The Use of Metacognition to Develop Self-Regulated Learning Skills in Students of a Computer Programming Course

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In 2013, the Twente Educational Model (TOM) was introduced in the Bachelor programme of the University of Twente, aiming at increasing the motivation and improving the learning results of the students. TOM prescribed that the programmes should have’integrated thematic modules’ of 15EC. In one of these modules, software design and programming are offered to first-year’Computer Science’ (CS) and’Business Information Technology’ (BIT) students. Since most CS students had prior knowledge and experience in programming and/or were more intrinsically motivated to learn programming than BIT students, the BIT students performed generally much poorer than CS students. This paper discusses our efforts to improve the performance of BIT students by helping them become independent learners. To achieve this, we conceived a new pedagogical design to induce metacognition cycles integrated with a mentoring scheme. To help students self-assess themselves and provide structure to the mentoring scheme, we offered the students a study plan, which is a structured view of the syllabus. We broke the learning objectives down into smaller topics, which are units to be learned in one day, and we assigned three student-friendly rubrics to each topic (entry, intermediate, and target) allowing the students to grade their own proficiency level. Every two weeks, students had to self-assess their proficiency in the topics and discuss it with their assigned mentor. This paper shows that these actions have created an awareness of the learning process and consequently improved the students’ motivation and end results.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings SEFI 49th Annual Conference 2021
Subtitle of host publicationBlended Learning in Engineering Education: Challenging, Enlightening - and Lasting?
EditorsHans-Ulrich Heiß, Hannu-Matti Järvinen, Annette Mayer, Alexandra Schulz
PublisherSociete Europeenne pour la Formation des Ingenieurs (SEFI)
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-2-87352-023-6
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2021
Event49th SEFI Annual Conference 2021: Blended Learning in Engineering Education: challenging, enlightening - and lasting? - Virtual, Berlin, Virtual, Germany
Duration: 13 Sept 202116 Sept 2021
Conference number: 49


Conference49th SEFI Annual Conference 2021
Abbreviated titleSEFI
CityBerlin, Virtual
Internet address


  • Mentoring
  • Metacognition
  • Programming
  • Self-Regulated Learning


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