How are feelings of difficulty and familiarity linked to learning behaviors and gains in a complex science learning task?

Yingbin Zhang, Luc Paquette, Ryan S. Baker, Nigel Bosch, Jaclyn Ocumpaugh, Gautam Biswas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The feelings of difficulty and familiarity (FOD and FOF) are two types of metacognitive experiences. Both may influence student engagement and the application of metacognitive strategies, but these relationships are not well understood, in part because many studies have relied on self-report measures of behaviors that may not accurately reflect students’ actual behaviors. In this study, FOD and FOF were related to objective measures of off-task behaviors and metacognitive strategies. These measures were extracted from 88 sixth graders’ action logs within a computer-based learning environment known as Betty’s Brain. Pre- and post-tests were administered to assess learning. Results reveal that high-FOD students showed more off-task behaviors and fewer strategic behaviors than low-FOD students, particularly when this difference was measured in terms of the frequency (as opposed to proportion) of strategic behaviors. FOF was not associated with off-task behaviors and metacognitive strategies but emerged as a moderator in the relationship between FOD and learning gains. Low-FOD students learned more than high-FOD students in the low-FOF group, but such a difference was not found in the high-FOF group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEuropean Journal of Psychology of Education
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Feeling of difficulty
  • Feeling of familiarity
  • Metacognitive experience
  • Metacognitive strategy
  • Off-task behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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