General-Purpose Learning Strategies for Monitoring
Background Information on Monitoring
Monitoring refers to thoughtful assessment and self-regulation of one's behavior. Monitoring encompasses a wide range of activities, including assessment of one's approach to learning, one's actions and habits, and one's beliefs and goals.
Monitoring is related to metacognition. Defined as "the deliberate conscious control of one's own cognitive actions" (Devine, 1987, p. 239), metacognition is being aware of one's processes of perceiving, organizing, and using information. Metacognition appears to positively influence one's thinking ability, but it cannot occur without self-monitoring of some sort.
Purposes of Monitoring Strategies
Monitoring strategies are intended to provide students with an assessment of various aspects of the learning process: learning style, study habits, exam preparation, and exam performance. They also help students evaluate their own personal character, including their strengths and weaknesses. Monitoring strategies can improve metacognition, which is turn may positively impact academic and job performance.
Advantages of Monitoring Strategies
Monitoring strategies are simple to use and flexible, being easily modified to specific student needs or course organization. They may be completed by students on their own or with the help and input of a facilitator. Other advantages of monitoring strategies are listed below.
Specific Monitoring Strategies
Several monitoring strategies are described and illustrated in this page. The modality strength (preferred learning channel) strategy allows students to assess their learning styles. The exam debriefing and self-monitoring exam check list strategies provide evaluations of exam preparation and exam performance. The study habits assessment targets study habits in general. Causal attribution helps students to evaluate cause and effect relationships. The self-description strategy aids in preparation for job interviews. The health assessment addresses mental and physical health issues.
Several assessments and questionnaires may be repeated periodically by the student in order to monitor changes and improvements in those behaviors. For example, the study habits, health, time management, stress, test anxiety, and memory assessments may be taken after each term to track the effectiveness of strategies used to improve in these areas.