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In August of 2012 I obtained IRB exempt status for my study on the effect of metacognition training on student performance in introductory biology.  The work we did at the Training Institute to define our research question and outline our experimental design allowed me to begin collecting data at the start of my course in the fall semester.  Unfortunately, I was unable to begin analyzing that data until halfway through the spring semester.  I found small yet statistically significant increases in both metacognitive knowledge and exam performance, and I concluded that more metacognition training would likely be required to see greater effects in these areas.  Since the second trial was already occurring in the spring semester, it was difficult to adjust my approach partway through the term.  The encouragement from our Biology Scholars facilitators to identify collaborators has led to some great partnerships with other faculty at Washington State University.  I am collaborating with a colleague with a background in sociology and assessment for help with the statistical analysis.  I have also initiated a collaboration with a colleague from the College of Education who will help me score my exam reflection assignment.  I am very excited to see what story the qualitative data will tell us!  My biggest challenge has been making progress on my research while teaching an overload this year.  Fortunately, I was awarded an institutional teaching and learning grant to pay part of my summer salary so I can devote a significant amount of time to the project once summer school is over in mid June.  I hope to be able to complete the data analysis this summer and if necessary run one more trial in the fall.  My goal is to write and submit a paper describing this work no later than August 2014.



Whisker plot of pre- and post-course metacognititve knowledge scores, measured by the Metacognitive Awareness Inventory (MAI).  P-value < 0.017 by t-test.


References that informed my work:

1) Freeman, S., Haak, D., and Wenderoth, M.P.  (2011).  Increased Course Structure Improves Performance in Introductory Biology.  10: 175-86.

2) Sandi-Urena, S., Cooper, M. M. and Stevens, R. H.  (2011).  Enhancement of Metacognition Use and Awareness by Means of Collaborative Intervention.  International Journal of Science Education. 33. 323-340.

3) Schraw, G., Crippen, K. J., and Hartley, K.  (2006).  Promoting Self-Regulation in Science Education: Metacognition as Part of a Broader Perspective on Learning.  36: 111-139.

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