Adding Study Skills into Introductory Classes

I recently attended the annual NADE (National Association for Developmental Education) conference and was inspired by a session to incorporate more math study skills into my class. Since going through On Course and teaching College 101, I have wanted to more concretely incorporate these principles into my classes. Typically, I would think that I don’t have time to fit teaching my students study skills in an already packed list on concepts to cover. But, after thinking about it realized this can be done by modelling within class and creating tasks to be at the same time as doing homework and studying. I will just assign tasks that students should be doing anyways to be more efficiently doing work outside of class time and by giving them a few points for it, they will be forced/have incentive to do. Showing a quick example of the “right” way to take notes or study in a math class will not take up much more class time within the limited number of hours I have with them but will add a lot of value. Hopefully the strategies will stick for each student and will help them be more successful in math and all of their classes. Some examples of the tasks I will have students do in my developmental math classes this fall are below:

  • Creating a weekly schedule, setting aside specific times to work on each class
  • Organizing class materials in a binder
  • Preparing for class ahead of time by reading the book, taking some minimal notes, and jotting down questions for in class
  • Working with a study group
  • Finding helpful websites for when you get stuck on a problem
  • Studying for a test by making flashcards
  • Attending instructor office hours or the math lab
  • Going back and correcting incorrect problems on an assignment (even if it’s not for more points)

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