Understanding metacomprehension : a multidimensional examination of metacognitive cues and their impact



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Metacomprehension is a cornerstone in self-regulated learning, crucial for calibrating study strategies and resource allocation. Understanding the mechanisms through which learners form their metacomprehension judgments is therefore crucial for both academic success and lifelong learning. Contemporary metacomprehension cue research often relies on a single open-ended response, but this approach assumes that learners possess accurate insights. My research reveals that this assumption is problematic: learners consistently struggle to explicitly report using these cues without additional prompts. The primary objective of this dissertation is to develop and implement innovative methods for measuring the cues learners employ in making metacomprehension judgments. Synthesizing prior research, I created a set of cues for learners not only to report but also to rate their experienced valence as they studied complex learning materials (e.g., text-based essays and instructional videos). My research offers four key contributions. First, it emphasizes the importance of measuring multiple cues over the traditional approach of focusing on a single cue. Second, it reveals that learners are often unaware of the cues affecting their judgments: cue valence ratings were more predictive of their judgments than reported cue use. Third, it demonstrates that the cues that relate to comprehension judgments are not always the same as those that relate to learning. Specifically, cues that reflect the use of deeper strategies are more likely to be uniquely related to comprehension. What this implies is that there may be value in directing learners to focus specifically on the deeper cues that support comprehension. Fourth, it shows how individual differences in reading strategies and topic interest impact the experience of metacognitive cues. Collectively, this series of studies not only introduces a new paradigm for exploring metacomprehension and the cues that inform these judgments but also investigates how patterns of cue use vary across individuals and are differentially associated with comprehension. The final chapter elaborates on these contributions, discussing their implications for future research and potential interventions.


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