The Effect of Metacognitive Instruction on Problem Solving Skills in Iranian Students of Health Sciences

  •  Yahya Safari    
  •  Habibeh Meskini    


BACKGROUND: Learning requires application of such processes as planning, supervision, monitoring and reflection that are included in the metacognition. Studies have shown that metacognition is associated with problem solving skills. The current research was conducted to investigate the impact of metacognitive instruction on students’ problem solving skills.

METHODS: The study sample included 40 students studying in the second semester at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, 2013-2014. They were selected through convenience sampling technique and were randomly assigned into two equal groups of experimental and control. For the experimental group, problem solving skills were taught through metacognitive instruction during ten two-hour sessions and for the control group, problem solving skills were taught via conventional teaching method. The instrument for data collection included problem solving inventory (Heppner, 1988), which was administered before and after instruction. The validity and reliability of the questionnaire had been previously confirmed. The collected data were analyzed by descriptive statistics, mean and standard deviation and the hypotheses were tested by t-test and ANCOVA.

RESULTS: The findings of the posttest showed that the total mean scores of problem solving skills in the experimental and control groups were 151.90 and 101.65, respectively, indicating a significant difference between them (p<0.001). This difference was also reported to be statistically significant between problem solving skills and its components, including problem solving confidence, orientation-avoidance coping style and personal control (p<0.001). No significant difference, however, was found between the students’ mean scores in terms of gender and major.

CONCLUSION: Since metacognitive instruction has positive effects on students’ problem solving skills and is required to enhance academic achievement, metacognitive strategies are recommended to be taught to the students.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.