Nockalls, Brittany (2020) The Impact of Metacognitive Ability on Critical Thinking, Amongst Student Experiences of Learning at University, From a Mixed Methods Approach. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

Metacognition, otherwise known as the process of being aware of ones thoughts and thinking process, has been increasingly used across many student groups in which metacognitive strategies enable individuals to gain power over their thinking by provoking behaviours that increase their efficiency to plan, monitor and evaluate thought processes, such as problem-­‐solving (Luckey, 2003). The present research therefore aims to further explore the advantages of metacognition and how this can improve critical thinking ability for complex material. However, in light of the Coronavirus (COVID-­‐19) pandemic, specific participants would later be identified in an ample opportunity to explore such learning experiences further. As such from a qualitative perspective, the present research will explore the essence of this lived experience in regards to how learning at university is perceived by such students. In addition, as an extension of previous findings, research will also aim to explore how wider social forces, drawing reference to the connection of social systems (Bronfenbrenner, 1994)specifically interact with the individual level, and contribute or influence on learning. A mixed method approach via a convergent parallel design was therefore used for the advantage of the opportunities afforded by mixing both quantitative and qualitative data, to increase the usefulness and application of findings and to gain further insight to the research from a different perspective. Findings appear to extend on the notion that metacognitive awareness is important to consider within education, enhancing elements such as critical thinking ability and self regulatory processes during learning (Rhodes, 2019), however that we also cannot separate or measure elements of learning away from individual and the social and cultural world that they inhabit. The socio-­‐cultural context was also of importance to consider in which academic competence being used to determine self worth or success, anxiety, and fluidities in identity during transition to higher education appeared to be considered the ‘norm’ for individuals in today’s learning environment.

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