Publications & Resources

I’ve Seen This Before? The Effects of Self-Monitoring and Multiple Context Instruction on Knowledge Representation and Transfer Among Middle School Students

Mar 1998

Davina C. D. Klein

Both multiple context learning and self-reflection training are posited to affect students’ knowledge representations by fostering decontextualization, abstraction, and schema formation. Schemata, in turn, theoretically facilitate transfer. One hundred eighty-six low-SES middle school students of mixed ethnicities were taught to use concept mapping as a means of understanding material in either one subject area or two subject areas. In addition, half of the students in each group were trained in metacognitive self-monitoring techniques. The transfer task was a problem in a third subject area. Students were asked to complete the transfer task and then to complete three questionnaires, one eliciting alternative solutions to the transfer task, one assessing their schemata, and one addressing their metacognitive activity. In addition, a small, randomly selected subsample of students from each treatment group did not take the transfer task, instead completing only the questionnaires. It was hypothesized that students who both engaged in self-monitoring and were exposed to two subject areas would form better schemata, engage in greater metacognitive activity, and perform better on the transfer measure than other students. Although the main predictions were not confirmed, some support was found for the beneficial effects of monitoring on schema formation. In addition, it was found that, given a relatively brief treatment period, at-risk students were able to learn the cognitive strategy of concept mapping, to engage in metacognitive activities such as self-monitoring, to construct good concept mapping schemata, and to transfer to a large degree. Results are discussed and suggestions are made for future work in this area.

Klein, D. C. D. (1998). I’ve seen this before? The effects of self-monitoring and multiple context instruction on knowledge representation and transfer among middle school students (CSE Report 466). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).