Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles ‘Memory and Study Strategies’ Presentation A Quick Note about Study Strategies Classes Just like the first year of college and just like first year students and college students as a whole, academic support services and study strategy courses have received a lot of attention. And, just like the other topics we’ve covered, the results of research about the effectiveness of such programs and services is mixed. Here is what I want us to focus on from this body of research, that students tend to dislike these types of services or not use these services at all for the following four reasons: first, that students believe they cannot change, that they are incapable of learning new strategies and techniques or adapting old ones; second, that students don’t want to change, their old techniques worked just fine in high school and, if applied, will work just fine in college; third, that students don’t know what to change, that they are unsure of what techniques can be carried over from high school to college, what techniques should be developed further in order to be more successful, and what techniques should be dropped completely; and, forth, that students don’t know how to change (Dembo and Seli, 2004). The next part of this presentation will provide students with an overview of the Standard Memory Model; how any type of sensory input is taken in and transformed into a representation that can be placed into memory, how that representation is stored or encoded in such a way that it is retained in the memory, and how you can retrieve or gain access to that stored information (Sternberg and Williams, 2010). Students will participate in a short exercise designed to assist them in thinking about how they take in information, store and retrieve it. This presentation will conclude with a brief overview of different resources about study strategies, which students will use to complete the Week Four Discussion Forum and Week Four Journal Assignment. Memory What is memory? For the purpose of this presentation, we are going to use the following definition, that “memory is the active mental mechanisms that enable people to retain and retrieve information about past experiences” (Baddeley, 1999; Crowder, 1976 as cited in Sternberg and Williams, 2010, p. 270). This is just one definition, and the Standard Memory Model is just one model of how memory works. If interested, students are encouraged to consult with the Reference Librarian for additional sources of information about memory. For our purposes this week, we are going to focus on sensory input, retention of this sensory input or how the memory of the experience is retained, and finally, how the retained input is retrieved and used in some way by the student. Let’s start by looking at the environment that you are interacting with. As students, we’ll focus on the stereotypical classroom. In this classroom, the instructor is providing information in several ways: first, as notes on the board, second, as spoken word, and third as an interactive activity that students in the class complete as members of small groups. In this example, you are taking in information from your environment in a number of ways including visually, aurally, and kinesthetically. As this information is coming in through your senses, it is put into short-term memory. How long this information stays in short-term memory depends on what you do with it. If you do nothing with the information you are taking in through your senses, you may loose it within a matter of seconds; if you consciously choose to do something (which we’ll define in a minute) with the information, you could retain it for a few minutes or, depending on how invested you are, you could possible retain the information for life (Sternberg and Williams, 2010). As I stated earlier, unless you consciously choose to do something with this input, you’re going to forget it within a few moments. This ‘thing’ you could decide to do is called “rehearsal…[or] the repeated recitation of an item” (Sternberg and Williams, 2010, p 273). You probably do this everyday and have since as far back as you can remember. What do I need from the grocery store; what was that persons phone number; how do I take my coffee; how do I operate my car; what classes do I have today and what building is the classroom in? The amount of recitation or practice and the level of sophistication of this practice will have an impact on your ability to retain the information over a long period of time and be able to retrieve the information and put it to use. Let’s do a short exercise to try and illustrate this point. I’m going to read a series of words and these words will appear on the screen. As I am reading this list of words, DO NOT write them down. I am then going to give you one minute after I have finished reading this list of words to write down as many as you can remember. With me? Alright, here we go. ANGEL, pencil, classroom, computer, textbooks, professor, FAFSA, Washington Hall, registration, SUNY, discussion, syllabus, research, students, Timberwolves, transfer, advisement, graduation, major, library. Okay, you have one minute on the clock. Try to recall as many words as you can in the next sixty seconds. Alright, times up. Here is the list of words again on the screen and I’ll read through them now: ANGEL, pencil, classroom, computer, textbooks, professor, FAFSA, Washington Hall, registration, SUNY, discussion, syllabus, research, students, Timberwolves, transfer, advisement, graduation, major, library. Did you get all twenty? Between fifteen and twenty? Between ten and fourteen? Less than ten? The number you remembered in this activity isn’t important. What’s important is what you did to try and remember them. For example, did you pick up on what all of these words had in common? That’s right, they are all things associated with SUNY Adirondack. As I was reading them aloud, did you try repeating the words to yourself? Did you try to make-up a story about the different words and how they may fit together? Whatever you did, that’s a type of rehearsal and this is a good place to transition to the last part of this presentation, study strategies. Study Strategies Here is what this part of the presentation isn’t going to cover: specific things you can do to improve your time management, note taking, or other academic self-regulatory processes. Developing a list and making suggestions of specific techniques are things that you are going to do to help each other as part of the Week Four Discussion Forum. What this part of the presentation is going to cover are sources of information that you can use to find out about different techniques for improving your time management, note taking, and in-and-out of class behavior to assist you in improving academically. Also, in this part of the presentation, I’m going to make one last attempt at connect the importance of understanding how memory works and about knowing yourself and ways that you can improve your chances for success in college, and even in the work place. Sources of Information The Internet is a great place, however, it has both good and bad neighborhoods. Here are some sources I’d recommend and I’ll include the necessary links within the Week Four folder in ANGEL: Study Guides and Strategies, a web site that contains links, articles, and even interactive web-based exercises on everything from time management and working in groups to different memorization techniques and tips for organizing projects. I’ve used this site for years and highly recommend it. Learning Disabilities Pride is another web site that I’ve used for a while now and while it is geared towards individuals with learning disabilities, there are resources available through this site that are general enough for all learners, regardless of ability or disability. Finally, if you are into assessments, I’d recommend the VARK – A Guide to Learning Styles web site. This site contains a learning styles assessment and different resources for learning study techniques that match your strengths as an individual learner. Real quick. As you are working your way through these sites, you may be tempted to purchase a book or manual or assessment results. DON’T. Take advantage of the resources available on-campus such as books in the library, hand-outs available from the counselors or the Center for Reading and Writing, or do another web search on the topic you are looking for. You’ll probably be able to find additional sources of free information, especially from different college or university web sites. For example, the University of Minnesota at Duluth, as part of their online Student Handbook, has a great Study Strategies Homepage with links to all sorts of information. Quick Overview of Assignments Week Four Discussion Forum For the Week Four Discussion Forum, students are required to create an original post about their study strategies and techniques. How do you manage your time? Read a textbook? Study for exams? Share what’s worked for you with the class. As we’ve been doing, after you’ve created your original post, comment on at least two classmates posts. By the end of Week Four, our discussion forum will serve as an additional resource of suggestions for different study strategies. I’ll convert the Discussion Forum into a PDF file that you can download to reference in the future. Additional instructions can be found in the ‘Week Four Discussion Forum’ Week Four Journal Assignment For the Week Four Journal Assignment, I want you to respond to the following statement: I am a great student who earns the grades I want to earn and do not need any help with my courses. As with previous journal assignments, your submission should be a page long. Additional instructions can be found within the ‘Week Four Journal Assignment’. Due Dates All assignments must be posted by midnight on Tuesday, October 5, 2010 to receive full credit. All late submissions will receive 75% of the original points possible for the assignment. Remember, any late assignments must be submitted by Tuesday, November 16, 2010 in order to receive any points. No late assignments will be accepted after midnight on Tuesday, November 16, 2010. Contact Information If you have any questions you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also post in the ‘Raise Your Hand’ Discussion Forum. This forum is located in ANGEL and I encourage students to use this and to interact with one another. Get in the habit of checking this discussion each time you access the course in ANGEL. You may be able to answer your classmates question or provide insight or suggestions. References Dembo, M.H., & Seli, H.P. (2004). Students’ resistance to change in learning strategies courses. Journal of Developmental Education, 27(3), 2-11. Sternberg, R.J., & Williams, W.M. (2010). Educational psychology (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.