Helping Students with Study Skills

I know that many of you are fortunate to be teaching at schools where students have long ago mastered the ability to study efficiently. However, many of you are teaching at schools where students really do not know the best ways of studying. As such, early on in the semester, it may help to talk to students about optimizing their studying.

I use several strategies to aid students in improving their study skills and behaviors.  At the beginning of the semester I often use research on study skills or metacognition for examples of statistical concepts, thus while covering examples of how a correlation might be used or how hypothesis testing work (in a fundamental fashion) I may use a study similar to the ones I have listed here.

Cassaday, H. J., Bloomfield, R. E., & Hayward, N. (2002). Relaxed conditions can provide memory cues in both undergraduate and primary school children. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 72, 531-547.
Gurung, G. A. R. (2005). How do students really study (and does it matter)? Teaching of Psychology, 32, 239-241.

Roediger, H. L., & Karpicke, J. D. (2006). Test-enhanced learning: Taking memory tests improves long-term retention. Psychological Science, 17, 249-255.

Roediger, H. L., & Karpicke, J. D. (2006). The power of testing memory: Basic research and implications for educational practice. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1, 181-210

Zaromb, F. M., Karpicke, J. D., & Roediger, H. L. (2010). Comprehension as a basis for metacognitive judgments: Effects of effort after meaning on recall and metacognition. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 36, 552-557

I also survey students regarding their study skills. (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VM8HL8K).  This does three things. One, it gives me data on what the students are thinking and how they are behaving. If their expectations are off from mine, I can further remind them of what my expectations are, plus the act of taking a survey often sharpens a person’s attention on the topic for which they are being surveyed, thus making them more receptive to information that will follow. Third, I can use some of this data for in class calculations or for exam questions.
This survey includes three components: students’ Implicit View of Intelligence, Students Attitude regarding Mathematics, and Students’ Study Behavior.

I have been asked to speak with students about study skills and metacognition. I am including my most recent PowerPoint presentation.  Learning to Study by bg I find this takes about 20 – 30 minutes to review. Feel free to revise it at you see fit. Though I don’t present this during class time, this presentation does cover important points students often need to know to optimize their studying behavior.

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Filed under Engaging students, Homework/ Assignments, Maximizing Cognitive Development

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