What am I Really Learning? Using Reflection to Enhance Student Metacognition

Series: CTLT Institute

Event Date & Time

  • December 4, 2018
    11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Event Description

In-class reflection is associated with numerous benefits for student learning (see Harrington & Zakrajsek, 2017). Providing students with in-class activities which explicitly teach metacognitive strategies has been shown to increase motivation, autonomy, responsibility and ownership of learning (Machaal, 2015), which can in turn improve academic performance (Aghaie & Zhang, 2012; Tanner, 2012). This workshop outlines a strategy for incorporating structured, interspersed in-class reflection into undergraduate lectures, drawing on examples from our own teaching. In 2017-18, we created and implemented reflective worksheets in multiple sections of a first-year sociology course at UBC.

Our aims with these reflective worksheets were to:

  • facilitate and enhance students’ abilities to notice and monitor disciplinary awareness and knowledge while promoting disciplinary comprehension and practices.
  • connect course material to personal experiences and broader social trends In this session we aim to engage participants in reflecting on the purpose of metacognition and identifying types of reflective prompts connected to disciplinary learning outcomes.

By the end of this session, you will be able to:

  • Describe the role of metacognition for students and instructors
  • Analyze different types of reflective prompts and identify when they can be implemented in class
  • Consider types of reflective prompts most appropriate to your discipline and
  • Begin to design a lesson that includes structured time for student reflection


  • Katherine Lyon, Instructor, Vantage/Sociology
  • Mabel Ho, Sessional Instructor, Sociology
  • Jennifer Lightfoot, Lecturer, Vantage Academic English Program
  • Amber Shaw, Lecturer, Vantage Academic English Program