Recent studies have shown that interim testing of previously studied material facilitates the learning of new material. Such forward testing effect occurs, in part, because interim testing provides learners with an opportunity to evaluate their learning strategies and allows them to use more effective strategies in their subsequent learning. We hypothesized that making metacognitive judgments of prior learning would also have similar effects, as it would directly require learners to think about their own learning status. Three experiments examined whether an act of making judgments of learning (JOLs) on prior material could facilitate the learning of new material in inductive learning, namely, creating a forward effect of metacognitive judgments. Participants studied painting styles of various artists, which were divided into two separate sections (Sections A and B). They were asked to provide JOLs, restudy, or take a test on the studied paintings of Section A before moving on to study the paintings of different artists in Section B, and then were given a final cumulative test where participants had to transfer what they had previously learned to new exemplars of the studied artists. The results indicated that simply requiring learners to make item-level JOLs (Experiment 1) did not facilitate learning compared with restudy, but the act of making category-level JOLs (Experiment 2) and global metacognitive judgments (Experiment 3) facilitated the learning of new materials. The findings suggest that making a JOL is not a neutral activity and that it can influence learners' subsequent study behavior and learning outcomes.
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© 2019 American Psychological Association.
Copyright 2019 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology