The leadership team at Korumburra Secondary College embarked on a path to improve the teaching of metacognition to develop skills that students require to learn with greater independence. Senior students studying Outdoor Education Studies were involved in a pilot program which staff designed to gather information about which metacognitive strategies students were already using and relying on.
Students were given a task with a week to prepare and were asked to predict their results, to record their preparation, and note the content areas that they saw as strengths or weaknesses for themselves. Following the task, students self-assessed using a rubric and reflected on their pre-task predictions.
The class then explored Dunlosky’s research on effectiveness of learning techniques guided by the teacher, and analysed their own practices against the low‑, moderate‑, and high-utility techniques. Many of the approaches that students had drawn on were low-utility techniques. This opened a discussion about the effectiveness of each technique and students were then engaged in re-designing their preparation with new knowledge about the techniques that show greater effectiveness.
In response to the trial with these students, the school has devised explicit learning opportunities for students before they reach Year 12 to support the adoption of effective techniques to support independent learning and study preparation.