Transfer of metacognitive skills in self-regulated learning: an experimental training study

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenZeitschriftenaufsätzeForschungbegutachtet


Training interventions for self-regulated learning foster the use of strategies and skills as well as their transfer to new learning tasks. Because cognitive strategies or motivation regulation strategies are task-specific, their transfer is limited. In contrast, metacognitive skills are task-general and transferable to a wide variety of learning tasks. Questions arise, therefore, as to whether students transfer metacognitive skills spontaneously and how to support metacognitive skill transfer. Previous research shows that hybrid training, which addresses both metacognitive skills and cognitive strategies, supports near transfer. However, it is not clear whether hybrid training also fosters far transfer of metacognitive skills. In investigating this research question, 233 fifth-grade students were randomly assigned to six different conditions: two hybrid-training conditions (metacognitive skills and one out of two cognitive strategies), two non-hybrid training conditions (“only” one out of two cognitive strategies), and two control training conditions (neither metacognitive skills nor cognitive strategies). After 15 weeks of training, transfer of metacognitive skills to learning tasks similar to training tasks (near transfer) was tested. In the following 15 weeks, all students received a second, non-hybrid training involving a new cognitive strategy. Far transfer of metacognitive skills to the new cognitive strategy was tested afterward. The results show that hybrid training, compared to non-hybrid and control training, improved both students’ near and far transfer of metacognitive skills. Moreover, cognitive strategy use increased in at least one of the hybrid-training conditions. However, since the level of metacognitive skills use remained low, further means to support transfer are discussed.

ZeitschriftMetacognition and Learning
Seiten (von - bis)455-477
Anzahl der Seiten23
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 01.12.2020
Extern publiziertJa

Bibliographische Notiz

The project “Ganz In. Mit Ganztag mehr Zukunft. Das neue Ganztagsgymnasium NRW” was a joint project of the Mercator Foundation, the Institute for School Development Research Dortmund, the Ministry of School and Education of the State North Rhine-Westphalia and the University Alliance Ruhr. The authors thank these institutions for supporting the project. Further acknowledgments are well deserved by the scientific staff and assistants Benjamin Klein, Friederike Gilsbach, Fabiana Karstens, Soofie Kroß, Carina Maaßen, and Sören-Kristian Berger for carrying out the study together with the authors.