How Do You Learn?


A few days ago I was asked to describe my learning style. I struggled to identify my style and was clueless about the implication of not knowing the answer to this question.  After extensive research I found a very enlightening article about metacognition and learning on a website called eLearning.

The article posed the question in a thought provoking way that sparked my interest. (Do you know how to learn?)  I desperately wanted to know at that point, but I was quickly put to ease when the author stated that many people don’t, because they don’t know how to look inward to examine how they learn and to judge what is effective. This brings us to the need to understand metacognition.  According to the author metacognition is thinking about thinking.   Metacognition allows people to take charge of their own learning. It involves awareness of how they learn, an evaluation of their learning needs, generating strategies to meet these needs and then implementing the strategies. (Hacker, 2009).  According to some theorist, metacognition consists of two complementary processes:  The knowledge of cognition and the regulation of cognition.  The Knowledge of cognition has three components: knowledge of the factors that influence one’s own performance; knowing different types of strategies to use for learning; knowing what strategy to use for a specific learning situation. Regulation of cognition involves: setting goals and planning; monitoring and controlling learning; and evaluating one’s own regulation which means assessing results and strategies used. (Connie Malmed,  The author suggested strategies that students and instructional designers must know to be successful learners and instructors.  These strategies are techniques that help people become more successful learners therefore they should be crucial to instructional designers.

After reading this article, I now have a better appreciation of how important it is to understand information processing. I appreciate the simplicity and the clear and concise explanation of how the instructional designer can facilitate learning and how to learn by incorporating the suggested strategies. I also realized that students can also enhance their own learning by developing their own metacognitive processing strategies. This site can be very useful to any new instructional designer, check it out.



1.Hacker, Douglas J., John Dunlosky and Arthur C. Graesser (Eds.). Handbook of Metacognition in Education, 2009.

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1 Response to How Do You Learn?

  1. Pingback: Heather MacCorkle Edick

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