got a Happy Heart and a Happy Mind

Never had an idea how distance learning works until I got into it.  I was wondering how it will work if students can take a peek on the answer in the net and you will get the right answer and will certainly pass…but I experienced more than that. Having the resources just a click away, scheduled tasks  and managing my own time wasn’t easy. It was a commitment. I can say teacher has a big impact on delivering the content and how each of them ponder students to learn. And I would like to give credits to teacher Malou who have done a great job leaving me with a HAPPY HEART AND A HAPPY MIND!

I am working as senior Physical Therapist and I have this tasks of  supervising  intern students and assessing  them at the end of their so-called rotation on an area. I was moved by knowing the principles and the methods of how to assess my students  and  how could I know how much they are learning from me. I didn’t know that until I learned from my 10-week journey with EDS 113. Understanding alignment of objectives to  assessment so we could have an effective outcomes;  giving  meaningful  feedbacks in timely manner and appropriate words; different  mindsets to understand the behavior of our students; reflective teaching where I can further improve myself;  high stakes examination to always be prepared, table of specification and more of it to mention that I could use in my current position and will surely change my way of teaching and assessment.  I know I still have a long way to walk on to have this dream of becoming a professional teacher but I am so pleased to bring along my experience and all of what I have learned from my peers and everything this semester.




High Stakes Exam.. be prepared


I wanted to share my venture when I took  an English exam, TOEFL-iBT. It was a challenge for me since this exam seems summative to me. It has a high stake value which equals to opening  a door for me to a new beginning but it needs preparation and here is my story.

I have been working in Saudi Arabia  for more than 10 years and we use Arabic language to communicate everyday and time to time with our patients. Nevertheless, English was also used to convey our concerns with staff and other healthcare providers. In short, longer time speaking in Arabic than English. I must admit I have to prepare not only my skills in English but how the exam goes. I was lucky to have a review materials, containing tips and other resources for preparation. One of them is using a planner. A weekly and/or  monthly plan that you can view from this link:, they also provide free sample questions, rubrics that you can review as guidelines and a practice test. There is also a detailed tips and information for understanding more about the test.

I prefer  scheduling my review since I have work in the hospital. But the problem, I wasn’t able to follow because most of the time there are circumstances that hinder my plans. I even tried practicing the test to have an idea but needs time to sit down and focus on it. This exam has 4 sections: Reading section, listening section, speaking section and the writing section. All of them are timed and covers the traditional objective multiple choice-type test and criterion-referenced tests.

Time came to take the scheduled  exam and I wasn’t able to pass the criterion references test, where you will answer the assessor impromptu. I learned that next time, I should prepare for a high stake examination like this because it is depressing to fail.

And from taking this EDS 113, I would prefer to give both traditional and non-traditional assessment having type I, II, III items or tasks and encourage the student to prepare especially on high value examination. I will include the objective type test to measure basic knowledge, criterion reference test to measure and practice their critical thinking and analysis.

I’m sure some of the students will favor on objective type and some will go for the open ended questions or non-traditional assessment. But I’m not sure if anyone will want to answer or to take the exam under time-pressured..but better to practice them beforehand thus it will help them practice discipline and  according to study, fosters a sense of cognitive closure, allowing to fully shift our focus onto subsequent tasks.








“The reason why metacognition is so important in education is that if the student reliable to understand their own working minds, they have the ability to transform their mental processes through planning, goal-setting, reflecting, being self-critical, self- monitoring, self-assessing, and self-regulating.”

-Thomas Armstrong in Education Week Teacher


Since I am new to this course, EDS 113- Principles and Methods of Assessment, I went through our lectures and came across with the word METACOGNITION and help myself to find out what this word they say  “all teachers should know”, “thinking about thinking”, “ knowing what is knowing”, understanding one’s own understanding”. COMPLICATED!

The definition wasn’t easy to understand inspite of the feeling I wanted to know this term. I go through digging this word and came up with these few important information that I hope I can present it to you in the simplest way even Mr. World Wide Web made it hard for me.



noun: metacognition; noun: meta-cognition


  1. awareness and understanding of one’s own thought processes.[]
  1. knowledge of person variables refers to general knowledge about how human beings learn and process information, as well as individual knowledge of one’s own learning processes. []
  2. KNOWING HOW TO LEARN, and knowing which strategies work best, are valuable skills that differentiate expert learners from novice learners. Metacognition, or awareness of the process of learning,is a critical ingredient to successful learning.[



The effectiveness of learning, according to the studies, that the power of metacognition for increasing student knowledge and achievement has been amazing for several decades. And we all know that it is not teachers alone or students alone themselves who are responsible for effective learning. It is a partnership between teacher and students.  Self study (using text books, exercises, tape and video recorders, etc.) and self-access (including  their own interest and needs) with the teacher’s formative and summative assessments while they are studying are also of good help in enriching one’s mind. But its not all…Why metacognition is so talked-about? Though it cannot be define easily, but commonly, it is define as  “thinking about thinking.” And it means like this… It  involves thinking about one’s own thinking process such as study skills, memory capabilities, and the ability to monitor own learning. This concept needs to be explicitly taught along with content instruction.


There are several skills necessary to develop metacognition. These are taking conscious control of learning, planning and selecting strategies (which I also listed down below), monitoring the progress of learning, correcting errors, analyzing the effectiveness of learning strategies ( which work best for you) and changing behaviors and strategies when necessary.


Metacognitive Strategies for Successful Learning ( some wrote it as THINK, ACT and REFLECT)


  • Consciously identify what you already know
  • Define the learning goal
  • Consider your personal resources (e.g. textbooks, access to the library, access to a computer work station or a quiet study area)
  • Consider the task requirements (essay test, multiple choice, etc.)
  • Determine how your performance will be evaluated
  • Consider your motivation level
  • Determine your level of anxiety


  • Estimate the time required to complete the task
  • Plan study time into your schedule and set priorities
  • Make a checklist of what needs to happen when ( everyday I do this )
  • Organize materials
  • Take the necessary steps to learn by using strategies like outlining, mnemonics, diagramming, etc.

Monitoring and Reflection:

  • Reflect on the learning process, keeping track of what works and what doesn’t work for you
  • Monitor your own learning by questioning and self-testing
  • Provide your own feedback
  • Keep concentration and motivation high



To Summarize:
So, I thought only teachers should know what is metacognition. Why not? Because it plays an important role in all learning and life experiences. Beyond academic learning, when students gain awareness of their own mental states, they begin to answer important question and through these reflections, they also begin to understand other people’s perspectives..and they gain confidence and become more independent as learners. Independence leads to ownership as student’s realize they can pursue their own intellectual needs and discover a world of information at their fingertips while the task of educators is to acknowledge, cultivate, exploit and enhance the metacognitive capabilities of all learners.


Let us all try to apply  this THINKING ABOUT THINKING in our studies and in our life 😊 and see the power by ourselves.


Happy learning!





Received ONE line


My life’s purpose is not easy to find as I may want to write and connect it with my recent topic in my online study, Alignment.

In relation to what I have learned, creating your goal and everything should be align considering the assessment and strategies involved to have quality outcome. My purpose in life could be a good help in my intent though I have several goals from time to time and every fulfilment, another goal was set in… and finally enjoying the fruit of labor.

As far as I remember when I was a sophomore, I have listed my pretty little targets and every time I hit that goal , I tick the box next to it. All I want from being sophomore is to move to junior or they called it in college, PROPER, it is when you moved to the third year and you are formally a student of the course you are taking. And after that, from proper I tick the box for being senior and then to be an intern. And finally to graduate and have my license. I have been in a lot of assessment and undergone several exams but my determination of moving forward to work as what I am dreaming of came to reality. Considering the hardship of being assessed as a learner and other exams help me go through this learning to be a professional worker. And staying aligned with my goal, wether I have failed on some of my subjects and having personal imperfections helped me mold myself and embrace it.

And I will borrow this quote from Mr. Ruben Chavez that “Don’t worry about trying to find your life’s purpose. Instead, start by acting on the small things that excite you each day. These are the threads that will connect you to your path, passion, and purpose in life.”