizon Report is an annual document showing current and future trends in education. The 2013 report includes a chapter on gamification and how it is impacting both education and the workplace. It includes numerous resources for further reading and investigation.

STEM Experiential Education at Missouri S&T

At Missouri S&T, the experiential experience is a top priority. That’s what drives students to a STEM school with an engineering focus in a small town in Rural Missouri that’s more than an hour…

Source: blog.sloanconsortium.org

Here’s a look at laboratory redesign projects going on at S&T. We’ve got several courses piloting now and others under development.

iThenticate is now available to S&T academic researchers and publishers!

The Missouri S&T Educational Technology office is proud to support a new tool on campus called iThenticate. Brought to you by the same company behind Turnitin, iThenticate is a plagiarism prevention tool intended for use by professional academic researchers and publishers. Like Turnitin, iThenticate generates originality reports by comparing submitted work to previously published work. Unlike Turnitin—which is intended for classroom use—iThenticate is intended solely for the world of professional academic publishing. iThenticate is intended to be a formative tool which gives authors and editors the power to eliminate unintended plagiarism and improve citation practices. To that end, iThenticate searches over 100 million scholarly books, articles, and conference proceedings as well as periodicals, encyclopedias, abstracts, and over 50 billion current and archived web pages.

The primary users of iThenticate are academic researchers and publishers, including graduate and doctoral students (and their advisors!) who are writing theses or dissertations. These writers will appreciate iThenticate’s easy-to-use interface as well as several features not found in Turnitin. iThenticate allows for much longer documents to be submitted, as well as allowing for document sharing and version comparison. Unlike Turnitin, iThenticate does NOT save a copy of submitted work to a central database. This means your in-progress publication will stay confidential until it is ready for publication.

If you are a scholarly writer interested in using iThenticate, please contact the IT Help Desk to submit an iThenticate access request to the Educational Technology office; The EdTech office will get you set up and also provide a short training session, if desired. Happy writing and publishing!

LMS Update

Last year, Educational Technology supported a committee of faculty and students to evaluate our current Learning Management System (LMS), Blackboard.  This LMS Review effort was part of a larger project to understand whether the portfolio of learning technologies we had implemented on campus contained the best tools to meet the needs of instructors and students on our campus.

The committee did a great job working together and asking the hard questions about teaching and learning needs on our campus.  We helped facilitate several open forums where feedback from students was gathered to help the committee understand students’ needs and desires.  In late fall the LMS Review committee decided to look at other learning management systems to better understand the entire picture of potential learning management systems’ capabilities.  According to the committee, “If we’ve never seen anything else, how do we know we are even asking the right questions?”

The committee focused in on the major LMS offerings, Desire2Learn, Canvas, Sakai, and Blackboard. A scoring guide was developed help the evaluation process.  (This scoring guide can be found on the Resources portion of the project website.)  After preliminary evaluation by the committee, the three finalist LMS vendors were invited to make campus presentations.  Following the campus visits, further hands-on evaluation of the products continued.  In March, with the evaluation of products completed, the committee unanimously recommended that Canvas would better serve the teaching and learning needs of Missouri S&T.  But what does that mean?  EdTech has never guided the campus through such a significant change in a foundational learning technology software like this before.  What were the steps?  It seemed around every corner we have found more steps that need to be taken in order to make this happen.  If our campus changes LMS, what about the other UM campuses? How might this affect the UM Course Sharing Initiative?  What about procurement?

Since S&T completed our evaluation, Columbia campus has started theirs.  MU’s timeline is to evaluate possibilities and gather information through this semester. They plan to make a recommendation by the end of the fall 2014 semester.  UMKC has indicated a desire to stay with Blackboard, but is exploring the alternative of having Blackboard, Inc. host their server.  There seems to be a lot of activity around LMS across the System!

There has also been an announcement about the evaluation of the ERP (JoeSS, finance, HR) from the President.  This is a major endeavor that affects many functional groups across the system.  Unfortunately, this appears to be the major stumbling block for further progress toward implementing a better LMS for S&T.  Upper UM System administration is asking us to wait on any decisions about the LMS until after there is a plan in place to address the needs of the ERP, latest estimate is 6-9 months.

There are always complexities in this sort of decision and implementation plan.  Some are anticipated, some are not.  EdTech and the LMS Review committee are continuing to work diligently to resolve the issues that arise in order to settle once and for all what learning management system S&T will be using.  For the time being, and through spring 2015 at least, it remains Blackboard.

I can assure you that no matter what LMS is chosen; EdTech will be here to help you.  Our goal is to do what is best to address the teaching and learning mission of our campus.  As of right now, an extended demonstration phase of Canvas is occurring where EdTech is really digging into the back-end management process and working to understand how everything works while a limited number of faculty and students continue to use Canvas for some classes.  Additional feedback from the faculty and students using Canvas this semester will help inform us and the other campuses as we move forward with the LMS discussion and decision.  We will continue to work with UM System to understand the process for making this change and what steps we need to complete.  If you have any questions about what is happening don’t hesitate to contact us.  Stayed tuned for future developments!