An appreciation of the extent of one's own knowledge is known as metaknowledge and it has been argued that students' ability to distinguish between what they know, and what they do not, is an important influence on academic success. However, previous research suggests a general tendency for individuals to display overconfidence in their knowledge, by overestimating how much they know. This study assessed the ability of learners studying business in higher education to appreciate the extent of their own knowledge and investigated the association between this capability and academic achievement. It therefore contributes towards answering broader questions regarding how well individuals are able to assess their own capabilities and what the implications of this are. Quantitative methodology was employed and multiple-choice tests used to investigate how accurately students were able to assess the extent of their knowledge of issues addressed in their study programmes. Analysis of over 12,500 judgements provided by 508 respondents revealed a general tendency for overconfidence and indicated that this was greater for males, older participants and particularly, for Chinese students. Consequently, interventions designed to moderate overconfidence may be particularly valuable for these sub-groups. In terms of its potential implications for learning, the research indicated that better metaknowledge was positively associated with higher levels of academic performance, particularly for those in their first year studying at the university. Consequently, while metacognitive skills, such as accurate self-monitoring, are typically poorly addressed in business schools, the findings from this study suggest that initiatives to improve self monitoring accuracy may be effective in enhancing student learning. Additionally, such interventions have other potential benefits for learners, since metacognitive monitoring skills may also usefully inform lifestyle decisions, as well as improving the chances of success in business and may therefore be particularly beneficial for business students.
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 18 Feb 2010|