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Title: Merging metacognitive tools for use in higher education to facilitate meaningful learning
Author: Vanhear, Jacqueline
ISNI:       0000 0004 5989 095X
Awarding Body: Staffordshire University
Current Institution: Staffordshire University
Date of Award: 2016
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The current trend towards student-centred teaching and learning is bringing about a change in emphasis in Higher Education: a shift from promoting effective teaching towards developing an understanding of how students learn. Prevalent literature calls for more emphasis on the students‟ learning process through increased metacognition and critical reflection. This research revolves around the premise that learning takes place through the interaction of cognition (thinking), affectation (feeling) and conation (doing). Consequently, this study presents a model of teaching and learning in Higher Education through the integrated use of metacognitive tools, namely, Vee Heuristics and Concept Mapping along with an awareness of how students prefer to learn. This research suggests that when metacognitive tools are merged, students are empowered to embark upon a meta-learning journey which eventually leads to critical reflection and meaningful learning. In the Action Research carried out in the first phase, University students‟ work products, from the University of Malta, are used to trace the effect of a learner‟s mental operations on the learner‟s use of Vee Heuristics and Concept Mapping as the learner embeds and retrieves new and scaffolded knowledge. The analysis of data reveals the powerful effect which this combination of learning tools yielded on student achievement. The model presented yielded successful meaningful learning; however, one cannot assume that the same results will be produced if this model is used by other teachers. This reflection led to an emergent multilevel mixed method design in the second phase where the role of the teacher was highlighted to illustrate that teachers must see the purpose and value of the tools they are using. The teaching and learning process becomes most effective when teachers plan intentional approaches in response to how students are learning. Action research promotes a cyclical process and I am coming to a personal understanding that the tools and strategies did help me to create a meaningful learning environment which adequately responds to the „learning-how-to-learn‟ concept. However, at the heart of quality teaching was my continuous reflective approach about the learning process and my own practice. I started this research by fallaciously assuming that focusing solely on the learner would bring about meaningful learning. However, the research has demonstrated that both students and lecturers are equally important and they should be seen as partners in achieving the intended learning outcome.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available