Wired studying isn't always the best strategy
College students used to show up to class with just a notebook and a pen or pencil, maybe a highlighter and sticky notes. Today, more and more students are taking notes on a laptop, downloading class documents from the web, compiling study guides using Google Docs and researching online.
Does being wired up make these students better studiers?
Well, not really, according to a new study by researchers from Pennsylvania State University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The researchers found that "students are not strategic studiers of computer-based materials." Many of the students reported that instead of taking notes on the most important facts and ideas in a passage, they copy-and-pasted huge chunks of information into their notes. They spent too much time rereading lengthy passages, recopying their notes and creating lengthy outlines and studying facts one-by-one instead of collectively, the researchers wrote.
The researchers found that undergraduate students can score 29 to 63 percentage points higher on tests by using a study method called SOAR:
Students should go through the material, select the most important ideas and note them.
Students should then organize these ideas into charts, illustrations and other graphics.
Students should look for associations between ideas and create meaningful connections.
Student should learn through summarizing information and creating practice questions.
The two authors of the study are Kenneth A. Kiewra, a professor of educational psychology at Nebraska, and Dharmananda Jairam, a former Nebraska graduate student who is now at Penn State. To read more about the study, check out the university's news release.
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August 10, 2010; 10:35 AM ET
Categories: Networking | Tags: Penn State, University of Nebraska
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Posted by: knowledgenotebook | August 10, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse