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Exploring the Potential Impact of Reciprocal Peer Tutoring on Higher Education Students' Metacognitive Knowledge and Regulation

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ISAIJLS Volume 40, Number 3, ISSN 0020-4277


It is widely recognized that metacognition is an important mediator for successful and high-level learning, especially in higher education. Nevertheless, a majority of higher education students possess insufficient metacognitive knowledge and regulation skills to self-regulate their learning adequately. This study explores the potential of reciprocal peer tutoring to promote both university students' metacognitive knowledge and their metacognitive regulation skills. The study was conducted in a naturalistic higher education setting, involving 67 students tutoring each other during a complete semester. A multi-method pretest-posttest design was used combining a self-report questionnaire, assessing students' metacognitive knowledge and their perceived metacognitive skilfulness, with the analysis of think-aloud protocols, revealing students' actual use of metacognitive strategies. Results indicate no significant pretest to posttest differences in students' metacognitive knowledge, nor in their perception of metacognitive skill use. In contrast, significant changes are observed in students' actual metacognitive regulation. At posttest, students demonstrate significantly more frequent and more varied use of metacognitive regulation, especially during the orientation, monitoring, and evaluation phases. Furthermore, our findings point to an increase in more profound and higher-quality strategy use at posttest.


De Backer, L., Van Keer, H. & Valcke, M. (2012). Exploring the Potential Impact of Reciprocal Peer Tutoring on Higher Education Students' Metacognitive Knowledge and Regulation. Instructional Science: An International Journal of the Learning Sciences, 40(3), 559-588. Retrieved January 23, 2022 from .

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