There is continued pressure for the application, and integration, of computer technologies into learning and teaching. For such innovations to be successfully implemented, students themselves must have the confidence, ability and willingness to engage with computer technology. In some disciplinary and professional contexts such as arts, humanities, social studies and education many adult learners are insecure and anxious regarding their ability to use, or to learn about, computer technology. Traditionally, competency-based, or skills-focussed training approaches have been utilised to assist inexperienced students to gain confidence with using computers. This paper argues that such approaches do not promote the development of individuals capable of life-long computer learning. What is lacking from such training contexts is a metacognitive dimension, which empowers learners to become more independent in their approach to learning with, and about, computers in the future. This paper discusses these issues and the potential role of metacognitive theory and reflective learning in re-conceptualising and re-designing computer end-user learning environments. Reference is made to a current research project, which is investigating the use of metacognitive and reflective learning approaches in developing capable computer users in one particular teacher education program.
Phelps, R, Ellis, A & Hase, S 2001, 'The role of metacognitive and reflective learning processes in developing capable computer users', in G Kennedy, M Keppell, C McNaught & T Petrovic (eds), Meeting at the crossroads: proceedings of the 18th Annual Conference of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE), University of Melbourne, Vic., 9-12 December, Biomedical Multimedia Unit, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic., pp. 481-490. ISBN: 0734021577