Initial Publication Date: March 4, 2009

Toward Assessing Metacognition in Geoscience - with an Emphasis on the Field

Contributors: Francis Jones, Jen Sablock, Jimm Myers, Matthew Ludwig, Suzanne O'Connell and Peter Lea

Field Metacognition Overview of metacognitive skills and assessments in the phases of a field experience. Click to enlarge

Assessment Methods

Observe student teaching someone else
Prompts and responses throughout experience
Think aloud/interview/observation of field work
Analysis of map, notes or other products
Holistic evaluation by an expert (e.g. professor)
Checklist used throughout observation with place to explicate why a decision was made. Response to scenario perhaps used as pre-post or through time.

Our First Specific Example

Context: a first time field experience for novice geoscience students with task of mapping a simple structure.

Goal: To develop expert-like habits of periodic strategic reflection during field mapping in novice geoscience students.

Assessment: Students will be required to respond to a series of predetermined prompts regarding their metacognitive processes.
  • What was my model?
  • What have I observed that has supported or conflicted with my model(s)?
  • What questions does that answer?
  • What new questions does that produce?
  • What do I do next?
  • Why? (balancing time, safety)
  • What can wait until later?