Study Strategies are the KEYS to LEARNING

What Study Strategies are NOT

Study Strategies are NOT about going to class regularly, paying attention, and turning in assignments on time.

They are NOT about having a time and place to study.  They are NOT about time management.

These are good  habits, the habits of successful students . We picture these habits as the foundation of learning.

Study Strategies are NOT about developing strong reading skills pr listening skills

 Study Strategies are NOT about  being a skillful writer or learning how  speak up in class.

They don’t even include test-taking skills.

All of these are the Basic Learning Skills that are necessary to take in information and later to apply what you learned.

Arrows point into head and out of head.

Information In – Information Out – leaving an Empty Head

You will remember the simple little diagram that we started with.We use reading and listening along with note-taking to take information into our brain. These, along with Computer Input,  are the information  INPUT skills.

Then, we use writing, speaking and test-taking to display or share the information we  learned. These, along with
Computer Output,  are information OUTPUT skills.

But something was missing. When information comes in and just goes out again, most learners forget nearly everything in a short period of time.  One study showed that students who heard a lecture and did not re-read or use the information, forgot close to 95% of the material in only 24 hours.

It is obviously important to remember what we learn. What can we do about it?  Students need to learn and use better and more effective STUDY STRATEGIES..

With Good STUDY STRATEGIES,  you process the information in your mind.

You will understand more.
You will make better grades.
You will remember it much longer.

Now the head shows three areas of Study Skills: Organize Information, Think, and RememberStudy the revised diagram. Before  information seemed to come in, go out, and the student was left with an empty head.

Now, with  STUDY STRATEGIES,  our student interacts with the information.
He begins by organizing the information, often in several ways.
He thinks about it using different ways of thinking.
And he uses a variety of strategies to remember the information.

You might call this “Mental Processing.”  This is what it means to study.

The more time a student spend mentally processing what she has learned ….

The more ways a student interacts with the information ….

The more  strategies the student uses ….

The better she will understand the material and the longer she will remember.

These are the KEYS TO LEARNING.

Mentally processing (or Studying) the information, moves the information from short-term memory into long-term memory.  Each time you use a different strategy, the information is likely to be stored in at least one new part of the brain. When information is stored in many locations, it is easier to retrieve, it lasts longer, and it is filled with greater detail.

Actually, when you think about it, you’ll realize you do some of this already. When you read or listen for the main ideas, this is the first step toward organizing the information. When you try putting an idea into your own words, you are thinking about what it means. When you practice your vocabulary words, or practice by doing math homework, you are using methods that help you remember.

This isn’t something totally new and strange; it is a collection of strategies that will help you develop and use more effective Study Strategies.

Study Strategies are divided into three parts: Organizing, Thinking, and Remembering.

Before you start learning Study Strategies, I’d suggest that you read a very interesting story: what I call a “Miracle Story.”  It is           the Story of Edward Hughes

You might also want to read about  the different     Ways of Learning

      Organize                                 Think                    Remember

Verbal                    Visual

Outline                      Diagrams                            Problem Solving                          Practical Memory

Summary                   Maps                                  Decision Making                          Rote/Mnemonics

Questions                  Concept Maps                    Analysis                                       Relational

Journaling                 Timelines                            Evaluation                                    Senses

Study Notes               Compare/Contrast             Critical Thinking                         Multiple Pathways

Stories                        Matrix Charts                    Creative Thinking                       Scheduled Reviews

If you would like to learn a few additional strategies and learn them in greater detail, you might go to
the Breakthrough Learning Website for College Students,   and follow the menu to the section you are interested in.

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