Metacognition and self-regulation strategies have been shown to boost attainment and achievement (EEF, 2018). Yet, somewhat paradoxically, securing optimal levels of independent learning works best when it’s a teacher-led process – and this is where making your resources available online can be really helpful.
What does it mean?
There are no simple strategies to achieve the levels of independence, understanding, evaluation and ownership of one’s own learning that are required for metacognitive approaches and self-regulation to truly bear fruit. It is down to every teacher to use their professional judgement to do what they think works in their context.
Teachers often create resources exclusively for classroom use. However, if you want to foster metacognitive and self-regulation strategies, you need to think carefully about how students interact with their resources both in the classroom and outside it.
Take the humble knowledge organiser, a handy summary of key concepts and knowledge that students need to achieve mastery in a topic. You could make it available online and hyperlink keywords and phrases to other knowledge organisers so that students understand how different topics knit together and start to plan their own learning. You could then add self-marking exercises or quizzes so students can self-assess how well they have understood each topic. Suddenly you and your students have a resource that you can use multiple times as required.
What are the implications for teachers?
Simply sharing the material used in a lesson will be less valuable to learning than providing students with both the content and the means to learn it. Think about how your students will use the resources. Do they present new material broken down into small, scaffolded steps? Do they provide worked examples? Do they provide opportunities to practise the new material? Do they allow students to evaluate their own learning? Are students encouraged to use the resources to develop their own worked examples or to formulate their own questions?
- Resources hosted online should support teaching and learning. By creating resources that can be used in school, but are also meaningful outside a lesson, you allow students to return to material independently.
- Never assume students know how to use technology. Always explain clearly what needs to be done and how. For example, you can explain how a resource is to be used, what steps need to be taken and in what order, describe the intended outcome and then model it.
Want to know more?
Brown P, Roediger H and McDaniel M (2014) Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
EEF (2018) Teaching and Learning Toolkit: Metacognition and self-regulation. Available at: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/pdf/generate/?u=https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/pdf/toolkit/?id=138&t=Teaching%20and%20Learning%20Toolkit&e=138&s= (accessed 13 June 2017).
Miller M (2019) Organising knowledge: The purpose and pedagogy of knowledge organisers. The Profession 2019/20. Available at: https://my.chartered.college.temp.link/2019/05/organising-knowledge-the-purpose-and-pedagogy-of-knowledge-organisers/ (accessed 18 September 2019).
Rosenshine B (2012) Principles of instruction: Research-based strategies that all teachers should know. American Educator 36(1): 12–19.