Rakefet Ackerman, Ph.D. Assistant Professor at Faculty of Industrial Engineering & Management Technion—Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel
Prof. Ackerman’s research deals with the cognitive processes involved in learning, question answering, and problem solving. Her studies follow the metacognitive approach, by which subjective assessment, or monitoring, of knowledge guides the actions people take to achieve their goals. Understanding the factors that affect the reliability of metacognitive monitoring and the associated efficiency of task performance offers a foundation for developing effective study and work techniques. Before her academic career, Prof. Ackerman worked in the hi-tech industry as a leader of software development teams.
One of Prof. Ackerman’s lines of research concerns the effect of media, screen versus paper, on the regulation of learning and problem solving efforts (Ackerman & Goldsmith, 2011; Ackerman & Lauterman, 2012; Lauterman & Ackerman, 2014; Sidi, Ophir, & Ackerman, in press). She and her colleagues found that, in contrast to the common perception, software and hardware related factors do not underlie the less effective text learning on screen. The difference lies in inferior metacognitive processes. Participants who studied on screen showed more overconfidence and made more arbitrary regulatory decisions regarding allocation of study time. Even technology-advanced students exhibit inferior metacognitive regulation on screen. Notably, Sidi et al. (in press) showed screen inferiority even with a brief problem solving task. This finding highlights the metacognitive aspects of screen inferiority over technological factors that affect extensive reading on screen.
This line of research aims at providing bases for improving computerized studying and testing environments. Indeed, Lauterman and Ackerman (2014) demonstrated two methods for overcoming this consistent screen inferiority in metacognitive processes by encouraging in-depth processing on screen as people do spontaneously on paper.