An Experimental Study of the Effect of Computer Assisted Learning on Metacognitive Performance Development in Psychology Teaching

 

There is a growing interest in the use of computer-based learning environments to enhance learning in higher education, but the implications of this on the improvement of metacognition in higher education have yet to be adequately explored. In the current study, 175 students who enrolled in an introductory psychology course were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups (computer-assisted vs. self-managed). In the computer-assisted condition, besides the lecture delivered four hours per week and for three months in total, students took a set of assignments based on evidence-based teaching in a computer-based environment. The control group, however, took these assignments as in-and-out class activities without using a computer environment. An assessment based on Bloom’s taxonomy was utilized to obtain metacognitive and competency scores for both groups. The results of the study showed that the students who completed the structured learning assignments as computer-based, self-learning environment showed better metacognition performance than those in the self-managed group, who did not engage with the online platform, even though there was no significant difference between the groups regarding competence on the course’s learning objectives. The current experiment offers an empirical validation for why instructors should use technology as a self-regulatory tool that enhances students’ metacognitive performance and competence of learning outcomes.