Giving the Gift of Self-Directed Learning through Cognitive Wrappers

abstract image of brainpower
As instructors, we want our students to be self-directed learners. We want them to be able to evaluate their submissions and think through their learning process. In fact, thinking about one’s thinking improves understanding of content and assignment submissions (Bowen, 2013). But the challenge is that students usually lack the skills to describe their thinking and learning process or do not understand how they learn. Students often have misconceptions about how learning works. They believe that rereading the textbook chapters will help them prepare for an exam or that multitasking while working on a project does not cause them to lose focus. This lack of understanding prevents them from reflecting on and improving their learning process. Cognitive wrappers can aid students in reflecting, connecting their thoughts, and understanding their learning process.

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