Challenges of Investigating Metacognitive Tool Use and Effects in (Rich) Web-Based Learning Environments

Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE, volume 28)


This chapter summarizes the rationale and findings of several studies using rich open-ended web-based learning environments (Web-LEs) as learning technology in higher education. The purpose of the studies was to examine self-regulated learning activities by tracing university students’ learning activities within a rich open-ended Web-LE by log file data. Hence, the Web-LEs used in these studies provided non-embedded as well as embedded tools supporting cognitive as well as metacognitive learning activities. Students in all studies were free to decide when and how to use these tools. To use them, they had to activate the selected tool explicitly by clicking on the respective button on the Web-LEs’ interface. The rationale for the design of the Web-LEs and for analyzing and interpreting the log file data was derived from psychological task analyses which were based on a multidimensional view of self-regulated learning within Web-LEs (e.g., Narciss et al., 2007; Winter, 2008). This chapter outlines this rationale, describes the resources and tools of the rich Web-LE called Study Desk, and summarizes several studies investigating how students used the tools of the Study Desks. Finally, limitations, challenges and implications of using log file data for investigating self-regulated learning with rich Web-LEs are discussed.


Learning Task Online Performance Metacognitive Activity Posttest Performance Study Desk 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susanne Narciss
    • 1
  • Hermann Koerndle
    • 1
  • Antje Proske
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychology of Learning and InstructionTechnische Universität DresdenDresdenGermany

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