Monday, May 27, 2013

Oncourse training begins tomorrow.

am attending Oncourse training tomorrow, and can't wait to learn about more ways to help
students get off to a good start academically.   The training is also going to be a great resource
and reference for my upcoming ebook.

My study plan for the training tomorrow is to bring my laptop for note-taking, since the training goes from 8-5, I plan to take a great deal of notes.   I will review the notes, and share some of my perspective of the training for my blog audience.  I look forward to the training, and always love a good academic challenge.  Holding my attention for hours at a time is very difficult, but I find that when I take notes on key points, and my own observations of the content, it really helps me focus on the task at hand. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Taking Breaks

I just spent the last week in the Boundary Waters.   One thing that I always did at the end of every semester, while I was in college, was take a week long trip hiking, canoeing, or camping, without any cell phones, computers, or other modern technologies.  Taking a break from these things made me return to my studies and
research with a new found vigor. 
This can also apply to your daily study plan.   Taking a 10 minute break every hour during heavy reading and study times can really help you avoid burnout. The average attention span is ten minutes max, so don't forget to 
take a break between study sessions. 

Never stop studying!

Have a great week!

Friday, May 3, 2013

College Study Skills Tips: How to Read a Textbook with Dartmouth Links

One tip I want to share is on reading a textbook. Check out this link for free tips on reading textbooks more effectively via Dartmouth.

 I was always an avid reader of literature, especially William Faulkner, but when it came to my freshman year in college, I didn't know how to read a textbook.
I also didn't know what it took to succeed in college.

After wasting a great deal of time and money, I learned that I needed help to succeed in college.  I went
to the college writing and tutoring center, and one of the tutors had me try reading my college texts with a pen and paper in hand.   The tutor suggested I write notes while reading the chapter, and to put all of the definitions and concepts in my own words. Check out this link for more information on active note taking via Dartmouth.

 It turned out that I was mainly a visual learner, and the repetition and focus associated with writing the definition, and summarizing key concepts, really helped me with retention in terms of the course readings.

I also learned that I needed to treat my college classes like a job. Check out this link to time management strategies and other great study skills tips via  The site holds a wealth of valuable study skills information.  I could still have a life and have fun, but no more missing the 8 a.m. class due to being out too late.  I quit missing class, and started reading my texts actively.  And guess what?   I ended up improving the grades in my courses when I applied these two techniques.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

College Success: College Free Study Skills Links and Downloads

The Learning Commons I worked at was awarded department of the year by Central Lakes College students. We had a celebration yesterday, and I want to thank all of the tutors for their assistance, collaboration, and feedback concerning effective study skills.  Their efforts have helped a great deal with my study skills research.  Here are a few helpful links my students and I have used:

University of Wisconsin River Falls: Study Skills Links (plethora of free study skills info.) (tons of info.)

Long Beach College Free Study Skills Downloads

I keep researching study skills, because I realize we all learn differently. But by being persistent and trying out different assessments, it is possible to find strategies that work.  Try and try and try again...and don't give up!  Learning to study is like learning to play guitar. You can always keep progressing!

Great study skills tips/ The Art of Manliness

This is a great website and the tips found at the following link are very helpful in terms of educations success. The Art of Manliness is a site known for providing profound information and making it humorous.  I would have to say my main successes as an educator can be contributed to the blending of these two items. Speaking in front of people for hours on end is stifling, so I would usually break my hour long classes into three parts. By lecturing roughly a third of the time, and letting the students do peer review or cooperative learning, it seemed to break up the class.  The humor wasn't usually provided by me...the student would do a great job with many writing assignment, and even in upper level classes I would try to incorporate games or real world scenarios into the workshop style classroom and  having humor in a writing or Literature classroom can be very important.

-Look for my upcoming book on success in college!

Keep on learning for life!