Study Strategies for Students

Supporting your Students by Exploring Metacognition

graphic of a brain with a thought-bubble showing a circular arrow back to itself, representing "thinking about how we think"

Metacognition, the process of thinking about one's own thinking (and learning), has been recognized as an effective element to share with your students which in turn helps them prepare for and learn subject matter and concepts.  By encouraging your students to become aware of how they think, you are setting them up for success and helping them focus their study habits and techniques.  

 Retrieval, Concrete Examples, Spacing, Interleaving, Dual Coding, Elaboration

To start the process with your students, why not share these Six Strategies for Effective Learning  (link will download an infographic [PDF]) that they may find useful as they engage in your course. This resource was created by uWaterloo Coop Students for the Faculty of Science during the pandemic (Summer 2020) and are modelled after the materials created by The Learning Scientists, a group of Cognitive Scientists that have determined several methods of facilitating metacognition. 

At the very least, you could add the pdf infographic to your LEARN content and point it out to your students.  Some instructors are taking further steps by devoting some class-time to discussing Metacognition and these study strategies (the Learning Scientists have some PowerPoint slides to help facilitate this).  Other instructors are even incorporating things such as exam wrappers to further foster student metacognition. 

For more insights, have a read of the CTE Teaching Tip: Teaching Metacognitive Skills.