What is it about?

In our study, we delved into the world of learning and creativity to understand how students' awareness of their own thinking processes, known as metacognition, influences their motivation and ability to solve problems creatively. Think of metacognition as a superpower that helps students understand how they learn, plan their studies, and regulate their actions. We discovered that students with higher metacognitive awareness, those who really understand their own learning style and are good at planning, were not only more motivated to learn but also excelled in coming up with creative solutions. Imagine two groups of students: one group knows exactly how they learn, what motivates them, and how to plan their studies effectively. The other group is less aware of these aspects. We found that the first group, with higher metacognitive awareness, not only enjoyed learning more but also showed higher levels of creativity in solving problems. They were like problem-solving wizards, using their metacognitive skills to not only tackle academic challenges but also to think creatively. Our study also showed that understanding your learning style isn't just about intrinsic motivation (enjoying learning for its own sake) but also has connections with external motivation (like earning good grades). So, being aware of your own thought processes not only makes learning more enjoyable but also provides an additional impetus for success in academic achievements. This is like having a secret ingredient that makes your learning journey more successful and enjoyable. We hope our findings inspire educators and students alike to explore and enhance their metacognitive abilities, making the learning experience more rewarding and creative for everyone.

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Why is it important?

Our research breaks new ground by shedding light on the intricate relationship between metacognition, motivation, and creativity among university students. While past studies have explored bits and pieces of this puzzle, our work takes a comprehensive approach, examining how students who are aware of their own thinking processes not only demonstrate higher motivation to learn but also showcase greater creativity in problem-solving tasks. What makes our study timely and distinctive is the revelation that metacognitive awareness isn't just linked to intrinsic motivation; it also plays a role in extrinsic motivation and is associated with a reduced lack of motivation (amotivation). This nuanced understanding challenges traditional views and opens up exciting possibilities for educators and students to enhance learning experiences. Moreover, our findings indicate that metacognitive awareness is not a one-size-fits-all concept. We identified distinct profiles among university students – those with high metacognitive awareness and those with lower awareness. The former group excelled in both motivation and creativity. This work offers practical insights for educators, students, and researchers, suggesting that fostering metacognitive awareness could be a key to unlocking both motivation and creative problem-solving abilities. As the educational landscape continues to evolve, our study provides timely guidance for anyone interested in optimizing the learning experience and promoting creative thinking among university students. The comprehensive and applicable nature of our findings makes this research particularly relevant and appealing to a broad readership.


This study is like a backstage pass into the minds of university students – exploring how understanding our own thinking processes can be a game-changer for both learning and creativity. It's like discovering a treasure map that leads to higher motivation and a knack for creative problem-solving. Think about it: have you ever wondered why some students seem to enjoy learning so much, while others struggle to stay motivated? Well, we dug deep into this mystery and found that students who are aware of how they learn, plan their studies, and regulate their actions are the superheroes of academia. They not only love the learning process but also unleash their creativity when faced with challenges. What struck me most is that metacognition isn't just about enjoying learning for its own sake; it's a power tool that influences both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. It's the missing puzzle piece that connects knowing how you learn to achieving your academic goals creatively.

Dr. Marek Urban
Institute of Psychology, Czech Academy of Sciences

As a researcher dedicated to studying metacognition, this article further validates the integral role of metacognitive awareness in enabling students to thrive academically and creatively. The findings demonstrate that students with higher metacognitive abilities are more motivated to learn, achieving greater intrinsic and extrinsic drive, and are also able to produce more original solutions. This underscores the need to nurture metacognitive skills in all students. I feel passionately that we must empower students to become self-regulated learners and flexible problem-solvers.

Dr. Kamila Urban
Institute for Research in Social Communication, Slovak Academy of Sciences

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Metacognitively aware university students exhibit higher creativity and motivation to learn, Thinking Skills and Creativity, December 2021, Elsevier,
DOI: 10.1016/j.tsc.2021.100963.
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