Learning retrieval practice self-study

Part I: Three Studying Techniques

The three techniques that I will test are flash cards, mind maps, and self testing. I will specifically use flash cards for my public speaking and business class, mind maps for Econ and English, and self testing for calculus.

Part II: The Process

I will make flash cards of definitions and key point from my communications lecture. I will also make flash cards for my weekly business class by putting key points on one side and which article/chapter it relates to on the other. I will be using mind maps to study for econ by putting a main point, like elasticity, in the middle and branching the main points and other points off of those that relate back to the main point (shown below). I will also be using it to make a flow map of the plot for my assigned English reading. Finally, I self test by printing off old tests from the Math2070 Clemson department site and practice those.

Part III: Presenting the Data

Technique 1: Flash Cards

Technique 2: Mind Maps

Technique 3: Self Testing

Part IV: Before and After Results

Flash Cards:

  • Comm Midterm: A
  • Business Quiz: D to A

Mind Maps

  • Econ Test: B to C
  • American Lit Midterm: C

Self Testing

  • Calculus: D to B (Pictured below)
Test 2 (right), Test 1 (left)

Part V: Reflection

I chose to try flash cards, mind maps, and self testing. I was very impressed with the flash card and self testing techniques. I used flash cards to study for my communications midterm and I made an A. I also used them to study for my weekly Business quizzes and saw a drastic increase. The flash cards were a quick and easy way to recall the information that I learned in class. Unlike the flash cards, the mind map technique did not work well for me at all. I used the mind map technique to study for my second Econ test and I got a whole letter grade lower than my first test. I also used this technique to study for my American Lit midterm and I made a C. Although this could be due to many other reasons, I think that using the mind map technique as my main form of studying was definitely a contribution. If mind maps are used in addition to other techniques I think it can be helpful but should not be used as a sole or main study technique. Finally, I used self testing to study for my second Calculus exam and I received two letter grades higher than the first one. I think that this type of study technique would work best for math tests. This technique was great because it allowed me to practice not only the material, but I was able to practice the test environment as well. Overall, flash cards and self tests worked best for me while mind maps didn't give me the results I was hoping for. Because of this realization, in the future I will mainly utilize the flash card and self testing techniques. I will also use the same "Game Plan" that I did when experimenting- starting one new section each day one week in advance of the test. I think that this process will produce the best results.

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