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Bite-Sized Student Success Strategies for the Higher Ed Classroom
The Myth of Multi-Tasking
- This video explains an easy exercise to do with students that takes about 5 minutes to explode the myth of multi-tasking: http://davecrenshaw.com/myth-of-multitasking-exercise/ You can also download the PDF to use from that page.
Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning
- Use these Bloom's Taxonomy slides to help students see that what got them success in high school will not be sufficient for success in college.
- Couple this instruction with the reading or problem-solving strategy below to help students move themselves to a higher level of learning.
Metacognitive Problem-Solving Strategy
- Students can make use of example problems from the textbook or lecture for this strategy.
- Students copy the problem on their own paper and close their notes or book.
- They work through the problem without any external aids.
- They check the answer with the book or notes; if correct, they move on. If incorrect, they close notes or book and try again, working on a single problem for 15-30 minutes to get the right answer.
- Use these PowerPoint slides on metacognitive problem solving to help explain the strategy to students.
Reading Comprehension Strategy
- Instead of doing a reading assignment the usual way, tell students to "warm up" their brains by skimming and previewing the material first.
- They should look for titles, subtitles, bold-faced words, pictures and graphs, etc.
- While skimming, they can also formulate questions about the material.
- When they actually begin reading, have them read one paragraph, then look away from the material and paraphrase, before going on.
- This fun PowerPoint slide on the reading comprehension strategy is a good example of how the bigger picture helps our brains make sense of information.
- Have students read the content and see if they can guess what it refers to before showing the title; (be sure to use in presentation mode because it has animation!)
Thinking Aloud Pair Problem-Solving (TAPPS)
- Pair students together and designate one as the explainer and one as the questioner.
- Give students a challenging problem to work or a case study to discuss.
- The explainer outlines problem and goes through a step-by-step description of how to solve it.
- The questioner listens but also can post questions or helpful hints.
- At a given point, students reverse roles until the exercise concludes.
- A variation of this technique is to give a pair of students a challenging problem that has been worked through but has an error it in; students must talk through the problem to find the error.
Study Cycle with Intense Study Sessions
- Here are two slides that show the five-step Study Cycle with Intense Study Sessions
- The first slide can be printed out and students can work in small groups to fill in the missing words.
- Here is a printable weekly calendar that students can use to help with time management.
- This quick video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmV0gXpXwDU gives a visual of why you need to "put the big rocks in first," i.e., schedule and give priority to the most important things.
- Give students a few minutes to fill in "the big rocks" including the Intense Study Sessions that can be scheduled whenever they have 45 to 60 minutes free, such as between classes.
- Here is an exam wrapper that is used for a basic algebra class; it can be tweaked to apply to any type of course.
- Students fill it out the last few minutes of class when they receive their tests back.
- They turn it in to the instructor who reviews the information.
- The exam wrappers are returned to the students about the time they should start studying for the next test.
- Encourage students to use the information for future test preparation.
Developing a Growth Mindset
- Students can learn about growth mindsets and how exercising their brains, plus having the right beliefs about their capabilities, can help them master topics they now struggle with.
- Students can take a short quiz about mindsets at https://mindsetonline.com/testyourmindset/step1.php .
- This Kahn Academy video or the first 5 minutes of this TED talk are also good resources.
- This infographic helps students get an at-a-glance visual of the two mindsets
The Study Cycle, Metacognitive Problem-Solving Strategy and Reading Comprehension Strategy all used by permission: McGuire, S. Y., & McGuire, S. (2015). Teach students how to learn: Strategies you can incorporate into any course to improve student metacognition, study skills, and motivation.