Over the summer break, I started a passion project that I was thinking about a few years ago. As a student, I've always been trying to find ways to make learning more enjoyable for myself and found that one of the most effective ways to do so is by incorporating a concept called 'metacognition'.
Why metacognition has sparked my interest
When COVID-19 became a pandemic, students all around the world had to go through tough situations where what they were used to doing was no longer available. I was doing my IGCSEs when COVID-19 hit Korea. There were significant changes in how the school operated, starting with online classes and virtual assemblies.
Online classes meant that some students were feeling less engaged with the lessons. To some, it was the perfect opportunity to catch up on sleep. Others struggled to meet deadlines as there was less of an imminent penalty. Personally, my productivity reached an all-time low due to the stress of having to sit in front of a screen for almost half of my waking hour. After a day of 'school', I did not feel like doing anything else.
As an aspiring psychologist, I wanted to understand my behaviour and be able to bounce back to the life I had before. That's when I came across the notion of 'metacognition': a way of learning about your learning.
Meta-cognition gave me a powerful boost when I became an IB student. Much of what I was doing already (reflecting on my work, being resilient and taking risks with the ways I approach the tasks, etc) was a quality that the IB thought highly of. I was able to adapt to the requirements of a successful student doing the IB quickly and easily.
I'd like to say that I value the process of learning more than the outcome (although in most cases, successful outcomes seem to follow the process). This is taking a step towards better learning strategies. However, I came to a realisation that, unfortunately, students sometimes choose less effective methods just because they're more used to that. I wanted to help them realise what meta-cognition can do for their potential.
How can it benefit students?
Metacognition is a way for students to self-regulate the process of learning. It is done at their own pace and will be different for each and every one of them. This autonomy and feeling of self-efficacy will boost the students' motivation towards learning.
By starting to recognise what works or doesn't work for them, students will become better prepared when studying at rigorous universities in the future. But it doesn't stop there. Metacognition is a basic skill set that can be applied to any kind of learning. Once they are aware of these strategies, trying new things will come easily.
The Project: Aim, details & outcomes
When I first thought about this project, one thing was clear: interactiveness is key for successful engagement. Students would need to be able to take this project into their own learning. My vision for this project is to promote better learning strategies through metacognitive thinking.
The project presents itself as a multi-platform program where a website and a partner app are used to fully explore the concept of metacognition and the ways to apply its strategies in everyday learning situations.
I have tried to ensure that both the app and the website are interactive (i.e. students can try the strategies out themselves) and self-paced; both of which are important metacognitive principles. The main focus is on making application to real-life situations easier for students.
The app consists of a 7-day course where the students will learn about different strategies using metacognition. The website holds more detailed information about the theory and guidelines for teachers in implementing metacognition in class.
The anticipated outcome of this project is that students will become more aware of effective strategies that will benefit their learning in the long run. They will be able to experiment with the strategies and become the driver of their own learning, which will start by assessing what methods work for them.
Hopefully, this experience will create a stepping-stone for their academic journey. No matter the age of the student, it will hopefully boost their confidence since they have a better understanding of themselves.
As a student myself, I have been searching far and wide for ways to make my life more enjoyable. If we had to spend more than a decade at school, why not try to make the most of it? I tried many different ways to improve my approach to learning.
Metacognition was, by far, the easiest and most rewarding way to do so. This is why I am extremely excited to announce my project, Learn About Learning to you! I hope you have seen the benefits it can bring to your learning.
You can find the website that I created here: www.learnabtlearning.com
If you wanted to try out the app yourself, follow the link below:
Study Secrets (Apple App Store)
Study Secrets (Android Play Store)