Socially Shared Metacognition Among Undergraduate Students During an Online Geology Course

Socially Shared Metacognition Among Undergraduate Students During an Online Geology Course

Dan Spencer (North Carolina State University, USA), Margareta M. Thomson (North Carolina State University, USA) and Jason P. Jones (North Carolina State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5085-3.ch019

Abstract

The ability to collaborate successfully with others is a highly valued skill in the modern workplace and has been reflected in the increase of collaborative learning methods within education. Research has highlighted the crucial role of self-regulation in successful collaboration, and more recently begun to focus on understanding how groups jointly regulate their interactions. The current chapter outlines a mixed-methods study that compared the impact of individual- and group-centered prompts on the frequency of social metacognitive activities during online group review activities with college students (N=48) from the USA. Tentative study findings suggested that group-centered problematizing prompts were moderately successful in shifting groups towards more social forms of regulation such as co-regulation; however, they were not enough to move groups towards shared metacognitive regulation. Further results revealed how the quality of group engagement was influenced by participants' perceived value towards activities, function and focus of metacognitive episodes, and group dynamics.
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Background

The theoretical framework for the current chapter combines elements from different theoretical perspectives, presented as a hierarchical model: 1) Collaborative learning is the most generic level of the theoretical framework model, framing the context in which the study is situated, 2) Within this, and viewed through the lens of collaborative learning, is regulation of learning which comprises three forms of regulation spanning the social/collaborative continuum (self-regulated learning, co-regulated learning, and socially-shared regulation of learning), and 3) Metacognition, the construct of focus in the current study, is placed in the lowest level of the theoretical framework model. As a component of regulation, it is also viewed as occurring across the social continuum (individual, other, and social metacognition).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Co-Regulation: The temporary guiding, prompting, or assisting that occurs between individuals to accurately monitor and control cognitive work in the production of a group product.

Metacognition: An individual’s acquired awareness and understanding of his or her own cognitive processes.

Socially Shared Regulation: The even distribution of regulatory activities between individuals as they negotiate shared task perceptions, plans, and strategies towards a group goal.

Scaffolding: Temporary support that helps students reach higher levels of comprehension and skill acquisition that they would not be able to achieve without assistance.

Collaborative Learning: A method of learning that involves individuals working towards a shared goal in unison, to achieve a product that could not be achieved alone.

Undergraduate Education: Level of education wherein a student completes their first degree.

Self-Regulation: Strategic and metacognitive behavior, motivation, and cognition aimed toward a goal.

Other Metacognition: When one group member regulates the individual activity of another group member during collaborative interactions.

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