Before You Continue: Metacognitive Activity

Before You Continue is a metacognitive exercise typically delivered on the summary page of a module. It provides an opportunity for students to pull off the road and take a breather by evaluating their grasp of the material. 

Students are asked to indicate their level of confidence, on a scale of 1 to 5, in successfully completing the learning objectives, which are designed to be measurable. Two open-ended text-input questions follow, allowing students to describe the concepts they're struggling with and to ask questions about the material.

This example appears at the end of the Membrane Transport module in Introduction to Biology:


In a Before You Continue activity, students evaluate their ability to meet the learning objectives and can ask for more help.


Generating a Before You Continue Activity

On the course blueprint, click + Add Section, select Before You Continue, and then click Add to Page.

When you add a Before You Continue activity to a module summary page, it's automatically populated with the module's learning objectives in the table and the open-ended questions below. No authoring is needed.


The Output

The Before You Continue output is available in the Learning Dashboard on the "How well are my students self-assessing?" card, found in the Learning Inquiries column. The card is organized by module, with confidence rates appearing as plots on a line graph.

Confidence is determined by comparing each student's self-evaluation with his or her actual learning estimate for the learning objective. If the student is more confident than her performance indicates, her plot point appears on the "overconfident" end of the scale. If the student's confidence is lower than his performance indicates, his plot appears on the "underconfident" end of the spectrum. Students whose confidence matches their learning estimate are found at the center of the line graph.

Open-ended responses are listed under the line graph, organized by module.