A framework for identifying and promoting metacognitive knowledge and control in online discussants

  • Elizabeth Murphy Memorial University


The effectiveness of computer-based learning environments depends on learners’ deployment of metacognitive and self-regulatory processes. Analysis of transmitted messages in a context of Computer Mediated Communication can provide a source of information on metacognitive activity. However, existing models or frameworks (e.g., Henri, 1992) that support the identification and assessment of metacognition have been described as subjective, lacking in clear criteria, and unreliable in contexts of scoring. This paper develops a framework that might be used by researchers analysing transcripts of discussions for evidence of engagement in metacognition, by instructors assessing learners’ participation in online discussions or by designers setting up metacognitive experiences for learners. Résumé : L’efficacité des environnements d’apprentissage assistés par ordinateur repose sur l’utilisation de processus de métacognition et d’autorégulation par les apprenants. L’analyse de messages transmis dans un contexte de communication assistée par ordinateur peut constituer une source d’information sur l’activité métacognitive. Cependant, les modèles et cadres existants (p. ex. Henri, 1992) qui permettent la reconnaissance et l’évaluation de la métacognition ont été décrits comme subjectifs, dépourvus de critères clairs et peu fiables dans des contextes de notation. Cet article décrit un cadre qui pourrait être utilisé par les chercheurs qui analysent les transcriptions de discussions à la recherche de preuves d’engagement métacognitif, par les instructeurs qui procèdent à l’évaluation de la participation des apprenants à des discussions en ligne ou par les concepteurs qui élaborent des expériences métacognitives pour les apprenants.

Author Biography

Elizabeth Murphy, Memorial University
Elizabeth Murphy is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education, Memorial University, Newfoundland where she teaches courses in the Masters of IT in Education program as well as courses in second-language learning. She was recently funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) to conduct a three-year study of the practice of the e-teacher in the high-school virtual classroom. In addition, she is a co-investigator on a SSHRC funded Community University Research Alliance (CURA) on e-learning in which she is exploring learner-centered e-teaching. She was also recently funded by a strategic joint initiative of SSHRC and the Department of Canadian Heritage to investigate strengthening students’ second-language speaking skills using online synchronous communication.