Marion HändelCordula ArteltSabine Weinert

Assessing metacognitive knowledge: Development and evaluation of a test instrument


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Educational processes in modern information societies require personal initiative – not only in institutional contexts but also in out-of-school and working environments. Besides cognitive competencies (e.g., reading or mathematical literacy), a person’s ability to regulate his/her own learning processes is therefore of particular importance for successful learning and working. Metacognition is a central component in the process of self-regulated learning. It is defined as cognition about cognition and encompasses two components: the knowledge component and the regulation component. To better understand how metacognition evolves and how its development is influenced by cognitive and motivational components, the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) aims at assessing different aspects of metacognition as well as self-regulation in the respective phases of the lifespan. The present paper gives an overview on the general approach of assessing metacognition and self-regulation within the NEPS, focusing on the assessment of one specific component of metacognition, namely, metacognitive knowledge. Results from two pilot studies on a newly developed test instrument (with two experimentally varied versions of the test) for secondary school students are presented. The results concerning the metacognitive knowledge test are discussed not only with regard to further developments within the NEPS but also with regard to their theoretical and practical implications.

Metacognition; Self-regulation; Competence assessment

Händel, M., Artelt, C. & Weinert S. (2013). Assessing metacognitive knowledge: Development and evaluation of a test instrument. Journal for Educational Research Online (JERO), 5(2), 162-188.