The Cardinal Edge


Developing self-assessment skills is an important aspect of learning. Framed by assessment developed for the year-long sequence of general chemistry, students were asked to rate their ability to answer conceptual questions. Using cognitive interviews, this study revealed that people rely on a range of characteristics other than content knowledge to assess their confidence, including doubt, retrieval difficulty, and test-taking methods. These findings imply that more explicit instruction may be required to encourage correct self-assessment. Students can develop their metacognitive skills and calibrate their perceived ability by completing examinations meant to emphasize content knowledge gaps.