Metacognitive awareness and the link with undergraduate examination performance and clinical reasoning

Welch, Paul, Young, Louise, Johnson, Peter, and Lindsay, Daniel (2018) Metacognitive awareness and the link with undergraduate examination performance and clinical reasoning. MedEdPublish, 7 (2). 32.

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Theory: Metacognitive awareness is a component of self-regulated learning and helps us to understand and control our thinking and learning. Thinking about thinking is also an important aspect of the clinical reasoning process for medical practitioners.

Hypotheses: This pilot study researched the link between metacognitive awareness and undergraduate examination performance. The Metacognitive Awareness Inventory (MAI) is a validated 52 item survey instrument for measuring metacognitive awareness. It has eight sub-scales grouped into two domains: Knowledge of Cognition and Regulation of Cognition. It was hypothesised that MAI scores would increase between first and fifth-year undergraduate medicine students and secondly that MAI scores would correlate with undergraduate examinations results.

Method: Medical students at James Cook University, Australia were invited to complete the MAI and consented to give access to their examination scores.

Results: The results of this pilot study found that metacognitive awareness was not significantly different between first and fifth-year undergraduates in this sample. For first-year medical undergraduates there were correlations between the Knowledge of Cognition domain and their end of year examination results, but not with the Regulation of Cognition domain. For fifth-year students there were correlations between both the Knowledge and Regulation of Cognition domains and their end of year examination results.

Conclusion: This study identified that metacognitive awareness is not significantly different between first and fifth-year medical students. This may cause concern given that the study identified the importance of both MAI domains in undergraduate medical examinations. This study should be repeated on a larger scale and may confirm that raising metacognitive awareness levels among students is desirable. Increasing metacognitive awareness may raise examination performance and better prepare students for developing clinical reasoning skills.

Item ID: 53759
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2312–7996
Keywords: clinical reasoning; metacognition; undergraduate examinations; expertise; learning
Copyright Information: Authors retain full copyright on their submissions. This has been published under Creative Commons "CC BY-SA 4.0" (
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AMEE MedEdPublish is an open access post-publication peer review journal. Papers submitted to MedEdPublish are peer reviewed following publication. Prior to publication manuscripts are checked by the Editor to ensure that their content is appropriate for a medical and health professions education e-journal and that the manuscript meets the e-journal criteria for publication. Articles that meet this criteria are processed, assigned a DOI and published and with publication the peer review process begins.

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This open approach to peer review is a cornerstone of the MedEdPublish ethos as it allows the medical education community to provide feedback and share expertise with colleagues at all levels. Post-publication peer review is also an open and transparent process that avoids editorial bias while increasing the speed of publication.

Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2018 01:50
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390110 Medicine, nursing and health curriculum and pedagogy @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920205 Health Education and Promotion @ 100%
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