The impact of an online tool for monitoring and regulating learning at university: overconfidence, learning strategy, and personality

Anique B. H. de Bruin*, Ellen M. Kok, Jill Lobbestael, Andries de Grip

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Being overconfident when estimating scores for an upcoming exam is a widespread phenomenon in higher education and presents threats to self-regulated learning and academic performance. The present study sought to investigate how overconfidence and poor monitoring accuracy vary over the length of a college course, and how an intervention consisting of (1) a monitoring exercise and (2) a monitoring and regulation strategy, improves students’ monitoring accuracy and academic performance. Moreover, we investigated how personality factors (i.e., grandiose and vulnerable narcissism, optimism) influence monitoring accuracy. We found that the monitoring and regulation strategy positively influenced monitoring accuracy and exam scores, whereas the monitoring exercise that confronted students with their overconfidence protected students against overconfidence in the second exam score prediction but did not affect exam score. The results further revealed that exam score predictions lowered from the start to the end of the course for both poor and high performing students, but still leaving poor performers overconfident and high performers underconfident. Topic knowledge gained in the course did not wash out the dunning kruger effect, and results indicate that poor and high performers use different cues when predicting exam scores. Both grandiose and vulnerable narcissism contributed to overconfidence on exam score predictions but not on the monitoring exercise. These findings underline the potential of the monitoring and regulation strategy intervention and ask for upscaling it to include measurements of self-regulated learning activities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-43
JournalMetacognition and Learning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


  • Monitoring
  • Regulation of learning
  • Absolute accuracy
  • Overconfidence
  • Online tool


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