Cognitive and metacognitive strategies of 6th-grade students to answer multiple-choice questions on “human body systems”



In this study, cognitive and metacognitive strategies were determined which used by 6th-grade students who answered multiple-choice questions correctly on “Human Body Systems". In determining these strategies, the characteristics of multiple-choice questions (figures, graphs, explanations, etc.) were also considered. Participants of the study included three 6th-grade students, who were studying in a private school located in the province of Kars. The study was designed as a qualitative “case study”. Students whose overall grade point averages were at the “Very Good” level were selected for the study. The students who participated in the study were asked to answer four multiple-choice questions related to four learning areas (circulatory system, respiratory system, digestive system, and excretory system) of the “Human Body Systems” unit of a biology course. The students were asked to answer the multiple-choice questions during the thinking-aloud sessions. Semi-structured interviews were conducted after each question. Students' processes of answering the multiple-choice questions and semi-structured interviews were recorded in video format. The observations from the thinking-aloud sessions, the process of solving the multiple-choice questions, and the semi-structured interviews conducted with students for each question was transcribed. Computer programs for qualitative data analysis were used to analyze data. This study had determined that three students who were studying in the 6th-grade of a private school and whose overall grade averages were at the “Very Good” level, using a large number and diverse range of strategies while answering multiple-choice questions on “Human Body Systems” unit. This study had determined that, students used a diverse range of cognitive strategies such as visualizing, expressing in their own words, analyzing figures, and comparing the answer options to answer the multiple-choice questions. Additionally, metacognitive strategies including re-examining the answer, underlining or circling the clues, marking the explanations in the text of the question, and eliminating incorrect answer options were determined. It was also determined that cognitive and metacognitive strategies, which are important for students to answer multiple-choice questions correctly, vary according to the characteristics of the questions (figures, graphics, explanations, etc.).

Author Biography

Emine Hatun Diken, Kafkas University

Biology Education


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