Improving Study Habits

New (?) Research About Studying

In a post last month, Vox.com referenced that many students re-read as a method of studying. Research (and even the slightest bit of experience in education) reinforce that it is a terrible idea. They recommend different methods for engaging with text – quizzing yourself, flashcards, etc.

I loved reading the article – finally, some support and justification for what I’ve been telling my students!

The results are written into a book, which appears targeted at both teachers and students. It mentions recommendations to teachers (bringing back old material, frequent quizzing) about ways to improve student learning and retention.

But What Next?

But the first thought that came to my mind was how the “new research” (which has been industry common knowledge) will be immediately transformed into policy for educators. And how teaching new study skills will add more hours to homework practice (instead of what it should do, which is replace it).

Students are burdened with homework, and studying. But in my experience, very little of it is meaningful work meant to further actual understanding. Most of it is rote practice in order to develop a basic skill in isolation. How do we improve the situation? How do we make it so that when students are doing homework they are motivated (other than just getting a 0 for incompleteness as a punishment)? Is there any way to actually measure if students are actively engaging in reading?

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