Learning Objective #3: Learning Retrieval practice self study

Day after day, the Cooper library doors swing open and shut from students entering in order to gain a little bit of knowledge, whether it be for a major test, a little quiz, a speech or even just for the sake of learning something new. Some student's study methods have proven to be effective and this can be seen through their grades and GPA, but what about the other students? No one talks about the ones who study day in and day out, reading and re-reading textbooks only to make abysmal grades and leave no time for anything fun. Sounds frustrating, right?

Re-reading is one of the most ineffective study methods, giving students false confidence on their grasp of the material. Though this Learning Objective, students can learn how to implement two ideas that will save time and achieve better grades: retrieval practice and spaced practice.

Objective: to explore and test new strategies for learning and critical thinking

Part 1: The Three Techniques

Technique 1: Quizlet

I'm using this technique in order to study Spanish because I think it will be the most effective, considering the material. Spanish is mainly memorization, so Quizlet's flashcards will be perfect. I'm going to put in the terms that I need to study, memorize them and go over them until I can't bare to look at them anymore or until I know them by heart (whichever comes first.) Usually, I go over flashcards for at least 15-20 minutes, everyday, and then I Self Test myself (Technique 2). The two techniques go hand in hand in my mind. The amount of time spent going over flashcards will decrease everyday as I come to know the terms better until, eventually, it will only take me 5 minutes to breeze through them.

Quiz 1

Written Reflection: The photo on the right shows my grade before using Quizlet to study and the photo to the right shows the after effects of using the study tool. Before, my grade was an 88 and after, it was a 91, which shows progress. I'm growing in confidence with my Spanish, especially because a lot of people didn't do very well on the second quiz. Repeatedly going over the notecards with the vocabulary words and conjugations of words was an enormous help. I'll be sure to use this technique for all of my exams and quizzes in the future for this class. I think the flashcards will create an overall improvement in my grade so that I can maintain an A.

Technique 2: Self-testing

I'm going to use this technique for my Statistic's 2300 class mostly because I think it's the most serious tool for studying and I need this serious tool for my hardest class this semester. My professor requires all of his students to have an account with Pearson Learning, which is where we mainly do our homework. This website also offers quizzes and self tests that go over the material in each chapter which I will be using as a study tool for this Learning Objective. I will be testing myself through the material, doing a quiz or a test a day on the days where there is not homework or quizzes due (homework is due on Mondays and Wednesdays and quizzes are due on Fridays.)

Screenshot of one of the Chapter Pre-Tests from Pearsonmylabandmastering.com

Quiz 1

Written Reflection: Due to the fact that I cannot access our quizzes in Statistics class after we have already taken them, I don't have a picture of any quiz questions. However, the website does allow students to see the grades they made on previous quizzes and assignments. The picture above shows the vast improvement between Quiz 6.1-6.2 and Quiz 7.1-7.2 in the span of a week due to self tests and practice. Wow what an improvement! This has given me such a confidence boost in this class (probably too much of one) but I'm thankful to see the improvement. I'll definitely be using this practice tool in the future because of the immense help that it has provided.

Technique 3: Group Quizzing

This is a technique that I haven't used very often and haven't used efficiently when I have used it. I am willing to try this tool but I know that it is always a risk to work with friends because it's easy to get distracted and to not get anything done, which is the opposite of what I am trying to accomplish. Using this technique, I will study with a group of people (they may or may not be different every single time) and we will all quiz each other for at least 30 minutes in each session. I'm going to use this technique in my Anthropology class because the material and ideas can easily be conversed between a group of people. We will all get together before each test and study the main ideas and key terms together.

Test 1:

Written Reflection: In Anthropology, all of our tests are taken online on a lockdown browser, which prevents cheating. Given that the tests are online, I can only access the overall grade and no specific questions. Looking at the overall before and after grades, I can see that it went down a little bit and while one factor of that might be that I studied with friends, it must also be taken into account that the second test was much harder than the first. This particular technique wasn't my favorite to begin with and I think it just has to be practiced with the right subject and the right group of dedicated individuals to provide good results.

Credits:

Created with images by Unsplash - "light bulb lightbulb light" • Hans - "glasses read learn" • TeroVesalainen - "numbers 123 1"

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