Metacognition as a Basis for Learning Support Software

Christine Brown*, John Hedberg, Barry Harper

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


In order to understand the task of instructional designers who produce learning support software, this paper reviews the influence of learning theory on instructional design, recent developments in computer technology, and the evolving role of the instructor as a facilitator of higher‐order thinking. Constructivist principles of learning and an appreciation for the fact that the learner must become more independent and skilled in metacognitive self‐assessment and self‐management are fundamental to this changing role. Two cognitive tools that provide learner/user support for personal construction of knowledge systems are “MindMap” and “Learning FourMat Processor.” These tools are examined in the light of current learning theory and a recent study comparing the work of novice and expert writers using different forms of performance support. Recommendations are made for the development of a more complete set of cognitive tools that enables users to construct their own multimedia knowledge systems based on higher‐order thinking and problem solving.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-26
Number of pages24
JournalPerformance Improvement Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


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