Virtual Ph.D. Program VGK - Ph.D. Projects: Stephanie Pieschl  


Ph.D. Projects

Stephanie Pieschl

[Person] [Project]

Stephanie Pieschl, Dipl. Psych.

Short Vita

Born in Münster (Germany).
Study of Psychology at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster (Germany).
Summer 1998 & summer 1999:
Research assistant at Neurobehavioral Associates, Clinical and Consulting Psychologists (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada).
October 1999 - April 2002:
Research assistant at the WWU Münster (Germany) with the main focus of formative and summative evaluation of learning environments (Cyperaceae-Online; Bestimmen-Online) (Prof. Dr. Rainer Bromme).
April 2002:
Graduation in Psychology at the University of Münster (Germany). Thesis: "'Die kenn ich, das ist eine Prunella vulgaris'. Pflanzenbestimmen: Prozessanalyse bei Intermediates" ['I know that plant, it's a Prunella vulgaris'. Plant indentification: process analysis with intermediates].
May 2002 - August 2003:
Researcher at the WWU Münster (Germany) in the BMBF-project "Bestimmen-Online" (Prof. Dr. Rainer Bromme).
since September 2003:
Researcher at the WWU Münster (Germany) in the research group of Prof. Dr. Rainer Bromme. Main focus: research and teaching in learning with new media.
Since December 2003:
PhD student of the VGK.


Phone: ++49 (0) 251 / 83-31386
FAX: ++49 (0) 251 / 83-39105
WWW: My homepage

Westfaelische Wilhelms University
Psychological Institute III
Fliednerstr. 21
D-48149 Münster (Germany)

Ph.D. Project

Topic: Epistemological beliefs as predictors of metacognitive monitoring

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. R. Bromme (Münster), Prof. Dr. Dr. F. W. Hesse (Tübingen)

Start of the Ph.D. project: December 2003


As today’s society demands permanent education till old age self-regulated learning became one of the most important key competencies. Furthermore, learning with new media is constantly gaining significance in education. Therefore, new ways to foster self-regulation are needed. My Ph.D. project will examine the impact of epistemological beliefs on processes of self-regulated learning during interaction with a complex hypermedia information system. If epistemological beliefs have a crucial influence on self-regulated learning new ways of intervention can be conceptualised accordingly.

Most theoretical models of epistemological beliefs, i.e. beliefs about the nature of knowledge and knowing, agree that they are related to metacognitive processes, that they are probably even “meta-metacognition” (e.g. Kitchener, 1983, Kuhn, 1999, Hofer, 2004). But very little is known about the exact processes of how epistemological beliefs might influence metacognition or self-regulated learning. There is only one model that tries to specify these relations, the COPES model (Winne & Hadwin, 1998). It assumes that epistemological beliefs influence the standards that underlie metacognitive monitoring and control and therefore metacognitive calibration. A belief in simple (e.g.. unrelated facts that need to be memorized) and stable (e.g. new scientific discoveries can not invalidate old knowledge) knowledge for example may predict a lower learning standard (e.g. not such a deep understanding is sought after, material is only memorized).

Based on the theoretical framework of COPES, I will scrutinize in detail how epistemological beliefs influence all stages of self-regulated learning as specified by the model. My first experiment will deal with the calibration between (objective) task complexity and learner judgements on task definition, goal setting and planning (the first two stages of the COPES model). Further experiments will investigate in more detail the real learning process (all stages). I will sample qualitative (e.g. think aloud protocols) as well as quantitative (logfiles, questionnaires) data. All experiments share common aspects of the experimental design: 1) The research topic will be “genetic fingerprinting” due to its inherent interestingness. 2) All learning tasks (and answers) will be classified according to Bloom’s revised taxonomy of educational objectives with the hierarchically ordered dimensions of “remember” up to “create” (Anderson et al, 2001). 3) Epistemological beliefs will be experimentally manipulated by giving the experimental group an “appropriate – relativistic” and the control group a “neutral” (i.e. one that does not deal with epistemological issues at all) instruction.


Anderson, L. W., Krathwohl, D. R., Airasian, P. W., Cruikshank, K. A., Mayer, R. E., Pintrich, P. R., et al. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing. A revision of Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives. New York: Longman.

Hofer, B. K. (2004). Epistemological understanding as a metacognitive process: thinking aloud during online-searching. Educational Psychologist, 39(1), 43-55.

Kitchener, K.S. (1993). Cognition, metacognition, and epistemic cognition: A three-level model of cognitive processing. Human Development, 26(4), 222-232.

Kuhn, D. (1999). Metacognitive development. In L. Balter & C.S. Tamis-LeMonda (Eds.). Child psychology: A handbook of contemporary issues (pp. 259-286). Philadelphia, PA, US: Psychology Press.

Winne, P. H., & Hadwin, A. F. (1998). Studying as self-regulated learning. In D. J. Hacker, J. Dunlosky & A. C. Graesser (Eds.), Metacognition in educational theory and practice. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Publications & Presentations


Bartholomé, T., Stahl, E., Pieschl, S., & Bromme, R. (2006). What matters in help-seeking? A study of help effectiveness and learner-related factors. Computers in Human Behavior, 22, 113-129.


Stahl, E., Pieschl, S., & Bromme, R. (submitted). Task Complexity, Epistemological Beliefs and Metacognitive Calibration: A Pilot-Study. Journal of Educational Computing Research.

Pieschl, S., Bromme, R. & Stahl, E. (2005, September). Beeinflussen epistemologische Überzeugungen die Wahrnehmung von Lernaufgaben? Vortrag auf der 10. Fachtagung Pädagogische Psychologie, Halle (Saale).

Stahl, E., Bromme, R., & Pieschl, S. (2005, August). Effects of epistemological beliefs and task difficulty on processes of metacognitive calibration. Paper presented at the 11th European Conference for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI), Nicosia, Cyprus.

Pieschl, S. (2005, March). Epistemological beliefs as predictors of metacognitive monitoring. Ph.D. project presented at the workshop on Epistemological Beliefs: Conceptual and Methodological Issues, WWU Münster.

Pieschl, S. (2005, January). Epistemological beliefs as predictors of metacognitive monitoring. Ph.D. project presented at the workshop on Metacognition and Self-Regulated Learning, KMRC Tübingen.

Stahl, E., Bromme, R., Pieschl, S., Hölzenbein, S., & Kiffe, K. (2005). Qualitätssicherung bei der Lernsoftware-Entwicklung durch partizipative, formative Evaluation. Das Projektbeispiel "Cyeraceae-Online". Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 213(1), 23-33.


Bromme, R., Stahl, E., Bartholomé, T., & Pieschl, S. (2004). The case of plant identification in biology: When is a rose a rose? Development of expertise as acquisition and use of robust and flexible knowledge. In H. P. A. Boshuizen, R. Bromme & H. Gruber (Eds.), Professional learning: Constraints and affordances on the way from novice to expert (pp. 29-47). Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Press. Series on Innovation and Change in Professional Education.

Pieschl, S., Bartholomé, T., Stahl, E. & Bromme, R. (2004). What matters in help-seeking? A study of help effectiveness and learner-related factors. In Gerjets, P., Kirschner, P. A., Elen, J. & Joiner, R. (Eds.). Instructional design for effective and enjoyable computer- supported learning. Proceedings of the first joint meeting of the EARLI SIGs Instructional Design and Learning and Instruction with Computers (pp. 389 - 400) (CD-ROM). Tübingen: Knowledge Media Research Center.

Pieschl, S., Stahl, E. & Bromme, R. (2004, July). The impact of metacognitive awareness on e-learning: A field study in the domain of biology. Paper presented at the First meeting of the EARLI-SIG on Metacognition, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Pieschl, S., Stahl, E., Bartholomé, T. & Bromme, R. (2004, September). Helfen Hilfen? Der Einfluss von Lernervariablen auf die Hilfsnutzung in computerbasierten Lernumgebungen. Referat auf dem 44. Kongress der DGPs, Göttingen.

Pieschl, S., Bartholomé, T., Stahl, E. & Bromme, R. (2004, July). What matters in help-seeking? A study of help effectiveness and learner-related factors. Poster presented at the first joint meeting of the EARLI SIGs Instructional Design and Learning and Instruction with Computers, Tübingen, Germany.


Pieschl, S. & Bromme, R. (2003, August). What the heck is 'amphistomatic'? Plant identification as a cognitive process and as a subject of biology teaching. Poster presented at the EARLI 2003 in Padova, Italy.

Pieschl, S.; Bromme, R. & Stahl, E. (2003, September). 'Ich muss leider hier falsch sein, das ist keine Asteraceae.' - Kognitive Prozesse beim Bestimmen von Pflanzen. Vortrag auf der 9. Fachtagung Pädagogische Psychologie in Bielefeld.


Pieschl, S., Stahl, E., Bartholomé, T., Kiffe, K. & Hölzenbein, S. (2002, November). Konzeption und erste Ergebnisse der Evaluation des Projekts "Bestimmen lernen online". Vortrag auf der Jahrestagung 2002 der Fachschaft der Dozenten für Biologiedidaktik des Landes NRW, Recke.


Gervais, R., Russell, A., Green, P., Allen, L., Ferrari, R., & Pieschl, S. (2001). Effort testing in patients with fibromyalgia and disability incentives. Journal of Rheumatology, 28(8), 1892-1899.



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Last update: 18 November 2005,