Metacognition is the act of thinking about one's own thought processes. There are long-Term gains in learning among students who are trained to understand how the brain works and how they can control their own learning. Wrappers are short questionnaires provided at or near the time of completion of a lecture, assignment, or assessment to coach the student in thinking through the steps of metacognition (planning, monitoring, and adapting). As students completed the second and third of four examinations in a first-year veterinary anatomy course, they were invited to fill out an examination wrapper that asked them questions about examination preparation, where they felt they had had the most trouble with the examination, and what they might do differently before the next examination. Neither percentage change in scores from the second to the third and from the third to the fourth lecture or laboratory examination nor final grade for the course varied between the group of students who completed an examination wrapper and the group that did not. Students did not appear to change their behavior from one examination to the next. This was most likely because students lacked formal training in metacognition and therefore did not understand the value of completing the examination wrapper or the potential benefits of using their reflections. Future work will describe outcomes when learning objectives specific to metacognition are included in coursework in the veterinary curriculum.
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