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Students who effectively employ metacognitive processes in online learning environments tend to be more engaged and perform better in their studies. Metacognition allows them to identify knowledge gaps, plan their actions accordingly, and seek help when needed.

Expanding on prior research, our study investigated how students employ metacognitive processes while engaging in an online discussion forum. Furthermore, we explored the connections between metacognitive presence (MP) and cognitive presence (CP), alongside their potential impact on course performance.

We analyzed discussion forum data from an introductory undergraduate-level computer programming MOOC course to conduct our study. We created categories and frequency counts based on a pre-established coding scheme following Schraw and Dennison's (1994) model.

The analyses revealed a significant and positive relationship between CP and MP. Notably, the resolution of a problem had the highest mean total number of MP statements across the four CP phases. Furthermore, a significant, positive, and low correlation was observed between course grades, information management, and evaluation dimensions of MP.

Our study has significant implications for designing online discussion activities, especially in MOOC environments, where additional support for self-regulated learning is crucial for success.

Study results graphic.