Preparing Future-Ready Learners: Online Course Design and Online Teaching Ideas Informed by Metacognition Research and the Growth Mindset Approach

Concurrent Session 1
Streamed Session HBCU

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

How can future-oriented institutions prepare graduates to handle as-yet-undefined expectations in the future? Through good teaching, educators can help learners develop their metacognition skills and growth mindsets. As a result, learners are able to plan, monitor, assess own learning, believe in their own ability to learn, and become self-motivated learners.


Ye Liu is a Lead Instructional Designer at Office of Distance Education, Metropolitan College, Boston University. She works in partnership with faculty to design and develop online courses in a variety of online programs.

Extended Abstract

Future-oriented institutions need to find workable answers to the question—how can we prepare graduates to handle as-yet-undefined jobs and expectations in the future? All educators wish that learners can develop metacognition skills: every learner is able to think about one self’s thinking, and plan, monitor, and assess own learning. However, these skills cannot be developed easily by students. In addition, as confirmed by human learning principles, good teaching can improve students’ mental capacity and make a difference in reaching learners’ intellectual potential, partially by helping them believe in their own ability to learn and become self-motivated learners. Instructors need to adjust pedagogical skills in order to purposefully facilitate learners’ metacognition development and use growth-mindset informed teaching strategies to motivate students to grow.

The purpose of this session is to help faculty and instructional designers identify pedagogical strategies, informed by metacognition research and the growth mindset approach. The shared strategies can be applied to course content design, course assessment/activity design, and teaching processes. The audience can use the discussed strategies to help students become a self-regulated learner to face future learning needs. Shared strategies can apply to face-to-face, web-enhanced, and online courses.

The first part of the session will be an introductory sharing on a variety of course design and teaching suggestions. The presenter has been researching and using these strategies in their own course design and has been communicating with their faculty members to facilitate students’ learning. A set of resources will be shared with each participant, showing practical suggestions and will be linked with examples and resources

After that, the whole audience will participate in an interactive activity. Participants will separate into 2-3 person groups to work on different mini case studies involving a variety of course design and teaching challenges, which may be solved by shared strategies. Discussion will follow among participants.

Next, participants will reflect on one instructional design/teaching challenge they are facing when designing learning experiences for students. They will also identify whether any strategies discussed so far can help conquer such a challenge. Participants have opportunities to share and learn from each other.

Learning Objectives:
After participating in the workshop, participants will be able to:

  • •    Identify at least one course design or teaching strategy informed by metacognition research and the growth mindset approach.
  • •    Identify one suggestion provided by session participants that they could implement to their own course design or teaching challenges.


Ambrose, S. A., Lovett, M., Bridges, M. W., DiPietro, M., & Norman, M. K. (2010). How learning works: Seven research-based principles for smart teaching. Jossey-Bass.

Bransford, J., Brown, A. L., Cocking, R. R., & National Research Council (U.S.). (1999). How people learn: Brain, mind, experience, and school. Washington, D.C: National Academy Press.

Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random House.

McGuire, S.Y. and McGuire, S. (2015). Teach Students How to Learn: Strategies You Can Incorporate in Any Course to Improve Student Metacognition, Study Skills, and Motivation. Stylus Publishing.