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Promoting university students’ metacognitive regulation through peer learning: the potential of reciprocal peer tutoring

Abstract

Although successful learning in university education can be advanced by students’ competence to self-regulate their learning, students often possess insufficient metacognitive regulation skills to regulate their learning adequately. The present study investigates changes in university students’ adoption of metacognitive regulation after participating in reciprocal peer tutoring (RPT). A quasi-experimental pretest–posttest design was adopted, involving an experimental (n = 51) and two control groups; CG1 (n = 24) and CG2 (n = 22). Experimental students participated in a RPT intervention during a complete semester. Metacognitive regulation was assessed by means of think-aloud protocol analysis. Results indicate that RPT is promising to promote metacognitive regulation. Experimental students increasingly adopt monitoring, evaluation, and orientation and significantly evolve towards deep-level regulation from pretest to posttest. Except for an increased use of low-level comprehension monitoring, none of the evolutions in experimental students’ regulation could be discerned for students in both control groups.

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Notes

  1. Although all 64 RPT students participated in the pretest, not all of them attended the posttest assessment. Additionally, the tape recordings of some RPT students demonstrated technical problems. Therefore, the data of 13 EG students were excluded from the analysis.

  2. Metacognitive regulation strategies with very low frequency of occurrence (<1 % in Table 2) were removed from further analyses.

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Correspondence to Liesje De Backer.

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De Backer, L., Van Keer, H. & Valcke, M. Promoting university students’ metacognitive regulation through peer learning: the potential of reciprocal peer tutoring. High Educ 70, 469–486 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-014-9849-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-014-9849-3

Keywords

  • Metacognitive regulation
  • Peer tutoring
  • Think-aloud protocol analysis
  • Collaborative learning