Measuring the Level of Metacognitive Regulation in Graduate Health Sciences Students: What Is the Value of a Prompt?

  • Cortny A. WilliamsEmail author
  • Leslie A. K. Takaki
  • Ron LeFebvre
Original Research


Students with strong metacognitive and self-regulated learning skills will better adapt to the rigor of graduate health sciences education, and as professionals, they will be able to better manage unpredictable patient populations. In this observational study, we presented students with information about study strategy characteristics and used self-evaluation surveys to measure the level of the metacognitive skills planning, monitoring, and evaluating of study strategies in students in their first and second terms of a doctor of chiropractic program. Ninety-eight percent of students were willing to adopt new strategies and evaluate their effectiveness, and 75% of students were able to follow through with and maintain all or a portion of their new study plan. Within the self-reported data, we identified a continuum of passive to active learning strategy choices associated with variable levels of self-evaluation and follow through. Students reporting more active or high-impact learning strategies with positive motivators in their self-evaluations were more likely to follow through with and maintain a new study plan. These data suggest a need for educators to support and develop strategies to encourage a more robust student response to learning prompts. By both designing and modeling prompts on metacognitive and self-regulated learning in a positive environment, educators empower learners to apply these tactics to task specific work. Supportive interactions with the educator will incentivize learners to develop a better awareness of metacognitive regulation and make positive behavior changes in response to learning prompts.


Metacognition Self-regulated learning Study strategies Learning prompts 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

40670_2019_699_MOESM1_ESM.docx (16 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 16 kb)


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Copyright information

© International Association of Medical Science Educators 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Western StatesPortlandUSA

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