This study examined how 26 co-operative education students responded to either explicit or implicit metacognitive prompts in their biweekly written reflections in one of two closed group blogging environments during their first work terms. Fourteen female and 12 male undergraduate students from six faculties volunteered to participate in lieu of completing conventional end of work term reporting. Each group received four metacognitive prompts, either explicit or implicit, based on Winne and Hadwin’s four-phase model of self-regulation. Prompts guided participants to reflect every two weeks on how they defined, planned, conducted, and evaluated workplace tasks. Pre-treatment assessments included metacognitive awareness, as assessed by the Metacognitive Awareness Inventory, and autonomy, as assessed by the Self-Determination Scale. Post-treatment assessment was via a second administration of the Metacognitive Awareness Inventory. Exploratory analysis revealed qualitative evidence of disequilibrium, as theorized by John Dewey, in both prompting conditions. Explicit and implicit metacognitive prompting conditions lead to distinct frequencies and qualities of affect, increased references to prompt language, lengthier postings, and an inverse relationship between participant autonomy and changes in metacognitive awareness over a 13-week work term. Results confirmed the effectiveness of Winne and Hadwin’s four-phase model of self-regulation as a basis for guiding prompts to increase undergraduate student metacognitive awareness, especially among students who scored lower on the autonomy measure when given explicit metacognitive prompts. This project revealed how social media and metacognitive prompting were successfully used in a field setting to foster reflection and metacognitive awareness in co-operative education students as they completed their first work terms.
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Thesis advisor: Winne, Philip
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