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Giving learners the opportunity to explain their thinking process aloud helps them to solidify their comprehension, and move knowledge into their Long-term Memory. This can be achieved through learner think-alouds, or self-explanations, which require individuals to reflect on new information. When learning and practicing Numeracy skills, these strategies can be highly effective as they allow learners to reflect upon the process. Explaining their thinking can also boost Foundational Reading skills, reinforcing details of a text and the strategies needed to understand or write it. Explaining their thinking can be especially helpful for those learners with lower levels of Background Knowledge as these processes help encourage more involved interaction with a variety of texts and resources. Research cautions that this strategy is most effective when students are prompted with specific protocols or questions, and that prompts should be carefully aligned with targeted learning outcomes so students avoid reinforcing incorrect approaches or choices.
Use It In Your Learning Environment
Instructors can model think-alouds to help learners become familiar with the practice. Think-alouds can be used as part of group activities, and instructors can provide a framework, either verbally or in writing, to prompt learners during the process. As a potential formative assessment to monitor understanding, think-alouds can be recorded or transcribed and saved to document progress and help instructors differentiate instruction. As texts become more complex, explaining their thinking to others can help learners monitor their understanding and sharpen their Metacognition. Similarly, encouraging learners to explain their thinking during Problem Solving activities can help them generate meaningful and effective solutions and support peer learning.
Digital products can provide question prompts that focus on the learning goal and have learners write their self-explanations or audio record their responses to share with their instructors and peers for feedback. Online learning platforms can have a designated space for these recordings to serve as a portfolio for learners to reflect upon over time to see their growth and for instructors to assess learning.
When learners provide constructive feedback on each other's work, they reflect on their own understanding, learn to give relevant suggestions, receive specific ways to improve, and engage in Metacognition.
Effective note-taking during lectures or reading directs learners' Attention to the relevant information, helping them identify key concepts, understand links between ideas and retain information better in their Long-term Memory.
The opportunity to observe peers or experts in action or participate in shadowing can provide a unique and authentic learning experience that often involves questioning, metacognitive thinking, and Problem Solving while providing Social Supports.
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On this page, using your heatmap, you will be asked to select factors to further explore, and then select new strategies you might incorporate into upcoming instruction. Once done, click “Show Summary" to view your Design Summary Report.
Finding new strategies
On this page, using your heatmap, you will be asked to select factors to further explore, and then select new strategies you might incorporate into upcoming instruction. Once done, click “Show Report” to view your Design Summary Report.
Generate your report
By selecting "Show Report" you will be taken to the Assessment Summary Page. Once created, you will not be able to edit your report. If you select cancel below, you can continue to edit your factor and strategy selections.
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