AskUp: Improving learning and metacognition through learner-generated questions

Awardees: Jonathan Hausmann (HMS-BIDMC), Elliott Yates (CADM-HUIT), Katherine Loboda (College), and Eli Miloslavsky (HMS-MGH)

Summary: Awardees will continue development of AskUp, a free, open-source studying and learning app that leverages evidence-based techniques to enhance learning, and will evaluate the efficacy of the application’s improvement to metacognition, self-directed learning, and class performance through small randomized trials.

Awardees developed AskUp through a previous HILT grant with the intention of enhancing self-directed learning and metacognition. The application allows users to generate their own question and answer sets and requires learners to reflect on learnings and identify important points, in their own words. One of the main findings in a 2015 study showed that most students were hesitant to change their study habits and adopt this tool, but there were notable increases in the use of practice testing and concept maps throughout the course.

The team plans to use what they’ve learned to further develop the online tool for with an eye toward enhancing accessibility, user experience, and integration with Canvas. They will also measure how AskUp might improve metacognition and self-directed learning.