Melanie Brady EdD ’12 presents findings at Innovations in Medical Education Conference

Melanie Brady EdD ’12 recently presented findings from a two-year mixed methods examination conducted about metacognition and audience-response systems at the annual 2015 Innovations in Medical Education Conference for the USC Keck School of Medicine. She conducted the research with co-researchers Jane Rosenthal EdD ’12 (assistant dean, School of Applied Life Sciences at the Keck Graduate Institute) and Christopher Forest (MSHS, DFAAPA, PA-C assistant professor, Clinical Family Medicine).

Melanie Brady

Melanie Brady

In her presentation, Brady described the differences in engagement for students who use different audience-response methods in a classroom setting. For example, in a large lecture hall, students are often required to present answers or opinions. How might metacognition, the regulation of cognition and self-knowledge be affected by the methods used by students to state their answers?

Brady’s research shows the differences in metacognition for students who are allowed to provide answers anonymously with an electronic clicker versus those who raise their hands or use paddles to signal their answers in front of their fellow students. Brady’s mixed methods comparative study examines the extent to which high-tech devices (clickers) and low-tech devices (paddles) affect learner metacognition.

“Based on the results of the undergraduate study,” says Brady, “we predicted that use of clickers would lead to less social comparison, which could enable more productive learning; use of paddles would lead to more social comparisons that could interfere with the learning process.”

Brady is a principal investigator on a joint project with Rossier School of Education and faculty from Keck School of Medicine. She has published articles and presented at national conferences on her research about the influence of audience-response systems on metacognition. Her research interests include educational technology, metacognition, learner-centered education, academic performance outcomes and conditions that enhance the learning experience.