Helping students to improve their academic performance: a pilot study of a workbook with self-monitoring exercises

Heather Leggett, John Sandars, Philip Burns
Medical Teacher 2012, 34 (9): 751-3

BACKGROUND: There is increasing interest in developing student self-regulated learning skills, especially self-monitoring, to improve academic performance.

AIMS: A pilot study to investigate the impact of self-monitoring exercises on calibration accuracy and academic performance in undergraduate medical students on a Biomedical Science (BMS) module.

METHOD: A randomised trial of 51 second-year students comparing a structured workbook with and without self-monitoring exercises.

RESULTS: Participants significantly improved calibration accuracy after completing the intervention, as well as increased self-efficacy and greater satisfaction with performance. The intervention group significantly improved their BMS exam score compared with the control group.

CONCLUSION: A relatively simple intervention seems to have the potential to improve self-monitoring skills and academic performance. Further research is recommended to identify if the development of self-monitoring skills by a similar intervention leads to long-term improvement in academic performance, if low-performing students can significantly benefit from a similar intervention and if there is transfer of improved self-monitoring skills from one context to another.

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