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Student Success Guide: Think Critically

Thinking with Metacognition

Introduction to Metacognition

Metacognition is "thinking about thinking" in order to become aware of how you learn.

Have you ever tested your learning strategies to see if they're effective? Or are you locked into a routine (habit) of study because that's the way you always did it?

Cognitive science has determined several best practices for learning and retaining information. For example, flashcards provide for spaced learning---learning over time as opposed to cramming all at once. They form a visual cue for you to remember. This helps new information move from short-term memory to long-term memory through repetition (practice). The most important thing you need to remember about metacognition is that you need to do something with what you learn!

Developing Metacognition

Meta-cognition Info-graphic


Questions to Ask Yourself to Activate Metacognition

  1. What did I learn today?
  2. How will I use what I am learning outside of class?
  3. Why are we practicing “X”? How will it help me?
  4. When I am about to try something new, how do I feel?
  5. When I am doing something and I get stuck, what do I do?
  6. Do I (cook, drive, relax) the same way in every situation? Why do I shift how I do things?

Deep Thinking Videos

Ways to Track Your Learning Using Technology

Make learning tasks memorable to increase your long-term memory of the content! Here's a list of ideas on how to do that by using free and innovative technology, metacognitive strategies, and creativity.

1. Use Google Drawings to create an infographic. Why? Visuals can help you remember content. It's a free app. 

2. Use Google Sites or O-Space to create a Website, portfolio, or workspace for an individual or group project.

3. Reflection helps you remember the lesson. Many Otis Faculty ask you to reflect on your learning. But you can use your e-portfolio or blog software  to reflect on your own.

4. Create a Twitter-based electronic newsletter on your major or course topic to learn from experts tweeting about it. Why? A newsletter will help you to continue your learning with each weekly update, and you can access the archive for past articles!

5. Use metacognitive strategies to increase the amount you learn. Metacognition means that you are hyperaware of your thought process. 

Articles About Metacognition

Success Coaching

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