Just in Time for Exams…

Rescue Your Students from Poor Study Skills

Before we began teaching, most of us didn’t realize that part of our work would involve helping our students to become better learners. Fortunately, we can do this without having to study cognition, ourselves, and without taking up class time. Stephen Chew, whose research addresses the cognitive basis of effective teaching, has created an entertaining and valuable 5-part video series to help students study more effectively. It’s called How to Study Long and Hard and Still Fail, or…How to Get the Most Out of Studying.

Chew explains that “the videos represent both the latest in cognitive research on how people learn and my many years of experience teaching undergraduates,” adding that his “approach is different from the popular collections of tips, gimmicks and folk wisdom one sees in most books and videos on studying. I present basic principles of how people learn and I try to correct counter-productive misconceptions so that students can improve their learning by devising their own effective study strategies. These videos should help students identify effective and ineffective study strategies so they understand that, although there is no magic bullet, they can learn to get maximal learning out of their study time.”

Below are the links, and an overview of each installment. You can share them through Canvas, or just by emailing the links. Although these are targeted to students, they’re valuable for us, too, and might inspire you to tweak the way you assign homework or conduct review sessions, or even how your structure your class time. They’re worth the few minutes you’ll spend watching!

Video 1: Beliefs That Make You Fail…Or Succeed.
The first video examines common mistaken beliefs that undermine students’ learning. The video tries to correct those misconceptions with accurate beliefs about learning.

Video 2: What Students Should Understand About How People Learn. The second video introduces a simple but powerful theory of memory, Levels of Processing, that can help students improve their study strategies.

Video 3: Cognitive Principles for Optimizing Learning.
The third video offers four principles related to “level of processing” that students can use to develop effective study strategies.

Video 4: Putting the Principles for Optimizing Learning into Practice.
The fourth video applies the principles of deep processing to common study situations, including note-taking and highlighting while reading.

Video 5: I Blew the Exam, Now What?
This video addresses what students should and should not do when they earn a low grade on an exam.