Study Skills for Adult Learners

January 6, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Psychology, Cognitive Psychology
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Tips for First Year Students: Study Skills and Time Management

Presenter: Lucy Hearne Department of Education and Professional Studies

Key Points 

Inform yourself about the UL system, 

i.e. library, web, Student Academic Handbook, timetable, deadlines, feedback, support systems

Moore et al (2010) advise:    

Set up good study habits from start of year Identify skills you already have and those you may need to develop – through feedback and critical reflection Manage stress: Goal set, time manage and prioritise Take care of yourself, physically and psychologically

Academic Skills at Third Level 








1. Planning & Goal Setting

2. Time Management

3. Organising & Concentrating

4. Learning Techniques

1. Planning & Goal Setting 

Planning involves setting SMART study goals

S Specific – is my reason for doing the course clear and precise? M Manageable - are the resources and opportunities available? A Attainable – is it within my ability? R Realistic – will my circumstances allow it? T Time – how much time will it involve?

  

As a final word, remember – Rome was not built in a day. Goals are achieved in small steps…

2. Time Management    

Make a timetable Plan most demanding activities for times when you work best Fit short tasks into spare moments in the day Be realistic - don’t try to achieve the impossible Prioritise important and urgent tasks

2. Time Management   

Be flexible - allow extra time for emergencies Decide where you study best and stick to it Organise your notes Time for Self-Care: fit in exercise, socialising and rest Learn to say ‘NO’

3. Organising and Concentrating 

Quiet, warm, private space dedicated to study Undisturbed – living areas not ideal University library facilities Study in blocks of time - 40 to 60 minutes Concentration levels only last for so long – vary subjects or topics Reward yourself

4. Learning Techniques 

Identify your intelligence/learning style: e.g. linguistic, visual/spatial, logical/mathematical (Gardner, 1999,2006)

Connect with your Senses: Audio tapes, concept maps, diagrams, case studies, study groups, study buddy, index cards

(from Moore et al, 2010)

Reading Techniques The SQ3R Method: preview or survey text, ask yourself questions, read text carefully recall main points review text again

Note-taking Techniques 

Taking Lecture Notes:

Attend lectures – don’t depend on other students’ notes Sit where you can hear and see lecturer Use symbols, abbreviations and shortened words Listen for tips and guides from lecturers

  

For Revision Purposes- Use highlighting, underlining, boxing, ringing, arrows for linking

Note-taking Techniques: from Published Works 

Record title of book/journal; full name of author/s; publisher, date, edition & place of publication of a book; volume number and page numbers of the journal article

Chapter in book: follow rules of book but also title of chapter & author/s

Note main topic areas and most important points in short form

Read Introduction and Conclusion first to get an overview

Check all headings to establish relevance

Check index at back for specific topics

Check reference list at end for further references to source

Critical Reading Skills 

Identify Line of Reasoning (angle; viewpoint; position held; case made) Critically Evaluate Line of Reasoning (logical progression; relevant, contributing & sufficient propositions; flawed reasoning) Question Surface Appearances (sufficient evidence; other explanations; biases; hidden agendas etc) Identify Evidence in Text (statistics; case histories; real experiences; anecdotal evidence)

Critical Reading Skills 

Evaluate the Evidence – Valid Criteria (date of research; source; bias; allure of numbers; emotive language; persuasive language) Identify the Writer’s Conclusions (therefore; so; hence; thus; must; should; need to; recommend) Evaluate Whether the Evidence Supports the Conclusions (are the conclusions supported by the evidence and argument presented?)

Academic Words Used in Essay and Assignment Titles  

     

Analyse: examine in very close detail, identify important points, pros and cons Evaluate: critically make an opinion of the worth of something, assessing strength of the evidence on both sides with criteria (theory) to guide argument Define: give the exact meaning of Describe: give a detailed account Discuss: offer both opposing and supporting argument Explore: examine from various standpoints, showing the implications Identify: show your knowledge of a topic Illustrate: make something clear and explicit, giving examples or evidence

The Examination Process   

 

Used to check you understand the course Ensures the work is entirely your own Helps with balance for those who do better in exams than continuous assessments through year Involves high level of focus and adrenalin Intensive learning for short period of time

Advantages of Exams    

Not expected to give long detailed answers Do not involve research – only revision Do not have to use references Examiners sympathetic to minor grammatical errors, handwriting, and forgotten details (Cottrell, 2003) Plus - they are over and done with in 2 or 3 hours!

Exams: Preparation and Performance     

 

Means of increasing your grades Continuous assessment, have to be taken Don’t reinvent wheel – concentrate on content of course completed Use resources: essays, reports, lecture notes and reading lists Exams vary depending on types of courses – i.e. practical based vs. written – same principles apply regarding preparation, stress management, timing and focus Exams are all about ‘remembering’ Involves cramming – you cannot cover everything so have to be strategic in approach

Manage Stress by…         

Keeping a positive mindset Good time management Prioritising daily and weekly activities around revision and exams Asking for support from others if needed Getting rest, exercise and eating well Drinking lots of water Avoiding people who are: under-confident or super-confident, and those who panic Not engaging in post-mortems after exams, move on to next one – you cannot change the past Rewarding yourself regularly

Memory Techniques •

Devise memory triggers such mnemonics e.g. C.R.E.A.M. (creative, reflective, effective, active, motivated)

Repetition or over-learning from short essays

Writing things down, rewriting over and over

Auditory memorising – from tapes

Visual memorising – from flashcards, pyramids, patterns and mind-maps

Memory Techniques 

Mind Maps / Spider Plans are a visual technique to help you recall information if you tend to be a visual learner

Create links on a topic by drawing a map of it

Check Tony Buzan on Mind Map techniques

Memory Techniques Chunking and Repetition Chunking = grouping information into chunks and holding it in your short-term memory 

Repetition = going back over information again and again to keep it fresh in your memory Use these techniques at end of every study session and end of week

Memory Techniques 

Mnemonics Memory aid for basic lists of items, concepts or important sequences e.g. My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas

This stands for Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (Moore et al, 2010)

References Moore, S., Neville, C., Murphy, M., & Connolly, C. (2010) The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook. Maidenhead: Open University Press. Northedge, A. (2007) The Good Study Guide. Milton Keynes: Oxford University Press. Rose, J. (2007) The Mature Student’s Guide to Writing (2nd ed.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Good Luck

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