Student Success/Study Skills

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This lesson introduces study skills. In this lesson you will learn about different strategies for effective reading, writing, testing, presenting, and deep learning.

Objectives and Skills[edit | edit source]

Objectives and skills for this lesson include:

  • Identify effective reading strategies for academic texts: previewing, reading, summarizing, reviewing[1]
  • Describe the purpose of writing assignments and what an instructor might expect to see from your writing[2]
  • Identify sources of test anxiety and techniques for preventing and controlling it[3]
  • Identify test-taking strategies to improve your performance[4]
  • Identify common types of presentation tasks in a college class, including individual and group projects[5]
  • List study techniques that help long-term retention of knowledge[6]

Readings[edit | edit source]

  1. Lumen: College Success - Reading Strategies
  2. Lumen: College Success - Writing Strategies
  3. Lumen: College Success - Testing Strategies
  4. Lumen: College Success - Presentation Strategies
  5. Lumen: College Success - Deep Learning
  6. Lumen: College Success - Evaluating Results

Multimedia[edit | edit source]

  1. YouTube: College Reading Strategies
  2. YouTube: Vocabulary Reading Strategies
  3. YouTube: Writing
  4. YouTube: Using Sources
  5. YouTube: Exam Strategies - Study Skills
  6. YouTube: Physical Ability Test
  7. YouTube: Exam Strategies - Test Skills
  8. YouTube: Textbook Reading Student Toolkit Tutorial
  9. YouTube: Life After Death by PowerPoint (Corporate Comedy Video)
  10. YouTube: How to Get the Most Out of Studying
  11. YouTube: Effective Thinking
  12. YouTube: Self-testing
  13. YouTube: Group Work

Activities[edit | edit source]

  1. Explore student services.
    • Contact Student Success Services to learn about study skills resources.
    • Contact the college Writing Center to learn about writing support services available to students.
  2. Understand reading assignments.
    • Review Lumen: College Success - Assignment: Reading Strategies.
    • Consider one or more readings you completed for a class within the past week. Was the reading helpful? Did it enhance your understanding of the course concepts? If not, can you identify a better resource and share it with classmates or your instructor?
  3. Plan for writing assignments.
    • Review Lumen: College Success - Assignment: Writing Strategies.
    • Consider the various writing assignments in the courses you are taking this semester. What types of writing are expected? How will this writing help you achieve the course objectives?
    • Create a plan for improving the overall quality of your writing. What steps are necessary for you to effectively write, edit, and proofread your work? What campus resources should you take advantage of to improve your writing?
  4. Evaluate testing strategies.
  5. Plan for presentations.
  6. Prepare for team projects.
    • Review Wikipedia: Tuckman's stages of group development. Reflect on the impact of the forming, storming, norming, and performing process on previous team projects you have completed.
    • Consider any required team or group projects in the courses you are taking this semester. How will you plan for these projects? What role(s) will you play on the team? What assistance will you need from others in order to be successful?
  7. Blog / Journal / Wiki
    • Update your blog, journal, or wiki page summarizing your experience this week. Include a list of resources and links or contact information for each resource.

Lesson Summary[edit | edit source]

Reading Strategies[edit | edit source]

College reading includes:[7]

  • Textbooks
  • Articles
  • Literature and Nonfiction Books

Academic reading is intended to:[8]

  • Use reputable sources
  • Develop arguments using evidence and facts
  • Understand different viewpoints

Reading strategies include:[9]

  • Preview
  • Read
  • Summarize
  • Review

Specialized content reading strategies include:[10]

  • Understand the conventions
  • Note and look up unfamiliar terms and phrases
  • Look for main ideas and themes
  • Use annotation tools for online reading
  • Look for reputable sources
  • Pay attention to images, graphs, and charts

Vocabulary-building techniques include:[11]

  • Read often
  • Make connections with words you already know
  • Make index cards or use flashcard apps

Writing Strategies[edit | edit source]

Professors look at you as independent junior scholars and expect you to write as someone who has a genuine, driving interest in tackling a complex question. They envision you approaching an assignment without a preexisting thesis. They expect you to look deep into the evidence, consider several alternative explanations, and work out an original, insightful argument that you actually care about.[12]

Understand the assignment[13]

  • Review the requirements and focus on the instruction verbs. What are you being asked to do?
  • Put the assignment in context. How does it relate to the course content and learning goals?
  • Estimate the time commitment.
  • Seek clarification from your instructor and classmates.

An effective summary:[14]

  • Reflects your accurate understanding of a source’s thesis or purpose
  • Differentiates between major and minor ideas in a source
  • Demonstrates your ability to identify key phrases to quote
  • Demonstrates your ability to effectively paraphrase most of the source’s ideas
  • Captures the tone, style, and distinguishing features of a source
  • Does not reflect your personal opinion about the source

The writing process includes:[15]

  • Select a topic
  • Do your research
  • Develop a thesis and outline
  • Write a draft
  • Edit and review (revise and proofread)

Include references for any and all sources used.[16]

Testing Strategies[edit | edit source]

Test anxiety is the most common academic impairment in grade school, high school, and college.[17]

Strategies for preventing and controlling test anxiety include:[18]

  • Ask about the exam (materials covered, format, points, level of detail, etc.)
  • Take inventory of your notes
  • Set a study schedule
  • Keep your diet consistent
  • Don’t stop exercising
  • Get regular sleep
  • Make a five-day study plan for each exam

Test anxiety tips include:[19]

  • Manage stress
  • Know when to stop
  • Don't try to be perfect
  • Reach out for help

Assessment types include:[20]

  • Pre-assessment - Determine baseline knowledge
  • Formative assessment - Determine learning progress
  • Summative assessment - Determine learning outcome

Test-taking strategies include:[21]

  • Look over the entire exam before you start.
  • Ask questions if you don't understand the instructions.
  • Budget your time based on point values for different parts of the exam.
  • Begin with easy questions.
  • Outline essay responses.
  • Watch for key verbs in the instructions.
  • Look over the exam to make sure you didn't miss anything important.

Exam prep secrets include:[22]

  • Set goals
  • Aim to understand
  • Do the hard stuff first
  • Don't cram
  • Get rest, stay healthy

Presentation Strategies[edit | edit source]

Presentation types include:[23]

  • Informative
  • Persuasive
  • Lesson Delivery
  • Demonstration
  • Poster
  • Online
  • Individual
  • Group

Presentation strategies include:[24]

  • Think about the audience
  • Choose media and format
  • Practice the presentation

Format recommendations include:[25]

  • Choose a font size that is easy to see.
  • Use bullet points rather than sentences.
  • Check spelling and grammar.
  • Choose consistent and easy-to-view colors.
  • Include visuals that align with the content.
  • Avoid visual effects that draw attention to the effect rather than the content.

Deep Learning[edit | edit source]

Learning deeply, "doesn’t just mean the ability to remember stuff for an examination. It means the ability to create. It means the ability to analyze and synthesize, to solve problems, and to understand what that problem-solving means."[26]

Techniques for learning and retaining knowledge include:[27]

  • Focus on growth and improvement
  • Try multiple study strategies
  • Embrace challenges
  • Plan your learning
  • Accept that failure provides opportunities to build or rebuild toward success

Additional study techniques include:[28]

  • Consider real-world applications.
  • Monitor your learning.
  • Seek specific and meaningful feedback.
  • Chunk the information you’re studying.
  • Set priorities.
  • Create association maps.
  • Make connections.
  • Ask questions to reduce bias.

Group learning strategies include:[29]

  • Focus on strengths
  • Assign roles
  • Set a schedule
  • Engage everyone
  • Anticipate conflict

Evaluating Results[edit | edit source]

After the test:[30]

  • Learn from your mistakes.
  • Examine your study habits.
  • Talk with your professor.
  • Develop a plan for improvement.

Key Terms[edit | edit source]

See Also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]