Improving Metacomprehension Accuracy in an Undergraduate Course Context

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Students tend to have poor metacomprehension when learning from text, meaning they are not able to distinguish between what they have understood well and what they have not. Although there are a good number of studies that have explored comprehension monitoring accuracy in laboratory experiments, fewer studies have explored this in authentic course contexts. This study investigated the effect of an instructional condition that encouraged comprehension-test-expectancy and self-explanation during study on metacomprehension accuracy in the context of an undergraduate course in research methods. Results indicated that when students received this instructional condition, relative metacomprehension accuracy was better than in a comparison condition. In addition, differences were also seen in absolute metacomprehension accuracy measures, strategic study behaviors, and learning outcomes. The results of the current study demonstrate that a condition that has improved relative metacomprehension accuracy in laboratory contexts may have value in real classroom contexts as well.