study skills

Activity: Reviewing Your Study Strategies

As we seek to develop our skills in any activity—from cooking gourmet meals, to playing a musical instrument, to running half-marathons—we can experience a great deal of improvement by applying time-tested techniques and adopting experts’ best practices. However, we’re still likely to encounter snags, difficulties, and challenges that hinder us from performing at the level of accomplishment we hope to achieve. That’s why it is often helpful to take a step back, observe what we’ve been doing, and make corrections where need be. In this way, we come to realize that we can learn a great deal from Read More…


Tips for Students: Keeping Your Coursework Organized on Your Computer

From time to time, it happens to every student. An assignment deadline approaches, or the time for class is drawing near. You need to access that paper, spreadsheet, or presentation right away, and you can’t find it. What did you name the project? Where did you file it? And which draft is the final one? It has to be there somewhere… you just know it. But the clock is ticking, and you are now kicking yourself for failing to create folder names other than “My Documents” or “New Folder” and neglecting to title your files clearly. So you Read More…


Activity: Grammar Competition

Contributor: Gina Hogan, Citrus College. The objective of the competition is threefold: 1) to assess students on their comfort and knowledge of grammar concepts, 2) to review collectively for an upcoming grammar test, and 3) to engage students in a group activity that enhances student camaraderie and cohesion. The competition requires every student’s participation in answering questions about grammar concepts. The questions pertain to the understanding or application of concepts we have worked on previously. Students perform individually but for team points. In other words, if a student offers the correct answer, the team gets a point, but if the Read More…


Activity: Mnemonic Device: Acronym for Annotation

Today, we share Valerie Shay’s activity, which uses a mnemonic device that helps students remember a useful method of reading and studying a book or essay. Do you have a favorite classroom activity you’d like to share with our community? Share it in the comments! Contributor: Valerie Shay, Fayetteville Technical Community College. Use Mortimer Adler’s essay, “How to Mark up a Book,” as a learning tool. Explain to your students that UNCP no longer stands for the University of North Carolina at Pembroke; for the rest of their academic careers, it will now stand for Underline, Number, Circle, and Paraphrase.
Bonus Tip: Have a Read More…


Getting Students Up To Speed on Your Online Course — Quickly

It’s critical to make sure that your students know the important administrative details associated with your course. However, it’s also imperative that you devote as much class time as possible to your course content. In the summer (or in any abbreviated course), it’s especially noticeable, as the number of course sessions and the time you have with your students is much more compact than it is during a standard term. When you’re teaching online, students also must become accustomed to the setup of your your course’s Learning Management System (LMS). During these shorter summer sessions, you’re likely seeking Read More…


Perceptions, Expectations, and Responsibility

Contributor: Linda Dunham, Discipline Chair and Instructor of Academic Student Success, Central Piedmont Community College. Many students view a study skills class as a requirement, an extra couple of credit hours, or a class that they don’t really need. Challenge: How do we convince our students that this course is exactly what they need in order to jump start their college experience? As an educator of first year students at a community college, I find that actively engaging students the very first week of class is one of the best ways to connect with them, to promote retention and to bring Read More…


Tips for Students: Navigating Your School’s Resources

There is no shame in needing or asking for assistance. However, your students may require guidance in identifying the people and places that can help them chart a path to confidence and success. In her text Student Success in College: Doing What Works! A Research-Focused Approach, Christine Harrington writes, “Research has shown that students who access help perform better (Raskind, Goldberg, Higgins, & Herman, 1999; Strage et al., 2002). Learning when and how to access the right type of support is a skill that will benefit [students] in college and beyond” (p. 21). She offers a number of Read More…


Tips for Students: Exploring a Research Topic

What advice do you share with your students when assigning a research paper or project? Share your thoughts on helping learners focus on a topic of research in the comments section below. So you’ve been assigned a research paper, and you have a pretty good idea of what you’d like to write about (or maybe not quite yet). What’s next? Rather than just diving in and committing to writing about a topic, Susan Miller-Cochran and Rochelle Rodrigo, authors of The Wadsworth Guide to Research, recommend that you take some time to explore it more fully to ensure that Read More…


Personal Learning Environments: A Way to Engage Students in Self-Regulated Learning

Guest Contributor: Nada Dabbagh, George Mason University. Many of today’s learners are likely to be familiar with, and facile with, today’s technologies. However, it can take some effort and skill to help them use and manage online resources to their fullest advantage within the educational setting. Today, Nada Dabbagh discusses how Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) can help your students learn to best manage their learning spaces and thus take greater charge of their own learning opportunities. Dabbagh, who serves as the professor and director of the Division of Learning Technologies in the College of Education and Human Development at George Mason Read More…


Helping Learners Conquer Test Anxiety

Taking assessments in the form of tests or exams throughout the term can seem an obviously expected part of the learning process, but it is possible that you’ll encounter learners who struggle with test anxiety. These learners, no matter how well they know the concepts or material covered, may find themselves drawing a blank when they sit down with an exam in front of them. If you so choose, there are options for you to employ to help students cope with their test anxiety. In McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers, Read More…