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Initial Description of Course Project

Group Members

  • Jennifer Tamez (

  • Robert Surles (

Learning Environments:Metacognitive Strategies That Facilitate the Learning Process

(Hands On Project)


Learning environments may facilitate or impede the learning process depending on our individual learning styles. How may an individual mediate different environments to facilitate their own learning process? It has been proven in recent past experiments that individuals who employ metacognitive strategies are more successful in reaching their learning goals. What is metacognition? Knowing how to learn and knowing which strategies work best, are valuable skills that differentiate expert learners form novice learners. Metacognition, or awareness of the process of learning is a critical ingredient to successful learning. Metacogniton consists of two basic processes occurring simultaneously: monitoring your progress as you learn and making changes and adapting your strategies if you perceive you are not doing so well. It is about self-reflection, self-responsibility and initiative, as well as goal setting and time management. ( Metacognition, simply stated, is thinking about thinking. The term 'metacognition' was coined by John Flavell, a well known developmental psychologist, and by his terms it means, "knowledge and cognition about cognitive phenomena."


Research question: How effective are metacognitive strategies in learning the basics of controlling an aircraft by someone who is not familiar with such processes? The four basic maneuvers that are to be given are: straight and level flight, left and right turns, climbs and descents. Can an individual develop a metacognitive strategy while in flight that will provide enough support to learn the proper control techniques that control the aircraft? It is our objective to determine if in fact this can be accomplished.


We intend to have our team member report the how and why of independent responses, metacognition, while controlling an aircraft. Our team member will be given only verbal instructions while on the ground as to what must be done in order to perform certain procedures. The team member will then be taken up in an aircraft and be given the opportunity to apply the instructions given on the ground. The team member will be video taped to show the effectiveness or lack of effectiveness of their metacognitive strategies. There will be four trials. The metacognitive strategy will be self reported and the effectiveness will be immediately determined by the PIC (pilot in command).


Metacognition may be thought of as consisting of three basic elements: 1) developing a plan of action, 2) maintaining or monitoring the plan and 3) evaluating the plan.

Before the trial our team member will develop a plan of action and will assess what in her prior knowledge will help to accomplish this particular task? What should be done first? What time is there to respond? What and how do I remember certain actions and there consequences?

During the trials our team member will be maintaining and monitoring her plan of action and will be asking herself how am I doing? Am I on the right track? How should I proceed? What information is important to recall? How do I apply it and when? What do I need to do if I do not understand what I am doing?

After the trials our team member will be evaluating her plan? How do I feel about how I did? How well did it do? What could I have done differently to give a better performance? How may I use this or apply it to other problems? Did I understand what I was doing and why?

Also our member will be attempting to apply metacognition in an environment that has a certain degree of environmental press (stress caused by unaccustomed externalities). There is excessive noise, movement, sensations (positive and negative g forces), different smells of fuel and the PIC communicating through the intercom and with other aircraft in and around the area. All of this will be distracting and will attenuate our team memberís focus of the tasks at hand. Will Simonís bounded rationality apply?


We believe that this experiment represents a special case to apply design, learning and collaboration. Our team member will design her own metacognitive strategies, focus on interactive forms of learning and collaborate with things in her immediate learning environment to assists in maximizing her learning opportunity. Test results soon!

Course Project Final Paper (5/03)

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