Metacognitive, self-regulation strategies

Proficient writers (and proficient learners in general) are able to organize and regulate their own efforts. Writing is hard, and even professional writers have had to develop strategies to maintain their productivity. Research indicates that integrating instruction in metacognitive, self-regulation strategies with strategy instruction substantially increases the effects. Metacognition includes knowledge about how one thinks and the ability to manage both cognitive processes and behavior. In the SSW approach, students learn metacognitive strategies for goal setting, task management, monitoring of progress, and reflection. Students set goals for their writing based on evaluation of what they need to learn. Task management strategies include planning time management, decisions about where and when to work, and strategies for managing emotions and motivation. Monitoring of progress refers to self-evaluation of whether one is using the strategies and whether they are working. Finally, after completing a writing task, students reflect on what they need to work on and set goals for the next task. Reflective journals and class discussions and are used to help students develop these self-regulation strategies. The metacognitive strategies are similar in some ways to strategies often taught in courses on academic success, but integrating them with the challenging content of writing makes them more authentic. See Strategies for Academic Success.