Instructional Science

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 403–436 | Cite as

Metacognition in chemical education: question posing in the case-based computerized learning environment

  • Zvia Kaberman
  • Yehudit Judy DoriEmail author


Posing questions about an article might improve one’s knowledge—a cognitive function, or monitor one’s thought processes—a metacognitive function. This study focuses on guided question posing while using a metacognitive strategy by 12th grade honors chemistry students. We investigated the ways by which the metacognitive strategy affected students’ skills to pose complex questions and to analyze them according to a specially designed taxonomy. Our learning unit, Case-based computerized laboratories, emphasizes learning through chemical case studies, accompanied by tasks, that call for posing questions to which the answer cannot be found in the text. Teachers equipped their students with a metacognitive strategy for assessing the quality of their own questions and characterizing them according to a three-component taxonomy: content, thinking level, and chemistry understanding levels. The participants were 793 experimental and 138 comparison chemistry students. Research instruments included interviews and case-based-questionnaires. Interviews with students revealed that using the metacognitive strategy the students had been taught, they were capable of analyzing the questions they generated with the taxonomy. The questionnaires showed that students significantly improved their question posing skill, as well as the complexity level of the questions they posed. A significant difference was found in favor of the experimental group students. Stimulating students to generate complex questions with a metacognitive strategy in mind enabled them to be aware of their own cognitive process and to self-regulate it with respect to the learning task.


Question posing skill Metacognitive strategy Case studies Higher order thinking skills Chemistry understanding levels 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Technion-Israel Institute of TechnologyHaifaIsrael

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