Metacognition involves reflecting on knowledge, experiences, and approaches to learning. It might involve summarizing or explaining newly-learned information or describing how this new information can be used in the workplace. 

To illustrate how participatory learning experiences and metacognition can fit together in training activities, let’s consider those concepts in terms of a simple, but effective and commonly-used debriefing model, Experience Identify Analyze Generalize (EIAG), developed by professional educator and trainer Ron Stadsklev.

  • Experience – a trainer delivers a specific piece of information or training content to participants using a combination of content delivery modes (mini-lecture, video, presentation software display, reading selection, etc.) and then gives them a participatory learning activity to DO SOMETHING with the new information, either individually or in groups.  (the metacognition parts come next)
  • Identify –  participants describe the learning experience that just happened – What exactly did you do? What was significant about it to you?
  • Analyze – participants think about what they just described and analyze the description they provided – What went well or was easy for you? Why do you think it went well/was easy? What didn’t go well or was challenging for you? Why do you think it didn’t go well/was challenging?
  • Generalize – participants draw conclusions based on their analysis – What new information have you learned? How can this new information be used in your workplace?

You will work more with these ideas in later sections of FET that deal specifically with training planning and design during our Face to Face training day.


Look at the written responses you recorded on the Experiences Build Brain Architecture worksheet. What, if any, elements of Optimal Conditions for Adult Learning can be identified in that learning experience?

How could you incorporate two pieces of knowledge you have acquired about creating Optimal Conditions for Adult Learning into that learning experience?