Metacognition Events Focus on Student Success

Metacognition Events Focus on Student Success

Faculty and students at Eastern Kentucky University will come together Feb. 19-20 for a common purpose: to enhance the teaching-learning process and student success with proven metacognitive strategies.

A series of sessions featuring noted metacognition scholar Dr. Saundra McGuire are scheduled over the two days.

On Thursday, Feb. 19, McGuire will give students “strategies to experience meaningful, transferable learning” in a presentation entitled “The Key to Acing Courses,” from 6 to 8 p.m. in the EKU Center for the Arts. Prizes will be awarded, and proof of attendance will be available. The Feb. 19 event is free and open to all students. Advance registration is available; walk-ins are welcome.

Then, on Friday, Feb. 20, McGuire will address faculty in two separate sessions in O’Donnell Hall of the Whitlock Building. The morning event, 8:30-11:30 a.m., will focus on the importance of helping students focus on learning and acquire “simple but effective” learning strategies based on cognitive science principles. Attendees will engage in interactive reflection activities to experience strategies that “significantly improve learning while transforming student attitudes about the meaning of learning.” A hands-on follow-up workshop, 12:30-2:30 p.m., will present faculty with specific approaches for helping students embrace metacognitive learning strategies and will provide attendees the opportunity to practice techniques for motivating students to use the strategies. Faculty are encouraged to attend both sessions but, if that’s not feasible, the morning session is recommended.

Students and faculty can register for their respective sessions at McGuire's visit is sponsored by the Office of the Provost as part of the Provost's Professional Development Series.

“Metacognition is a process for thinking about the ways that we approach teaching and learning (or thinking about thinking),” said Dr. Russell Carpenter, director of the Noel Studio for Academic Creativity and program director for the Minor in Applied Creative Thinking. “It helps us understand how students plan and learn best and then how classes can be designed to facilitate optimal learning experiences.

“If we, as a campus community, can become more aware of what metacognition is and how we can employ it – from student and faculty perspectives – we can make progress on learning outcomes and paths toward those outcomes. We can understand how significant learning experiences, habits, and practices are created.

“A better understanding of metacognition could help faculty design and scaffold assignments, projects, and exams,” Carpenter continued. “For students, a better understanding of metacognition can aid in the development of productive strategies for the classroom. Students can practice metacognition in classes from across the disciplines from their first weeks on campus to their senior year.”

McGuire is the director emerita of the Center for Academic Success and retired vice chancellor and professor of chemistry at Louisiana State University. Prior to joining LSU in 1999, she spent 11 years at Cornell University, where she served as director of the Center for Learning and Teaching and senior lecturer in the Department of Chemistry. While at Cornell, she received and coveted Clark Distinguished Teaching Award. She also has presented keynote addresses and workshops at more than 100 events in 38 states and several international venues. In 2007, she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring in a White House Oval Office ceremony.

Contact Information

Dr. Russell Carpenter

Published on January 26, 2015