study_skills_handout - Get in touch with your inner A...

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Get in touch with your inner “A” Student: How to Study Biology Greatest Predictor of Success in Adult Learners Motivation: No matter how intelligent, if a student is not motivated to work hard and study well, they will not succeed. A highly motivated person will always outperform an unmotivated person of the same ability. Ask yourself why am I taking this class? What are my goals? Long term as well as immediate goals? What will happen if I can’t achieve those goals? Are they my first priority , or are there other goals that are more important to me? How much work am I willing to do? How many hours per week can I study outside of class? What days? What factors will limit my ability to study, to master material? Is there anything I could do to motivate myself to work harder? Work with Your Brain Not Against It: There is a great deal of research on learning, memory and education. It is important to use the study techniques and methods that are the most effective for learning. Specifically, it is important to use the methods that fit your style of learning the best. What follows is a summary of the fundamentals of studying based on the research in learning and memory. I. Fundamentals of Learning and Memory There are three basic problems with memory: the information doesn’t stick ( transience and absent mindedness) we can’t retrieve the information when we need it (blocking). Conveniently the solutions to these different problems are pretty similar. In order to remember something, we have to get it from our short term memory to our long term memory. And in order to do that, we have to modify and strengthen the connections between different neurons in our brain . The more connections we lay down and the greater the diversity of connections, the better we remember and can retrieve the information. The best way to do that is
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A. Group information into meaningful categories ( chunking of information) B. Work with the information thoroughly and elaborately C. Focus your attention- don’t divide or distract your attention - this one is simple. The research is in-multi-tasking doesn’t work. We are really moving from one topic to another quickly when we multi-task and it leads to reduction in learning and memory. A. Chunk Information into Meaningful Categories There is only so much room in your brain, by storing information in categories you can remember more information and retrieve it more easily. Start with the big category and then figure out which pieces of information should get stored under that heading Ex: Category: Nutrients are cycled in ecosystems Ex: Information to store in that category: Carbon, Nitrogen, Water are nutrients that are cycled Ex: Information to store in that category: Matter isn’t created or destroyed, but reused. The same carbon is taken from CO2 and used to make sugar through photosynthesis. How To
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study_skills_handout - Get in touch with your inner A...

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