When people study a text, how can learning be enhanced the most?

When learners highlight or tag content, they metacognitively monitor information to identify and mark it. From a levels-of-processing framework, standards used in metacognitive monitoring could affect learning. We examined effects on recall and transfer of different metacognitive standards – free highlighting expressing a generic “importance” standard, tagging according to structures of text (definition, explanation, example) and tagging representing a learner’s judgment about the utility of information (required vs. helpful for understanding). Information marked regardless of the metacognitive standard was twice as likely to be recalled as unmarked information. Recall was lower when learners metacognitively monitored text structures. Transfer was unaffected by standards used for metacognitive monitoring. While standards applied to metacognitively monitor information may elevate levels of processing, that does not necessarily engage transfer appropriate processing.