gms | German Medical Science

Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Medizinische Ausbildung (GMA)

08.10. - 10.10.2009, Freiburg

“Think aloud” as a technique for describing teacher’s cognitive processes during teaching

"Lautes Denken" als Methode zur Beschreibung von Kognitiven Prozessen beim Lehrenden


  • author Christian Siggemann - Charité - Campus Benjamin Franklin, Berlin, Germany
  • Maria Rupprecht - University Regensburg, Insitut für Pädagogik, Regensburg, Germany
  • Kirsten Hansen - University Regensburg, Institut für Pädagogik, Regensburg, Germany
  • corresponding author Jan Breckwoldt - Charité - Campus Benjamin Franklin, Medical Center Anesthesiology, Berlin, Germany

Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Medizinische Ausbildung - GMA. Freiburg im Breisgau, 08.-10.10.2009. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2009. Doc09gmaT1V009

doi: 10.3205/09gma009, urn:nbn:de:0183-09gma0097

Veröffentlicht: 2. September 2009

© 2009 Siggemann et al.
Dieser Artikel ist ein Open Access-Artikel und steht unter den Creative Commons Lizenzbedingungen ( Er darf vervielfältigt, verbreitet und öffentlich zugänglich gemacht werden, vorausgesetzt dass Autor und Quelle genannt werden.



Objectives: There is uncertainty about how quality of clinical teaching can be measured [1]. Suggested and applied methods are: evaluation by course participants (students), test results of students, analysis by didactical experts utilising personal visitation or video analysis, as well as performance in objective standardised teaching examinations (OSTE) [2]. Another measure of expertise in the course of developing teaching skills is the cognitive level during teaching. This reflects the intellectual awareness concerning the teaching process, sometimes referred to as metacognition. We wanted to determine the amount and level of metacognition during clinical teaching.

Methods: To evaluate cognitive processes we first recorded 50-min teaching sessions in a clinical teaching setting by videography. From the video standardised sections were selected and then presented to the specific teacher. The teacher was asked to comment on his own teaching by speaking out aloud what he thought while watching the video. These sections were followed by a sequence of a teaching session by an external (standardised) teacher. The whole “think aloud” session was started with an introductory sequence of variable length to pratice the method for a sufficient time. The verbalisation of the observed teacher was voice recorded and afterwards transcribed into a written protocol.

Results: Clinical teachers in this setting were able to reflect about the teaching process. In transcribed “think-aloud” protocol reflections on teaching were identifiable and could be referred to metacognition.

Conclusions: The results of the “think-aloud” protocols have to be matched with other dimensions of good teaching quality. Whether the method is useful for discriminating different metacognitive levels between specific individuals remains to be investigated.


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