Self Management Of Cognition In A Team Based Engineering Design Project: A Case Study

Oenardi Lawanto
2007 Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings   unpublished
Despite little direct guidance and instruction received from their professors, working on an openended task such as designing an engineering artifact is expected to be a rich learning experience for students. In order to be successful on such a task, students need to set reasonable goals for themselves and adopt intrinsic standards for success so that they will be able to solve problems strategically. Many studies [3, 7] have found that students' cognitive and metacognitive skills (i.e.,
more » ... kills (i.e., monitor and control one's own cognitive processes) play an essential role in problem solving processes. The application of one's metacognitive skills can be observed through what that particular person does for a particular given task. Brown [2] identifies metacognition through activities such as planning, monitoring, and revising. Paris and Winograd [11] offer a more comprehensive view where metacognition can be observed through two essential features of metacognition; (a) cognitive self-appraisal and (b) cognitive self-management. These two metacognitive features involve cognitive and motivational issues such as skill and will, which are interwoven with one another [4] , are shareable among people [11] , and are influenced greatly by the social aspects of the situation [5]. These aspects include affective and motivational characteristics of thinking that often lead to situations where students are less likely to invoke complex cognitive and metacognitive routines to improve learning. Self-appraisal in learning refers to learner's personal judgment about his or her own ability to meet a cognitive goal. When a student is asked to calculate the volume of a triangular-shaped birthday cake, he or she may immediately wonder if he or she had enough knowledge (i.e., declarative, procedural, and conditional knowledge) to answer such a question. Self-appraisal is about "judgments about one's personal cognitive abilities, task factors that influence cognitive difficulty or cognitive strategies that may facilitate or impede performance" [11, p. 17]. In contrast, self-management refers to maintaining executive control that will indicate "how metacognition helps to orchestrate cognitive aspects of problem solving" [11, p. 18]. This selfmanagement issue relates to processes that involve evaluation, planning, and regulation. Selfmanagement skill refers to students' abilities to plan before they handle a task and make necessary adjustments and revisions during their work, which consequently has direct implications for students' performance. Three skills are commonly used to indicate the presence of students' self-management: (a) their ability to plan, (b) to regulate, and (c) to evaluate their learning. Planning involves activities such as setting goals, analyzing tasks, and selecting strategies to achieve specific goals. Regulating refers to the fine-tuning and continuous adjustment of learners' cognitive activities. Evaluation refers to assessing learners' current knowledge state, which occurs continuously: before, during, and after a task.
doi:10.18260/1-2--2684 fatcat:cigyxwwttrdzbixy4kifbyoqda