Genetics problem solving in high school testing in Kenya: Effects of metacognitive prompting during testing

Main Article Content

Catherine Muhonja Aurah
Jerrell Craig Cassady
Tom John McConnell


This study investigated the effectiveness of using metacognitive prompts during testing for improving results in a Genetics Problem Solving Test (GPST). The study, a pre-test post-test, control group quasi-experimental design involving 2x2x2 analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) also investigated the moderating effects of gender and school type. A total of 2,138 high school students purposively selected from seventeen high schools in Western province, Kenya, participated in the study using three validated instruments; Biology Ability Test (BAT), Genetics Problem Solving Test (GPST), and Metacognitive Prompting Questionnaire (MPQ). Findings showed that metacognitive prompting (MP) had a significant effect on students’ genetics problem solving ability, F(1, 2137) = 10.909, p < 0.001. The findings also revealed gender differences, with girls outperforming boys on the genetics problem solving test. Furthermore, a significant interaction between metacognitive prompting and school type showed that students in provincial schools benefited from MPs more than students from district schools. This study established a foundation for instructional methods for biology teachers and recommendations are made for implementing metacognitive prompting in a problem-based learning environment in high schools and science teacher education programs in Kenya.


Article Details

Research / Empirical
Author Biographies

Catherine Muhonja Aurah, Masinde Muliro Uiversity of Science and Technology

Department of Science and Mathematics Education


Jerrell Craig Cassady, Ball State University

Department of Educational Psychology


Tom John McConnell, Ball State University

Department of Biology

Associate Professor