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Steps for Success
1. Schedule times to study for this course. Stick to your schedule. Do this studying in a quiet place used for study purposes only. (For example, use the same table in the library all the time.)
2. Read text material related to lecture shortly after lecture. Use the Lecture Objectives as a guide.
3. Read the text, but STUDY the NOTES in the Course Booklet.
4. Study diagrams and tables in the text and observe the illustrations on CDs, WebCT, and web pages.
5. Note and refer to all text illustrations, CD Animations and Tutorials, web pages, or other materials pointed out in connection with the materials being presented or being studied.
6. Review the material from each class before attending the next class. Write down any questions you have about the material you reviewed and ask those questions at the beginning of the next class. Don't let any question you have go by until you are satisfied with the answer you have gotten.
7. Ask questions in class whenever you are lost or confused or want more information.
8. Try using memory aids that work for you, or try new ones, such as; (a) picturing what you are studying in your mind; (b) making up a story that includes what you are trying to remember (practice telling other people your story); (c) creating mental pictures of processes occurring; (d) sketching pictures or drawing word pathways or concept diagrams of what you know; (e) studying when your energy levels are high, but not after eating a large meal; (f) avoiding large quantities of aspartame artificial sweetener (e.g., diet beverages); (g) avoiding distractions when learning; (h) organizing your material into large meaningful blocks rather than many unrelated details; (i) for remembering lists, making up sentences or words where letters (e.g., first letter in each word, the letters of the words) stand for the items you are trying to remember; (j) putting the information into a rhyme or a song; k) putting the information into the form of a story (e.g., sequences of events); (l) finding experiences in your life where the information is relevant or related; (m) writing what you think you know and have someone who does know check your work; (n) practicing answering questions like those on the tests; (o) practicing again; (p) getting restful REM sleep at night after you study. (Please tell me of other memory aids I can suggest.)
9. Use flash cards that ask questions like those on the exams to learn definitions, functions of structures, structures carrying out functions, causes of effects, steps in a process, etc. Put questions on one side and answers on the other side.
10. Record learning objective numbers along side notes or text material where appropriate.
11. Explain course material to someone. If they cannot understand it, you probably don’t either.
12. Answer all relevant End of Chapter (EOC) questions at end of text chapters in writing.
13. Use the CDs, other resources, and the companion web site to view what you are studying, for animations, for interactive learning, and for practice using what you learned.
14. Practice answering questions like the learning objectives. Use them and sample questions from class to make up and answer your own questions like definitions, naming structures, listing functions, tracing pathways, putting events or causes and effects in sequence, chemical equations. Answer these on blank paper (like a test paper would be). Practice answering them until you can write the answers automatically. Practice answering questions like those from class.
15. After studying on your own, study with someone or a few others who are doing well in the class. This study should be a time of answering each other’s practice questions, solving each other’s problem areas, and quizzing each other. Use the +/- marking method * in your Course Booklet until all your minuses become pluses. Practice answering questions like those from objectives and lecture.
16. Get enough sleep the night before a test. "All nighters" make your brain and your studying worthless.
* Here is how to use “the +/- marking method” in Suggestion 15. If a study partner asks a question and the student answers correctly, the partner places a + symbol next to that question. If a study partner asks a question and the student answers incorrectly, the partner places a – symbol next to that question. The student focuses on learning that specific item right away. Then, after the partner asks and marks a few more questions, the partner asks the first - question again. If the students answers correctly, the partner changes the – to a +. If the student answers incorrectly, the partner places another – next to that question. The student focuses on learning that specific item right away. The process is repeated until essentially all – symbols are changed to + symbols. Outcomes from this method include (1) practicing answering questions and doing so in unsuspected sequence, as occurs on tests, (2) identifying and immediately correcting weaknesses or gaps in knowledge, (3) practicing trouble areas repeatedly, (4) creating a written record of trouble areas (i.e., questions having many + symbols) for future extra attention.
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