The metacognitive exercises provide students with opportunities to become more aware of their research process and opportunities to make meaningful adjustments. Each metacognitive exercise is self-contained and can be assigned separately or in combination with other exercises. Each exercise begins with a brief rationale about the importance of metacognition and instructions for the exercise are followed by several question prompts.
The metacognitive exercises are designed to work with the EvaluateUR Method, in both independent undergraduate research and in course-based undergraduate research (CUREs). In each case, strengthening metacognitive habits can help improve self-assessment of learning outcomes and focus additional efforts in specific areas. As with the knowledge and skills in each of the EvaluateUR categories, metacognitive habits will serve students long after their research projects are complete.
Guidance for Use with the EvaluateUR Method
Independent Undergraduate Research
For those engaged in EvaluateUR, the exercises can help student/mentor pairs deepen student self-assessment throughout the research process. For example, students can complete metacognitive exercises in conjunction with their pre-research reflection, their outcome category assessments, conversations with their mentors, or ongoing journal entries.
CUREs (Course-Based Undergraduate Research)
For those engaged in EvaluateUR-CURE, this guide can help instructors determine when and how to provide students with opportunities to build metacognitive skills. These exercises would typically be completed by students outside of class. Student answers need not be overly long. Consistent practice asking metacognitive questions is as (or more) important that in-depth engagement on a particular occasion. To reduce mentor workload, it is recommended that the activities be graded as "completed/incomplete."
Suggestions for Using the Exercises
In each pair, the first exercise is a general introduction, and the second exercise applies it to the research process.
Learning from past projects
Developing project management skills
Thinking about how to ask good questions
Thinking about how to ask good research questions
Building research resilience
Reading with a purpose
Reading for research
Recommended Timing in the Research Process
Near the beginning of the research experience After research has been going on for several weeks Anytime during the research experience
After research has been going on for several weeks Anytime during the research experience
Anytime during the research experience