online class

Using Metacognition Strategies to Increase Student Success and Completions

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At 1:50pm on 10/19/2018, I attended the professional development session: Using Metacognition Strategies to Increase Student Success and Completions presented by Denise Barton, PhD, as an ongoing pathway of professional development in an online class at Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, NC.


Using Metacognition Strategies to Increase Student Success and Completions

So, I’ve got a bit of a confession to make. I have been using metacognition to support students in improving their work in several of my classes, in helping them understand how to draw and design more effectively, and helping them to listen better during student and faculty critiques.

There are some videos shown in this course while I haven’t seen, along with the share and pair exercises listed on the video website, so this should be a great experience.

This course teaches you about metacognition, and while reviewing our thoughts and feelings on our progress, and how we might improve this (ah.. ah… get it!?) we can always feel free to email me at Denise Barton to gain assistance answering any questions we may have. I have also heard that perhaps in summer 2019 they might be offering a metacognition professional development course for faculty who want to use it to improve their teaching and students’ learning. Guess I’ll have to wait and see.


How to get the most out of studying

There are 5 videos located at This website (text url:

After I viewed each one, I took a break before taking any notes to ensure that I heard all the information.

Developing a Mindset for Successful Learning

This video gives an overview of the information presented in the video series. The information is organized into 10 Principles of Effective Studying that students should understand if they wish to maximize learning from their study time

Beliefs That Make You Fail…Or Succeed

The first video examines common mistaken beliefs students often possess that undermine their learning. The video tries to correct those misconceptions with accurate beliefs about learning.

What Students Should Understand About How People Learn

The second video introduces a simple but powerful theory of memory, Levels of Processing, that can help students improve their study.

Cognitive Principles for Optimizing Learning

The third video operationalizes the concept of level of processing into four principles that students can use to develop effective study strategies.

Putting the Principles for Optimizing Learning into Practice

The fourth video applies the principles of deep processing to common study situations, including note taking and highlighting while reading.

“I Blew the Exam, Now What?”

This video addresses what students should and should not do when they earn a bad grade on an exam.


Final Thoughts on Metacognition

It was a little exciting to revisit this work. I incorporate this into my classes, but its always nice to see the great effect this can have on students and other individuals. I felt this was great training, and I’ll be incorporating more of this in my classes.

Multimodal Strategies to Increase Student Engagement — League of Innovation Summit

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Multimodal Strategies to Increase Student Engagement 

The focus of this forum is to experience multimodal universal design strategies aimed at increasing student engagement. Formal student engagement directly increases student success and indirectly increases student goal completion. Participants will gain special insights through small group practice.

William Strond, Professor, Biology, Oakton Community College, IL

Many new online instructors initially create online courses that are fairly linear and mostly text. They quickly realize that such an approach would not work for every student, particularly those in  pre-college learning courses.

Many begin by writing lectures in a rather formal style, almost as though the pages were a textbook before they come to realize why it isn’t working. Teaching is an art, and not all people are very good at reading, and their engagement level is going to be fairly low, regardless of how much the content grips someone who loves the text.

Practical advice you can take to bring life back into your online classes using multimodal strategies:

1. Change the activity every 15 or 20 minutes.

Instructors in a traditional classroom can immediately see their students losing interest— but these cues are not available in the online environment, so estimate how much time each activity in you course is likely to take students and change learning modes when necessary.

One way to break up the content is by using videos, mp3s and screencasts created with Camtasia as a way of demonstrating the concepts presented in your lectures. In addition to engaging students in a different way, there are certain concepts that are easier to understand in this format. Realize that there are times when you as a teacher really want to show them how things go. Show them how you take main ideas from one assignment and apply them to one or more individual lesson items. This will make learning physical, and the making will deepen understanding among your students

2. Repeat the lesson in multiple modes to reinforce the learning. In addition to breaking up the monotony, presenting the same concepts in more than one mode can reinforce ideas and help students learn in ways that suit them best. Students may notice the repetition, but in a typical lesson it is possible to repeat the same information in three different modes.

A typical lesson might include a Web page, an animated PowerPoint presentation, and perhaps a video—so that you’re giving them the same material in three different ways. They may be reluctant to go back and read the Web page, but what they don’t realize is that in the three lessons they’ve gotten the same exact information three different times.

In addition to incorporating these various modes within each lesson, intersperse quiz questions throughout. If you’ve been telling students what’s going to be on the quiz, you can actually see the answers as you read or as you listen. Some students learn best with facts and when points are on the line. This acts as a motivator and shows that the quizzes are directly connected to your course content.

3. Create supplementary activities if necessary. Sometimes students fail to grasp the content immediately. In a face-to-face course, this lack of understanding can be remedied easily with a quick and simple review. Consider the same thing in your online courses when low quiz grades or other indications that students are failing to understand something. In these instances, consider  creating a quick Camtasia screencast and incorporates that into the next lesson as a review.