The role of metacognitive monitoring in regulation at multiple levels of collaborative learning

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Linnanmaa, lecture hall L2

Topic of the dissertation

The role of metacognitive monitoring in regulation at multiple levels of collaborative learning

Doctoral candidate

Master of Arts (Education) Eetu Haataja

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Education, Oppiminen ja oppimisprosessit

Subject of study

Educational sciences


Professor Jeffrey A. Greene, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education


Professor Sanna Järvelä, University of Oulu

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Monitoring one's own learning is linked to better collaborative learning

The more actively the group members monitored their learning, the better they performed in collaborative learning. This is the result of the dissertation, which investigated metacognition, i.e., thinking about thinking during collaborative learning.

Learning takes place more and more in teams and groups. In collaborative learning, group members share the learning process to achieve common goals. Previous research has shown that skilled learners monitor their learning, which also enables correcting its direction. Still, the topic is not yet sufficiently known from the perspective of collaborative learning. In addition, earlier research has pointed out the possibility of using physiological measurements, such as heart rate and skin conductance, to study the collaborative learning process. This dissertation explored how learners monitor their learning during collaborative learning and how this is reflected in the group's learning performance and skin conductance.

The dissertation is based on three sub-studies, where collaborative learning took place in groups of three students. Video recordings, self-assessments, performance assessments, and physiological measurements collected from middle school, high school, and university students were used as research data.

The study showed that group members' active and equal participation in monitoring learning was related to better performance. In particular, those students whose own monitoring was inaccurate performed better on average when there was regulation controlling the direction of learning in the group. In addition, monitoring the challenges in learning was seen as an increase and mutual synchrony in students’ skin conductance, which can be considered to reflect alertness to correct the challenging situation.

The dissertation adds information about the role of metacognitive monitoring in regulating collaborative learning and understanding its multi-level process. Methodologically, the research brings new information about the possibilities and challenges of using skin conductance measures to study learning. The research results can be used to develop practices and technologies that support collaborative learning and working.
Last updated: 23.1.2024