Published: Aug. 20, 2018

Cover of Teach Students How to LearnIn summer 2018, over 20 CU faculty and staff collaboratively read and discussed Teach Students How to Learn: Strategies You Can Incorporate Into Any Course to Improve Student Metacognition, Study Skills, and Motivation by Saundra Yancy McGuire. As a Director Emerita of the Center for Academic Success, Retired Assistant Vice Chancellor, and Professor of Chemistry at Louisiana State University, McGuire has viewed student success from a variety of perspectives and roles. In this easy-to-read guide, she introduces tools and methods for incorporating metacognition (thinking about thinking) into undergraduate courses to improve student outcomes, self-confidence, and lifelong learning skills. Based on 15 years' experience with these techniques, McGuire argues, "If you teach students how to learn, and give them simple, straightforward strategies to use, they can significantly increase their learning and performance."

"This summer, I incorporated metacognition exercises into my online course," noted ASSETT Teaching & Learning Consultant Joy Adams. "It took very little time to implement as I simply created Canvas quizzes for the prompts. Students wrote a few sentences about their learning process so that I gained insight into how they were approaching the material, which can be very hard to do outside of a face-to-face setting. From there, I was able to provide customized feedback and coaching to individual students as well as offering general guidance to the entire class. My favorite activity was 'crowd-sourced study strategies' -- I compiled all of the students' ideas about the best ways to learn the material, posted them in Canvas, and then had the students choose one or two new techniques to try out. They then reflected on their experience in the following week's assignment. I don't have my teaching evaluations yet, but it seemed like the students were more self-motivated, confident, and accountable for their role as learners than in past summers, and the final class average was the highest I've ever had."

The 2018 Summer Book Club was co-sponsored by ASSETT (Arts & Sciences Support of Education Through Technology) and ODECE (Office of Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement). Got an idea for next summer's book? Email us at

To learn more about metacognition, including simple ways to integrate this powerful pedagogical approach into your classes, attend our upcoming workshop on October 22, from 3:00-4:00 pm in TLC 215. Or, watch for further details about a metacognition special group (SIG), which we hope to launch in spring 2019.

In the meantime, here are a few resources to help you get started: