Is drawing after learning effective for metacognitive monitoring only when supported by spatial scaffolds?
In this study, we investigated whether drawing after learning supports metacognitive monitoring especially when students are supported in their drawing efforts. Therefore, eighty-eight participants were randomly assigned to one of three experimental groups. They were asked to learn from a text comprising five paragraphs about the formation of auroras. After reading each of the five paragraphs, one group had to mentally imagine the contents (control group), a second group had to draw from scratch, and a third group had to draw with the help of spatial scaffolds. All participants provided judgments of learning (JOL) for each paragraph, and took a knowledge test afterwards. Results revealed that students who drew, both with and without scaffold, monitored their learning more accurately on an absolute level. Even though there were no differences between the two drawing conditions for monitoring accuracy, JOLs were based on the actual drawing quality only when students drew with the help of spatial scaffolds. Results thus hint towards the potential of (scaffolded) drawing to support metacognitive monitoring. Reasons for why drawing with spatial scaffolds did not improve monitoring compared to drawing from scratch are discussed.