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Metacognition and Learning

, Volume 2, Issue 2–3, pp 125–140 | Cite as

Designing for metacognition—applying cognitive tutor principles to the tutoring of help seeking

  • Ido RollEmail author
  • Vincent Aleven
  • Bruce M. McLaren
  • Kenneth R. Koedinger
Article

Abstract

Intelligent Tutoring Systems have been shown to be very effective in supporting learning in domains such as mathematics, physics, computer programming, etc. However, they are yet to achieve similar success in tutoring metacognition. While an increasing number of educational technology systems support productive metacognitive behavior within the scope of the system, few attempt to teach skills students need to become better future learners. To that end, we offer a set of empirically-based design principles for metacognitive tutoring. Our starting point is a set of design principles put forward by Anderson et al. (Journal of the Learning Sciences, 4:167–207, 1995) regarding Cognitive Tutors, a family of Intelligent Tutoring Systems. We evaluate the relevance of these principles to the tutoring of help-seeking skills, based on our ongoing empirical work with the Help Tutor. This auxiliary tutor agent is designed to help students learn to make effective use of the help facilities offered by a Cognitive Tutor. While most of Anderson’s principles are relevant to the tutoring of help seeking, a number of differences emerge as a result of the nature of metacognitive knowledge and of the need to combine metacognitive and domain-level tutoring. We compare our approach to other metacognitive tutoring systems, and, where appropriate, propose new guidelines to promote the discussion regarding the nature and design of metacognitive tutoring within scaffolded problem-solving environments.

Keywords

Meta-cognition Help seeking Intelligent tutoring systems Cognitive tutors Instructional design principles 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Ryan deBaker, Eunjeong Ryu, Jo Bodnar, Ido Jamar, Brett Leber, Jonathan Sewall, Mike Konieczki, Kathy Dickensheets, Grant McKinney, Terri Murphy, Sabine Lynn, Dale Walters, Kris Hobaugh and Christy McGuire for their help carrying out these studies. This research is sponsored by NSF Award IIS-0308200, the Graduate Training Grant awarded to Carnegie Mellon University by the Department of Education (# R305B040063), and NSF Award SBE-0354420 to the Pittsburgh Sciences of Learning Center. The contents of the paper are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the NSF.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ido Roll
    • 1
    Email author
  • Vincent Aleven
    • 1
  • Bruce M. McLaren
    • 1
  • Kenneth R. Koedinger
    • 1
  1. 1.Carnegie Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA

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