Use of Exam Wrappers to Enhance Students’ Metacognitive Skills in a Large Introductory Food Science and Human Nutrition Course

P. Gizem Gezer-Templeton, Emily J. Mayhew, Debra S. Korte, Shelly J. Schmidt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research shows that students struggle to develop higher order thinking skills and effective study strategies during the transition from high school to college. Therefore, in addition to teaching course content, effective instructors should assist students in developing metacognitive skills, that is, the practice of thinking about their thinking. An effective assignment that assists students in thinking about their exam performance is the exam wrapper. The objectives of this study were to examine students’ metacognitive skills, evaluate the correlation between study behaviors and student performance, and assess student perception of exam wrappers. Exam wrapper assignments were offered as extra credit after the first 3 exams in a large introductory Food Science and Human Nutrition course, and student responses and exam performance were analyzed. Many students with poor exam performance overestimated their exam scores, indicating students’ self-assessment skills could be sharpened. However, students demonstrated the ability to make and implement goals to improve study strategies throughout the semester. A modest relationship between use of study strategies and improved exam performance was observed, particularly for students with a B exam average, suggesting that students in the middle of the grade distribution may benefit most from this type of intervention. Finally, most students expressed a belief that exam wrappers helped them improve their study habits and exam scores, and that they planned to use the exam wrapper process in future classes. In summary, this study shows that the exam wrapper is a valued and effective postexam reflection tool for improving students’ self-reported study habits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-36
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Food Science Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Education
  • exam wrappers
  • learning
  • metacognition
  • study strategies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Education


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