Metacognition starts with a conscious awareness of what it is you know
and what you don't know. It is a critical step in beginning to decide
what it is you need to learn. Conscious awareness is the first step;
you cannot effectively determine what you need to know until you understand
what you do know and don't know.
Once you have an awareness of what you need to learn, the second part
of metacognition would be to begin to identify strategies that would
help you learn more effectively. Strategies are presented under the
topics of motivation, acquisition, retention, and performance. Identify
and try some strategies to see which ones work for you.
The third and last part of metacognition, focuses on how effective
the strategies you try are working. After assessing the effectiveness
of a strategy, you then need to make conscious choices as to the next
- continue to use the new strategy
- modify the strategy
- try a different strategy
Metacognition is the key to choosing which study strategies to
try and which study strategies to use. Various study strategies are
listed here under the four topics of motivation, acquisition, retention,
Motivation incorporates attitudes, purpose, and time management as
you approach learning situations. Though not truly sequential, motivation
can enhance or inhibit learning aspects of each of the categories
Acquisition incorporates understanding new information being learned.
Strategies for success include study reading, note-taking, and connecting
new information to previous knowledge (constructivism). Negative motivators
can inhibit acquisition of new information. Negative aspects of acquisition
likewise can inhibit retention and performance of new information.
Retention is the ability to access new knowledge learned. Retention
incorporates time management, note-taking, study-reading, memory,
and vocabulary strategies. Practice, review, understanding, and time
in contact with new information enhance retention of new information.
Lack of retention will inhibit performance.
Performance is the aspect of understanding new information and being
able to apply new information appropriately. Performance incorporates
retention, test-taking, and anxiety-reduction strategies.