Faculty Mentor

Tyler Miller


Being metacognitively accurate, or knowing what you know and do not know, has been correlated with and experimentally related to positive academic outcomes and memory performance. Knowing what you know is also referred to as monitoring accuracy. People that have high monitoring accuracy also effectively control their future study by focusing on the material they have not learned and spending less time on the material they already know, this is known as metacognitive control. Given the connection between metacognitive monitoring and control with performance on criterion tests, much research has been devoted to improving metacognition. The known groups of people that have lesser metacognitive abilities include low performers and may include first-generation college students. Williams and Hellman (2004) found that first-generation students who were taking an online college course did not control their study as effectively as second (or other) generation students. Importantly though, this study did not explicitly measure the participants’ metacognitive accuracy. The purpose of the current study was two-fold. First, we sought to establish any differences in monitoring accuracy between first- and other-generation participants. Second, we sought to establish the effectiveness of retrieval practice to improve metacognitive monitoring accuracy among first- and other-generation participants. Based on the literature, we hypothesized that other-generation participants will have higher monitoring accuracy than first-generation participants. We also hypothesized that participants who practiced retrieval will show increased monitoring accuracy. A 2 generation (first- or other-generation) X 2 condition (retrieval practice or control) quasi-experimental design found no differences between first- and second- generation participants in terms of monitoring accuracy. However, numerically, first-generation participants were more accurate than other-generation participants. The results also indicated that retrieval practice significantly increased metacognitive accuracy for both first- and other-generation participants. Further research is required to understand the dissociation between first-generation participants’ metacognitive monitoring accuracy and control.



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