An intervention study of metacognitively-oriented digital reading for high school learners

An intervention study of metacognitively-oriented digital reading for high school learners

First Author: Byeong-Young Cho -- University of Pittsburgh
Additional authors/chairs: 
Scott Fraundorf; Kole Norberg; Hyeju Han
Keywords: metacognition, Digital literacy, Intervention studies, high school students
Abstract / Summary: 

Metacognition is critical for students’ success or failure in strategic internet reading (Cho, Woodward, Li & Barlow, 2017; Green, Yu, & Copeland, 2014). We conducted an intervention study to determine whether metacognitive support can help adolescents learn such digital literacy skills.

Grade 9-12 students (N=262) at a local public school were taught metacognitive knowledge about internet reading strategies by their ELA teachers in a weeklong intervention. Classrooms (n=15) were randomly assigned to one of four conditions. In three metacognitive knowledge conditions, students learned either what internet reading strategies they should know (declarative knowledge), how such strategies should be used (procedural knowledge), or why those strategies work under what circumstances (conditional knowledge). Classrooms in a control condition learned about plagiarism and citation using internet sources. We collected multiple data sources and measures, including pre- and post-tests of internet reading strategy awareness, epistemic justification with internet sources, and critical online reading performance.

Regression analysis (controlling for GPA) of the self-report measures indicated that, consistent with hypotheses, the conditional knowledge (knowing why) condition most increased students’ awareness of internet reading strategies (t=-2.32, p=.02), though only beyond the ninth grade. Conversely, critical online reading performance benefited from the intervention only in the ninth grade, and equally for the three intervention conditions relative to control (t = 2.16, p = .03). These results suggest that an intervention (particularly with a conditional knowledge focus) can be effective in enhancing students’ metacognitive knowledge about internet reading strategies, but the locus of change may vary across grade levels.