The purpose of reflective writing assignments for students enrolled in First-Year Seminar is to encourage the practice of metacognition. Metacognition is "awareness or analysis of one’s own learning or thinking processes" (Metacognition). We practice metacognition by working to become aware not only of what we are learning, but also how we are learning, what the limits of our knowledge and abilities are, and how we can improve our strategies and readiness for new situations (Chick, 2016).

During this semester, you have worked to understand the connections between our experiences, the experiences of people around us, and the dynamics between different social, political, and cultural ideologies. You have also learned that the value of your Student Learning Outcomes in college are shaped by your understanding of those influences.

With the semester coming to an end, you have completed readings, activities, and exams over the material in your Literature and Culture course. In your First-Year Seminar, you also have equipped yourself with skills of research, teamwork, and presentation. Those skills can help change how you influence the people around you, and help shape your opportunities, your life, and our society.

Your final Seminar assignment asks you to consider, metacognitively, your development toward these Learning Outcomes. You can type these or hand-write them, but they must be completed during your Seminar class time today, May 1st. At least one hand-written page or 1 1/2 typed pages are appropriate. Typed reflections must be successfully emailed to me ( before your class period ends.

The following prompts were adapted from Tanner’s (2012) work on metacognition.

Prompt 1 (Intro): By way of introducing your reflection, talk briefly about how, based on Chick’s (2016) definition above, you have noticed yourself using metacognition this semester in preparing for your exams and other assignments. Use specific examples from your note-taking, creative endeavors, and any other study habits or academic work, to support your observations.

Prompt 2: Based on the lecture material and work in Dr. Walker’s and your other courses, what would you argue is the most important cultural lesson you can use to construct your identity as you continue your college career? In other words, what have you learned about who you want to portray yourself as to others?

Prompt 3: (Conclusion): In closing, talk about the role metacognition plays in shifting how you look at aspects of your world that you may not have considered before. Describe specific ways that you have developed a sense of empathy, using specific examples from outside of the classroom (work, family, friendships, etc.) to connect your learning to your experience.


Chick, N. (2016). Metacognition. Center for Teaching at Vanderbilt University. Retrieved from

Metacognition. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Tanner, K. D. (2012). Promoting student metacognition. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 11, 113-120. doi: 10.1187/cbe.12-03-0033