The Benefits of Hindsight are Limited: An Investigation of Retrospective Pre-Post Designs as an Intervention to Improve the Accuracy of Judgments of Learning
Green, Elizabeth A
MetadataShow full item record
Most metacognition research involves having participants study some information before making judgments of learning (JOLs) and taking a (recall or recognition) test covering the studied information. In many instances, little consideration is paid to the effect that soliciting JOLs might have. Relative accuracy during this type of learning task tends to be low and incredibly resistant to intervention (Saenz et al., 2019). I proposed that the traditional method of making item-by-item judgments of learning (JOLs) may hamper crucial reflective learning experiences which may cause updating of the weight assigned to the variety of cues used while monitoring one’s current state of their learning. Rather than engaging in true reflection on the learning experience, as the researcher likely intends for them to do, the respondent is likely to rely on mnemonic heuristics for informing metacognitive cues (Mitchum et al., 2016). This study attempted to override potential negative effects which may follow from making an initially inaccurate JOL by having learners engage with retrospective JOL tasks at various points in the experiment. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: (1) No JOL, (2) Traditional Only, (3) Traditional + Retrospective, and (4) Retrospective Only. The name of each condition refers to the manner in which participants do (or do not) make topic-level JOLs. All participants studied key-term definitions from three topics (Atmospheric Science, Mathematics, Legal terminology) in each of two successive study-judge-test (SJT) rounds. The second SJT round also included half of the original items for restudy. Participants made item-by-item JOLs during study (“How likely do you feel you are to recall the key term from this fact on a test later this session?”). Topic-level JOLs were solicited before and halfway through the first test, depending on condition. I hypothesized that making retrospective JOLs would serve as a necessary experiential boost for cue updating to occur, leading those participants to show increases in JOL accuracy or study time allocation during the subsequent SJT round. Though the data suggests participants were fully engaged in the task, hypotheses were not supported; potential explanations for this and directions for future research are discussed.