Teaming with Independent Schools Victoria to assist both teachers and students.

Independent Schools Victoria (ISV) has partnered with Cogmetrix to introduce Cognisess Learn, an online cognitive self-development program. The program harnesses ideas generated from the latest research in cognitive neuroscience, indicating that the brain is continually changing.

The Cognisess Learn program offers schools a platform that aims to measure broad-based student development in four domains: cognitive, emotional, personality and wellbeing. It offers teachers the ability to differentiate learning for students and explain to them the biological basis of their thinking and learning. It aims to empower students to learn more efficiently by understanding how their brain operates, therefore reinforcing that each student is responsible for their own learning.

Metacognition is traditionally defined as ‘thinking about our thinking’. The neuroscience of the learning brain has revealed that metacognition is also significantly governed by how we feel and by our ability to assess our context. When students are cued to take account of all three domains – how they think, feel and assess their context – their decision making is transformed. They move from merely acting out (reactive behaviour) to more reflective behaviour.

Reflective behaviour is when there is a pause to review several choices and select the most appropriate way to proceed.

An example of this is when a student develops a negative concept of a subject area because of a negative experience. The Cognisess Learn program is an education-specific platform that links how students are feeling and the context in which they find themselves. When students are offered an opportunity to re-evaluate their belief, explore how this belief was established and view alternatives, they may develop a more positive attitude. They gain a subjective experience of how they can actively change their brain and create new pathways for thinking. Through developing an understanding of the relationship between these domains, it can empower students and enable them to learn about how their brain operates, and understand that they can be in control and responsible for their own learning.

The Program
Cognitive psychologists have combined new information of neuroplasticity research with digital technology to design online cognitive assessment programs. Cognisess Learn captures information about a students’ performance each time that they complete a particular task, as well as plotting their progress over time. The metrics are generated automatically and the tasks are programmed to help the users improve their proficiency in each task area.

A teacher or mentor mediates the program. Students play a series (or sequence) of online response tasks or games. During one of these weekly training sessions, students discuss the strategies that they are using to play the games. They also receive information from their teacher about the cognitive and neurological basis of their own thinking and learning. This helps them to develop awareness and understand the neuroscience behind the games, the brain and their own way of learning (metacognition).

Individual students can access their results and data at any time, and teachers can retrieve data from the entire cohort of students for analysis. The program provides teachers with the ability to compare results across a cohort and form greater insights into students’ skills and capabilities. This helps students understand their thinking and learning across subjects and general life situations.

To find out more about ISV’s partnership with Cogmetrix and the Cognisess Learn platform, please contact Lili-Ann Kriegler at Independent Schools Victoria either by phone (03) 9825 7241 or email lili-ann.kriegler@is.vic.edu.au