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)

Morphing the Complex Change Model Into the Complete Assignment Model.

The “Model for Managing Complex Change” has been one of the most beneficial concepts that I learned in college. It basically states that in order to get “Change”, whatever that may be for you, you need a Vision, Skills, Incentives, Resources and a Plan. Failing to have any of the previous five ingredients will cause you to have a different outcome.

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How do you get to Carnegie Hall?


The same thing can be said about learning something new. In order to get good at most things it takes a certain amount of practice. That’s why I provide students with comprehensive constructive feedback on their assignments, and an opportunity to improve their performance prior to periodic quizzes or exams.

Map Locating Carnegie Hall

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