Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education


Faculty of Education and Arts


School of Education and Arts


This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of: McMahon, M. & Luca, J. (2006). Online Student Contracts to Promote Metacognitive Development. In 23rd Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education “Who’s Learning? Whose Technology?”, (pp. 563-572). Sydney ASCILITE. Available here


Knowing about one’s own cognitive ability, and how best to use this ability in understanding new educational content, solving problems and making effective decisions is one of the holy grails of education! Metacognition is widely perceived as being integral to effective learning and much literature and research has been devoted to this area. However online learning environments that effectively support the development of students’ metacognition are rare and difficult to develop. This paper describes one component (the student contract) of an online learning environment designed to support the development of metacognition through a cycle of planning, monitoring and evaluation. Students firstly complete a self assessment questionnaire that helps expose their preferences and orientations; this forms the basis of the student contract. The design and logic of the student contract is outlined, with an overview of the complete strategy being used to help promote metacogniton.

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