Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Phelps, R & Ellis, A 2002, 'Helping students to help themselves: case studies from a metacognitive approach to computer learning and teaching' in Proceedings of the International Conference on Computers in Education (ICCE 2002), Auckland, NZ, pp. 1035-1036.


End-user training in the use of computer software and hardware has become a significant area of professional development in a range of educational, organisational and community contexts. However, technology is developing at such a rapid rate that, if an individual undertakes training in how to use a particular piece of software, that knowledge is likely to be inadequate or out-of-date in a very short period of time. Training contexts that emphasise the centrality of the ‘trainer’ or teacher inevitably foster learner dependency. Although such learning contexts may be ‘comfortable’ and ‘familiar’ for some students they do not accord with the learning patterns of many ‘capable’ computer users. Computer education, which fosters learner independence, holds greater potential for developing life-long, capable computer users in rapidly evolving technology contexts. Three case studies are presented which illustrate the potential of a metacognitive approach to computer learning in ‘helping students to help themselves’.

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