Presentation on theme: "Strategies for College Success University Learning Center University of Arizona."— Presentation transcript:
Strategies for College Success University Learning Center University of Arizona
Introduction The purpose of this course is to expose you to various strategies and techniques that will enable you to become a successful student in the postsecondary environment
Course Contents Section 1: Self-assessment and Self- management Steps in Successful Goal Setting and Achievement Learning Styles Anxiety/Stress Management
Course Contents Section 2: Study Skills Development Time Management Memory Techniques Methods of Reading College Textbooks Note Taking Strategies Exam Preparation Tips Test Taking Strategies Internet Resources
Section 1: Self-assessment and Self-management
Lesson 1: Goal Setting and Achievement What well be covering: characteristics of goals how to break down goals where goal setting can go wrong
Goals should be... Realistic The goals of winning a marathon after two weeks of training is an unrealistic goal. Use what youve accomplished in the past to set a reasonable goal for the future.
Goals should be... Self-chosen You are much more likely to achieve a goal that you set for yourself than one that has been set for you
Goals should be... Moderately difficult A goal that is too hard or too easy will decrease your motivation and wont show you what youre really capable of accomplishing Use what youve accomplished in the past as a guide
Goals should be... Specific For example, getting an A in Math and a B in Geography is a lot more specific than just saying that you would like to get good grades this semester
Goals should be... Measurable Youre more likely to give up if you cant see any progress toward your goal For example, getting an A on your midterm is measurable progress toward getting an A in the class.
Goals should be... Positive Say what you do want to accomplish instead of what you dont want to do. For example, try I will attend all classes, instead of I wont skip any classes.
Goals should be... Flexible If it looks like you cant reach your original goal, be flexible and redraw your plan
Goals should be... Associated with a deadline When do you plan on accomplishing this goal, in a month, day, or year?
Goals should be... Written down It will serve as a better reminder to keep you motivated
Where goal setting can go wrong When goal setting is disorganized For example, keep personal and academic goals separate
Where goal setting can go wrong When goals are unrealistic For example, becoming a company CEO immediately after graduation is an unrealistic goal
Where goal setting can go wrong When you set goals that are beyond your control For example, winning the lottery is definitely beyond your control
Where goal setting can go wrong When goals are vague For example, becoming successful or becoming a better student are not clear goals to work toward.
Where goal setting can go wrong When you set too many goals For example, at any one time you should focus on achieving only three or four goals
How to break down and achieve goals see examplesee example
Summary Goals with certain characteristics will enable you to be more successful in goal setting and achievement. Breaking down large goals into parts will help you to see what steps you will need to complete on the way to accomplishing your goal
Homework assignment: Apply what youve learned set an academic or personal goal select one personal or academic long-term goal and break it down to the steps you will need to achieve in the next year, next 6 months, next month, next week, and tomorrow
Lesson 2: Learning Styles What well be covering: What is a learning style? How you develop a learning style? Whats your learning style? How information on your learning style can help to improve your learning
What is a learning style? an individuals characteristic and preferred way of gathering, interpreting, organizing and thinking about information. Your style includes the type of environments you like to learn in, your preferences for working with others, and the way you perceive information. no single style of learning has been shown to be better than any other
How do you develop a learning style? learning styles develop over time as a result of an individuals inherent preferences and experience with his/her environment they can and do change over time
How can information about learning styles improve your learning? You may be more satisfied and more productive if you are studying with methods compatible with your style. Right now you may be studying with methods incompatible with your style and not know it. You can experiment with building up less- preferred styles so that you can be equally comfortable with different tasks and in different learning environments.
In class assignment: Whats your learning style? learning style assessmentComplete the learning style assessment Suggestions for Studying and Learning based on learning styleView Suggestions for Studying and Learning based on learning style
Summary Your learning style influences the way that you perceive and process information. By knowing your learning style, you can employ methods and strategies to make studying and learning more productive. Without this information, you may make studying and learning more difficult for yourself without even realizing it.
Homework assignment: Apply what youve learned Write full description of how you like to learn –Answer the following questions: How do I learn best?, What time of day do I learn best?, What kind of environment do I learn best in?, Do I learn better alone or with others? What study strategies are (or would be) particularly helpful for you? How will you be changing your study methods now that you are aware of your learning style?
Lesson 3: Anxiety/Stress Management What well cover What is stress? What causes stress? Strategies to reduce stress Strategies for dealing with stress
What is stress? Stress is the way that you react physically, mentally and emotionally to various conditions, changes and demands in your life. Many students experience varying levels of stress each semester. High levels of stress can affect your physical and mental well-being and academic performance.
Symptoms of stress headaches nervous stomach change in appetite rapid breathing rapid heart rate sweaty palms irritability anxiety fatigue insomnia dissatisfaction anger depression inability to concentrate
In-Class Assignment: Reflect on a stressful situation Write a brief description of a recent situation that caused you stress. Summarize your mental, emotional and physical states at the time.
What causes stress? Anxiety: uneasiness and distress about future uncertainties
What causes stress? Changes in lifes expectations or demands Ex. Marriage, divorce, pregnancy, illness, bills, increasing demands of a university course load
What causes stress? Disorganization: feeling unprepared and powerless
What causes stress? Physical Constraints Ex. Physical exhaustion, lack of good exercise and diet strategies
What causes stress? Time constraints: multiple projects and deadlines
In-Class Assignment: Self- assessment Take the anxiety/stress assessmentTake the anxiety/stress assessment Use the results of this assessment to pinpoint specific causes of stress in your life. What (if any) control do you have over these areas of your life? Make a list of things that you can do to lessen your stress.
Strategies to reduce stress Take control- manage your time instead of letting it manage you. Use a to-do list, follow a written plan, set goals and follow through. Procrastination is a major cause of stress. Make a realistic list of things you need to do each day. Start doing the most important things first. That way, even if you dont finish the list, you get the most important things done.
Strategies to reduce stress Take a break Sometimes it is better to get away from the situation for a short time- take a brisk walk, focus on pleasant thoughts. Then, go back to the task feeling refreshed and ready to go tackle whatever it is you have to do.
Strategies to reduce stress Work on your attitude Put things into perspective- try not to take yourself so seriously. Think positive- If you think you will fail, or think you will succeed, you are probably right. --Henry Ford
Strategies to reduce stress Get help tutoring how to form a study groupSee your instructor, go to tutoring, and participate in study groups. See how to form a study group. Keep in touch with friends and family, and develop a support group.
Strategies to reduce stress Physical stress busters eat right, exercise regularly and get plenty of rest
Strategies to reduce stress Practice, practice, practice Build your confidence- do extra math problems, practice test-taking at home, rehearse your speech a couple of times before the presentation
In-class assignment: Self-reflection Go back to the stressful incident that you described in the first part of the lesson and list some strategies for dealing with the situation, and some things you could have done to prevent it from being stressful. Also list some ways you can avoid a reoccurrence of such a situation in the future.
Strategies for dealing with stress no one can avoid stress all the time. In a stressful situation, try these tips to help you overcome the effects of stress.
Strategies for dealing with stress Join the crowd Even though you may think you are the only person in the world who is experiencing stress, the fact is that everyone experiences it sometime.
Strategies for dealing with stress Talk to someone Find someone you trust, discuss the problems and look for solutions
Strategies for dealing with stress Put it in perspective Chances are, this is only one small part of the rest of your life
Strategies for dealing with stress Visualize Sit comfortably and think of a favorite place. Imagine yourself in a successful situation.
Strategies for dealing with stress Breathe Sit quietly, and breathe deeply and slowly. Continue for five or six breaths. It is calming and the extra dose of oxygen increases the brains thinking ability.
Strategies for dealing with stress Its all in your head... and shoulders Roll your head loosely in a wide circle. Repeat five times. Tighten right shoulder and raise it as far up as possible and hold, then relax slowly. Repeat with left shoulder. Repeat with both shoulders.
Strategies for dealing with stress Go on a diet Eating light and avoiding sugars can help with performance and lessen stress. In a stressful situation like an exam, have a light meal of mostly protein. Remember, a heavy high carbohydrate meal can put you to sleep.
Strategies for dealing with stress Lighten up Take responsibility for your feelings. When you get angry, take a break and cool down before you act.
Strategies for dealing with stress Use it A little stress is a good thing- athletes use it to increase performance. If you are experiencing a small amount of anxiety, it can help to keep you active and alert. Use it to increase your performance.
Summary Stress is mental, emotional and physical tension, strain, and/or distress The signs of stress are classic. You may get a headache, stiff neck, backache, become irritable, lose your temper, and you may feel exhausted and find it hard to concentrate. When these symptoms appear, recognize them as signs of stress and find a way to deal with them. Just knowing why youre feeling the way that you are may be the first step in coping with the problem.
Homework assignment: Apply what youve learned Write about a situation where you would normally experience a high level of stress, (i.e. taking a test, giving a presentation, etc). Is the stress a bad thing? Can is be used to increase your performance? How would you do this? What coping strategies can you use to help you deal with the situation?
Section 2: Study skills development
Lesson 4:Time Management What well be covering: advantages to good time management assess your time management skills create your ultimate schedule making to-do lists
Time Management Why is time management important? one of the most important skills for beginning college students being able to accomplish your goals depends, in part, on your ability to make the most efficient use of the time that you have good time management skills can actually save you time
In class assignment: Assess your time management skills Are You Using Your Time WiselyComplete the Are You Using Your Time Wisely assessment What areas of time management are you strong in? What areas could you improve?
Time Management Tips Monitor your time If you feel like you dont have enough time, spend a few days monitoring your time to see exactly how it is spent Where Does the Time Go?download Where Does the Time Go?
Time Management Tips Make a daily to-do list
Steps to making to-do lists Write a list of activities that you want or need to accomplish today Remember to prioritize and list the most important tasks first Check to see if there are any activities that you can accomplish at the same time
Steps to making to-do lists (cont.) Write down how long you anticipate it will take you to get the task done Write down when you will start each activity
Making to-do lists: Know your options Do it now- the most important things with approaching deadlines need to be done first Schedule it- you can break up large tasks into smaller parts and schedule each part Ask someone else to do it- in a study group or team, each person can be responsible for a portion of the project Trade tasks- for example, you run the errands while your roommate cleans the apartment
In class assignment: Practice making a to-do list view a sample to-do listview a sample to-do list think of the things that you would like to accomplish for tomorrow use the steps we discussed as a guide in creating your list
Time Management Tips Use a planner –a planner can be an effective and easy way to help you organize your time –look at a number of different kinds of planners before you select one- some will help you more than others –choose one that is easy to carry with you –commit to checking/updating it daily –try to include your daily to-do list in your planner
Time Management Tips Make a long-term calendar
In class assignment: Make a long- term calendar Semester-on-a-PageDownload the Semester-on-a-Page –write in important dates like exams and due dates –post it where you can see it, like by the phone or on the refrigerator
Time Management Tips Try to be flexible Dont overload yourself. Always leave some free- time for some last-minute additions
Time Management Tips Avoid marathon study sessions –a couple of hours each day will help you to remember more than eight hours at once –taking the time to schedule study time will help you to avoid procrastination and reduce stress –remember to schedule study time over 5-7 days instead of packing it all into one or two days
Time Management Tips Use waiting time Waiting time is the time you spend in between meetings, classes, events, etc.
In class assignment: How to effectively use wait time One of the best ways to get more out of your day is to use waiting time Create a list of 5 things that you can do in 10 minutes Create a list of 5 things that you can do in 20 minutes
Time Management Tips Learn to say no Examples of good ways to say no Instead of: I really should study, say You caught me in the middle of something important, Ill call you later. I cant go the movies tonight, but I can go on Saturday. Before I say yes, let me check my planner and get back to you.
Understanding procrastination When do you procrastinate? –low interest or motivation –large tasks What happens when you procrastinate –increase stress –poorer performance
Reducing procrastination Break tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks –for example, writing a paper can be broken down into getting references, reading reference, writing an outline, creating a rough draft and completing the final copy When given an assignment, do some work on it right away Spend some time studying each day Reward yourself along the way
The Ultimate Schedule sample Ultimate ScheduleDownload the sample Ultimate Schedule
The Ultimate Schedule First, block off time for your FIXED activities class work meetings
The Ultimate Schedule Second, block off time for your RITUAL activities meals travel/commute sleep grooming
The Ultimate Schedule Third, block off time for your PRIORITY activities studying –try to schedule 2 hours of study time for each hour spent in class exercising
The Ultimate Schedule Your FREE time is the time that remains, use it for: watching television shopping socializing
Summary As time management skills develop, your stress and anxiety levels will go down and productivity will go up Time management tools which include day planners, to-do lists, weekly and long-term calendars will increase organization and help eliminate procrastination
Homework assignment: Apply what youve learned Weekly Schedule SheetDownload the Weekly Schedule Sheet Using the steps for creating the Ultimate Schedule, design your ultimate schedule
Lesson 4: Memory Techniques What well be covering: things that can effect your ability to remember something basic memory tips strategies to improve your memory
What can effect your ability to remember something? distractions time of day your comfort level stress your interest in the material your level of motivation
Thirteen memory tips Learn from general to specific Before learning something new, get a general overview to use as a framework on which to hang specific details
Thirteen memory tips Make it meaningful Why is this information relevant? What is the value in knowing this? If you dont see the value- –Find it! What kinds of situations could you be in that you would need this information? –Use this as an opportunity to use strategies that will make you a better student
Thirteen memory tips Create associations Relate what youre learning to something that you already know Try using analogies and metaphors
Thirteen memory tips Learn actively Manipulate or change the information in some way Try creating a mind map, diagram, pictures, or note cards Always put information that youre trying to learn into your own words
Thirteen memory tips Reduce distractions Turn off music, phone, television
Thirteen memory tips Monitor what youve learned Check yourself to make sure that youre learning Try self-testing yourself using the review questions at the end of the chapter or make up your own
Thirteen memory tips Check your attitude and anxiety Find yourself thinking how much you hate the course or instructor? Know when your attitudes and/or anxiety are inhibiting learning and try to address them
Thirteen memory tips Turn abstract ideas into concrete examples
Thirteen memory tips Distribute learning Use many short sessions for studying instead of one long session
Thirteen memory tips Remember something else When you get stuck and cant remember something, try to remember something that is related to it or what you were doing at the time that you learned it.
Thirteen memory tips Stay away from studying similar topics at the same time to avoid confusion
Thirteen memory tips Use mnemonics, or memory techniques Try creating a song or rhyme to help you remember Use acronyms
Thirteen memory tips Avoid studying material in the same sequence Try starting at the end or middle of the material
Summary By using memory techniques you can take steps to learn and remember information more quickly and effectively Most memory techniques require that you change or organize the information that you need to learn. Repeated reading of text and notes is often not enough.
Homework assignment: Apply what youve learned Pick five concepts that you will be required to know in a class Apply any memory technique that weve discussed to each concept
Lesson 5: Note taking What well be covering: what to do before, during, and after class picking out main points in a lecture the Cornell Method mind mapping
What to do before class Pick the right notebook there are numerous advantages to picking a 3- ring binder –handouts can be inserted into the relevant sections –pages of notes can be removed and replaced –dividers can be used to separate sections or topics
What to do before class Read your textbook reading your textbook can help you to understand what is being discussed in lecture
What to do before class Skim the notes from the last class this will refresh your memory and focus you for the next lesson
What to do before class Make a commitment to attend all classes You may be getting only a partial set of notes if you copy from other students Note taking is a skill and you may be copying from someone who is a poor note taker and not realize it
What to do during class Try to sit in the front, center portion of the classroom –fewer distractions –can see and hear better –less likely to doze off
What to do during class You will need to identify the visual and verbal cues given by the professor that indicate an important topic is being addressed –examples of visual cues: gesturing, writing on board, underlining –examples of verbal cues: repetition, summaries, listing
Identifying important points Think of three additional verbal cues that would indicate an important point Think of three additional visual cues that would indicate an important point
What to do during class Use a method of note taking –Use Cornell Method –Create Mind maps
The Cornell Method Split page method of note taking Allows space for possible exam questions Allows space for student reflections and summary Good for self-testing
Practice using the Cornell Method sample page of notes using the Cornell MethodDownload a sample page of notes using the Cornell Method Recopy a page of your notes using the Cornell Method
Mind Mapping Pictorial representation of ideas Good for visual learners Shows how topics and ideas are related Uses both sides of your brain
Steps to mind mapping Identify the topic of the lecture or reading, place in the center and circle it Branch out the main ideas, each stemming from the main topic From each branch, mark key words and examples Dont be afraid to personalize it with pictures or symbols
Mind Mapping Practice sample mind mapDownload a sample mind map Practice creating a mind mapPractice creating a mind map
What to do during class Identify possible exam questions Use them to self-test yourself later
What to do after class Review your notes within 24 hours –Are they complete? –Do they make sense?
What to do after class Identify any questions that you may have and find the answers Re-copy or re-organize if necessary
Note Taking Practice Watch this short lectureWatch this short lecture and use the note taking strategies we discussed
Summary Class notes will be a better study tool for you if they have the proper content (the main points of a lecture) and are organized in a way that makes sense. Try using the methods that we discussed to accomplish those two crucial aspects of note taking.
Lesson 6: Reading Textbooks What well be covering: previewing annotating
Why preview? improves concentration, memory, and understanding only takes 5 minutes to preview an entire chapter if you dont have enough time to read before class, previewing may give you enough information to understand what is being discussed
Steps to previewing material (1) Read the chapter title The title announces the topic or subject. Try to remember what you already know about the topic.
Steps to previewing material (2) Read the introduction or first paragraph This is a lead-in to the material and will often itemize what the chapter will cover. If it is long, read only the first 5 or 6 lines.
Steps to previewing material (3) Read the closing paragraph or chapter summary These sections are often used to draw conclusions based on the facts that have already been presented or to restate key ideas.
Steps to previewing material (4) Read questions or vocabulary at the end of the chapter This section is used to test your knowledge of the material. Reading them beforehand alerts you to what is most important within the chapter.
Steps to previewing material (5) Read each boldface heading Headings separate chapters into main divisions and indicate important concepts. By looking at these headings, you can detect the organization of the chapter and the general approach of the author.
Steps to previewing material (6) Look at any pictures, graphs, or charts Pictures, illustrations, or captions may help you clarify ideas and give direction to your thinking.
Why annotate? Have you ever felt that youve been reading for hours and cant remember what youve read? annotating can keep you focused annotations tell you WHY important points are important download a sample page of annotated textdownload a sample page of annotated text
Steps to Annotating Text First, preview a chapter or subunit of text Next, read one or more paragraphs. Then stop (the amount will vary, so judge according to your texts difficulty and organization).
Steps to Annotating Text After reading, go back and underline the key word, phrase, or idea to which your annotation will refer. These key ideas often occur as: definitions, examples, lists, causes/effects, characteristics, similarities/differences, and names/dates.
Steps to Annotating Text Check your annotations to be sure that they make sense and that you are not merely copying the text into the margins. In order to be most effective, your annotations must be in your own words, except in the case of technical definitions.
Steps to Annotating Text If you have no annotating, you should have no underlining.
Steps to Annotating Text Go on to the next paragraph or section. Remember, not every section of text will have a key concept that should be annotated, but every page or section usually does.
Summary Reading your text numerous times is often not enough to insure that you have understood and retained the information covered. You must actively participate in the reading process by thinking about what you already know, identifying topics that you dont understand and picking out important points that are likely to be on a test.
Homework assignment: Apply what youve learned download textdownload text
Lesson 7: Exam Preparation What well be covering: key elements of exam preparation creating and using note cards the Eight-day study plan
What problems are you currently having with preparing for exams? Exam Prep: A Self CheckTake a moment to complete Exam Prep: A Self Check What areas could you improve on?
Key elements of exam preparation Know what the exam will cover If you dont know, then ask. Visit instructors office hours or ask over .
Key elements of exam preparation Know what type of exam will be given Match the method of study to the kind of exam you will be given (hint: you wouldnt use note cards to study for an essay exam)
Key elements of exam preparation Avoid procrastination If you wait until the last-minute to study, youll remember less and stress more
Key elements of exam preparation Use memory techniques Remember the techniques we discussed?
Key elements of exam preparation Make sure youve taken adequate notes and read the text Get any notes that youve missed
Key elements of exam preparation Have the proper attitude
Key elements of exam preparation Monitor your anxiety level A little anxiety is good, but a lot will hurt your performance Remember what we talked about in the stress management lesson?
Key elements of exam preparation Dont be afraid to ask questions Ask during class, over , at tutoring and in your study group
Key elements of exam preparation Look for (or create) practice tests and questions
Creating and Using Note Cards When note cards are a good idea –when you are a visual learner –when you will be given an objective test
Creating and Using Note Cards Using them the right way –frequently shuffle the cards to keep from learning them in order –use only one concept per card- they arent designed to hold more –use your own words- by putting concepts in your own words, youre actively learning while you create them –take out the ones you know until the final review- dont waste your time studying things you already know
The Eight Day Study Plan Eight-Day Study Plandownload the Eight-Day Study Plan
Summary Re-reading your text and notes is often not enough to prepare you for an exam. You will need to have good study strategies and a good study plan. Its also important that you know where to go for additional help, including instructor office hours, tutoring centers and preceptors.
Homework assignment: Apply what youve learned Complete the Eight-Day Study Plan for one of your classes Eight-Day Study Plan SheetDownload the Eight-Day Study Plan Sheet
Lesson 8:Test Taking Strategies What well be covering: general test taking strategies how to take different kinds of tests learning from your mistakes what to do when you dont know the answer
General test-taking strategies Try to ignore other test takers (before and during the test) Sit in your usual seat, if possible Bring all necessary materials
General test-taking strategies Listen carefully to directions If something is vague or hard to read, stop and ask the instructor for clarification Answer the easiest questions first, mark and postpone the harder questions Change your answer only if youre absolutely sure the second answer is correct
General test-taking strategies Look over the test and budget your time accordingly Leave time to review your work
Suggestions for objective tests Circle or underline clue words like all, every, none, always, etc. Watch for negatives
Suggestions for answering essay questions use pencil or erasable pen read the questions carefully and underline key words create an outline in the margin of what youd like to say begin your answer by rephrasing the question in the next sentence announce what youll be saying in the rest of your answer devote a paragraph to each of the main points
Suggestions for answering essay questions save time to check for the following: completeness and clarity punctuation and word usage spelling neatness did you answer the question?
Suggestions for computational exams as soon as you receive your test, jot down any formulas you needed to memorize try drawing a picture if youre stuck try to estimate the answer
After the test..learning from your mistakes dont just look at WHAT you missed, but look at WHY you missed it! –mastery of information: you didnt study properly and dont know the material –thinking gap: you misunderstood what you were being asked –method of test taking: you made some bad mistakes like reading too quickly and missing key words –reaction to situation: test anxiety got the better of you
Correcting mastery of information mistakes Go back and look at how you studied. What do you need to change? Did you give yourself enough time? Are there other study strategies that would work better?
Correcting thinking gap mistakes Next time, raise your hand and ask your professor or t.a. to rephrase the question. Keep asking until you feel that you fully understand the question.
Correcting method of test taking mistakes Read/listen to the directions carefully Force yourself to slow down and read the questions carefully Identify the key words in the questions Read all answers before you select one
Stress reduction and management have a study plan get some exercise proper nutrition keep a positive attitude get enough rest
What can you do when you dont know the answer? look for wording in the question that may give you an idea see if the answer appears somewhere else in the exam try to eliminate some answers before guessing plug in numbers to see if they generate a possible solution
Summary You should approach different kinds of tests in different ways. Even if you dont know the answer, effective test-taking strategies can increase your chances of guessing it. If you are not getting the grades that you expected, check to see where you are making mistakes.
Homework assignment: Apply what youve learned get a copy of a test that youve already taken code your mistakes using the categories weve discussed write a plan of how you plan to address these mistakes in the future
Lesson 9: Internet Resources What well be covering: how to conduct a search some of our favorite sites
How to conduct a search
Some of our favorite sites
Homework assignment: Apply what youve learned Pick five course topics and find a related website information for each. Make sure to write down the web address for each.