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Academic Enrichment - Working Smarter

A guide to many aspects of studying, organizing and academic preparation to aid in working smarter.

Ryan Kurtz

on 8 May 2013

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Transcript of Academic Enrichment - Working Smarter

Techniques Organization Reading Styles Be an Active
Learner Learning Styles Note-Taking
Methods Test Taking
Methods Cornell Method: > The Cornell Method is also referred to as the
Two Column Method.

> This method was devised in the 1950's by
Walter Pauk; a professor of Education at
Cornell University. Preparation: > Split the Page vertically leaving
roughly two inches to the left side of
the line.

> Also, leave a 2 inch wide section at
the base of the page.

> Sectioning off the paper makes it
easier to organize your notes. Your paper should look something like this... The Keys to
Academic Success Purpose of the Sections: > Label the top of the page with the
current topic.
> The slender left hand column is for Key
> The sizable right hand column is for
> The bottom portion is designated for a
summary of the notes. Key Words Area: How To Use Each Section Effectively... The Key Words Area is used for jotting down important terms, questions or concepts which are further explained in the Note Taking Area. AN EXAMPLE...
Drawing from a lesson in Arithmetic, Key Words may include... Addition
Multiplication Note Taking Area: The Note Taking Area is used to record more detailed information corresponding to the items in the Key Word Area. AN EXAMPLE...
Across from Addition: A mathematical operation in which two or more values are combined to create a new value, usually larger than the originals.
Across from Subtraction: A mathematical
operation in which a value is removed
from another value. The inverse
of Addition. Summary Area: The Summary Area is to be filled in
within a day of the class. This area brings the entire lesson together and asks the student to raise questions about the material. AN EXAMPLE...
After the Arithmetic class a student fills out the summary section with...
Arithmetic is comprised of four basic operations;
addition, subtraction, multiplication and
division. I wonder how these operations
act depending on the type of numbers
used (integers, fractions ect.) The Strengths of The Cornell Method: > The Cornell Method is especially useful for keeping notes organized and clean.

> Going back after class to review, summarize and question the material leads to a deeper understanding.

> The Cornell Method makes studying easy; simply cover the Note Taking section of the paper and read the Key Words aloud. Try to fill in the right side based upon your memory and knowledge. For More Information Check Out These Sites... The Cornell Method: The Mapping Method: Mapping Method: > Concepts and ideas are written across the page and connected via lines which represent relationships or similarities.

> Details of the relationship can be put on the line itself.

> The central topic is either placed at the center of the page with items shooting off in all directions (web form) or at the top of the page with items branching down (tree form).

> A similar strategy is commonly used in the planning and outlining of essays. WEB FORM TREE FORM The form your notes take is largely a matter of preference Fish Salmon Pacific Atlantic Sharks Bull
Shark Birds Flightless Emu Raptors Song
Birds Birds of
Paradise Roughly 4000 Species Known for their elaborate songs Visually Displayed, Concept Relations, Orderly, Easy to Add to. Organized, Simple, Critical Thinking, Easy Studying. Reading Speed Reading
Comprehension Reading styles
are based around
two things. 1. The speed at which you
read the material. 2.The level of which you comprehend
what you have read. Typically, an increase in one area will lead directly
to a decrease in the other...
Fast Reading = Low Comprehension
Slow Reading = High Comprehension Balance is key to Success. > There are many forms of Speed Reading.
a) Meta Guiding (Visual Tracking Guide)
b) Skimming
c) Selective Reading Speed Reading: > Speed reading can be dangerous! You will never get all the information if
you only skim a text. Skimming is NOT the same as Reading.
> All of these strategies lead to lower overall understanding.
> Use rarely and carefully! Not fully understanding a text can put you in a
precarious position. Important things to remember... So What is Meta Guiding and Selective Reading? Note Taking Techniques:
Reading Techniques:
Learning Styles:
Memorization Techniques:
Test Taking Strategies:
www.d.umn.edu/kmc/student/loon/acad/strat/test_take.html Meta Guiding: > Meta Guiding is also known as the Visual Tracking
Guide Strategy.

> This method requires you to use an object (pen,
pencil, finger, ruler) to guide your eyes across the

> This seems simple but can actually increase your
reading speed significantly with little loss in
comprehension. Selective Reading: > Selective reading is a strategy in which you only read
certain strategically selected parts of a paper.

>Most research papers and text books are set up in a
vary predictable way.

> Each paragraph is set up with...
1st Sentence: Makes a statement
Body of Paragraph: Provides evidence or
support for the statement.
Final Sentence: Concludes on the statement in
relation to the evidence
provided. Because of this
common structure...

The topic, meaning, and general
aims of a paper can nearly always
be understood through the careful
reading of the first and last sentences
of each paragraph. It is also helpful to keep an eye open for...

Quotes, key terms to the subject, names, dates, graphs, and headings. > All these aspects can help piece together a full picture of
what the text is about. A Reading Method with Comprehension in Mind: SQ4R S - Survey
Q - Question
4xR - Read, Recite, wRite, Review Each letter in SQ4R stands for a step in the process of in-depth reading. Speed Reading is a
useful tool. However, all forms fail to fully convey the content, meaning and purpose of a text... Comprehension
Methods aim to increase understanding
and boost retention. Step 1 - Survey: > Survey the entire text to find out
how it is organized.

> Read the abstract, section
headings, subheadings and
take a look at any graphs,
charts or pictures.

> This process should give you a basic understanding of the major
concepts and ideas. Step 2 - Question: > Write down a question pertaining to each section of the text. > After scanning the entire text, question what you have read. > Having a question for each section will help you to
contemplate what the text is about and gives greater purpose to your reading . Step 3 - Read: > Now it is time to start actually reading the text.

> Read section by section; answering the question
you formulated after completing each section.

> Be sure to pay extra close attention to any words
that are underlined, italicized or in bold print.

> Also be on the look out for quotations and dates. Step 4 - Recite: > Answer the question in your own words. > After reading through the entire text go back and try to recite the question for each section heading. > If you have trouble answering your question accurately and
thoroughly then you don't know the material well enough; you
must go back and reread the troublesome section. Step 5 - wRite: > Once you have answered the questions accurately from
memory write down your answers next to each question.

> Add in notes or any additional questions you may have
concerning this section as well as the question in general.

> This step allows for you to delve more deeply into the material and critically think about how you
understand the material. Step 6 - Review: > The final step in the SQ4R Method is the recitation of learned

> Reread and Recite all your questions and answer them one more time
from memory.

> Skim the entire text one more time to refresh yourself on the

> If you cannot adequately answer a question from memory, go back
and reread. Make sure
to complete the
entire Review
process the day after
first reading the text as
well as at the end of the week
and before any tests or exams. Checklists N R I A I A O G N Z T O R A I A I N > Maintain at least one up-to-date calendar or planner to keep all your
daily meetings, assignments, and responsibilities in check. Schedules > Checklists can help motivate you to accomplish tasks and keep you
aware of how much you have on your platter. It may be helpful to maintain an electronic and physical copy.

Never make exceptions to keeping important items in your calender; repetition and discipline are key to successful organization. Keep checklists for different durations of time. So what are the
best ways to record
this information
effectively? Virtual Forms of Organizing > Using a service such as Google Calendar, you can
easily keep all your appointments and responsibilities
in check.

Ensure Google Calender is linked to all your devices and set to automatically refresh.

> Keeping notes and checklists on your desktop or phone can aid in productivity. & & Physical Forms of Organizing > A small spiral bound planner such as those sold through the campus bookstore can be hugely beneficial in organizing daily responsibilities as well as homework assignments and due dates.

> Keeping notes and reminders in the form of a checklist on a white board allows you to keep track of accomplished tasks and more visually see your progress in relation to all your current responsibilities. The Key to Successful Organizing > The key to organizing successfully is to see organizing as a very individualistic process. No two people will have the exact same preferences; or benefit from any given method to the same degree.

> Additionally you have to be aware of what methods will be most helpful to your lifestyle. For instance, Google calendar has the benefit of being accessible from virtually anywhere via your phone, laptop or tablet. On the other hand, a white board allows you much more flexibility in your notes and checklists but is not nearly as accessible. Labeling Labeling seems like such a simple concept,
yet, it is something which we all tend to overlook at some point.

> Labeling is an extremely simple way to keep everything orderly and simple to
locate. This rule applies to your E-Mail, notes, computer files and class folders.

> Keep your computer files organized by semester > class > type of file (articles, assigned papers, etc.)

> Create labels within GMail to organize your E-Mails according to class, semester or sender. Keep E-mails on file and avoid deleting ones you may need
in the future. > Keep your notebook separated by class and NEVER write notes for one class in another class's section. There is only so
much that can be taught about
organizing. The basic skills and concepts
needed are simple and known by most,
people simply choose not to utilize them. Myth 1: I have to Keep Everything.
Myth 2: There is just too much stuff to organize and too
many interruptions to get it done.
Myth 3: Getting and staying organized takes too much
Myth 4: I am too undisciplined to be organized.
Myth 5: I am simply not organized by
nature. Myth 1: I Have to Keep Everything. > Many people feel that they must keep everything just in case something is needed down the road. This can lead to great difficulty in organizing. Keeping everything means an abundance of things needing to be organized. This makes the process seem too daunting and overwhelming to even begin.

> In reality the average person only uses 15% of the things they file. The other 85% is simply clutter.

> Be smart about what you save and what you discard. Myth 2: There is Just too Much Information and too Many Interruptions to be Organized. > Interruptions from texts, phone calls, E-Mails, friends and the world at large are controllable. It is up to you to block them out and allow yourself the time and space necessary to get organized.

> There is also not "too much information" to organize it just seems like a daunting process to undertake. And indeed beginning the process of becoming organized is difficult but the long term advantage is great.

>You can handle both the interruptions and the amount of information, you simply must focus on the goal at hand. Myth 3: Getting and Staying Organized Takes Too
Much Time. Myth 4: I Am Too Undisciplined to Get Organized FUN WORK Myth 5: I Am Not Organized By Nature > This time commitment is worth it! Once you are organized you will spend less time searching for notes, studying for exams and you will be less stressed by the challenges ahead of you. > Getting organized for the first time does take time, but staying organized
is easy; it only takes a little commitment. > You will spend less time staying organized then you normally waste dealing with the consequences of disorganization. 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 11 12 > Discipline abounds in everyone. The way in which you focus that discipline and motivate yourself to act is what determines how successfully you will organize yourself.

> In order to motivate yourself just consider how much easier everything will be once you are organized. You will literally be exchanging a small amount of initiative for a much easier, more fluid daily experience. You will also save a great deal of time.

> Also, consider the possibility that getting organized will not be a dreadful experience. In fact, sometimes organizing can be a very relaxing and fun experience.

>Play some music and set to organizing one area of your life at
a time. Don't get overwhelmed, or burnt out; take your time. > The most common excuse people give for not being or
getting organized is that they are simply not organized by nature.

> The skills required to become and maintain organization need to be learned and practiced. Very few people were organized all throughout their lives; the vast majority learned organization skills from others and practiced their implementation until they became independently organized.

>Many others believe that their disorganization works for them, and that they do not need to be organized. This is also a false notion; greater organizational skills are universally beneficial. Accepting the need to improve ones organization is a necessary first step to take. Learning is a deeper, more complex process than simply
memorizing facts and figures. However, memorizing can play an important role in achieving good grades and is a useful tool to aid in effective learning.
There are many strategies that people use to memorize
extensive lists of items, in fact, there are world championships designed to crown the worlds best memorization master! So, how can you memorize virtually anything? By using one of these useful strategies of course! The Simplest method of memorization is
one you have certainly tried before, likely with varying results.
The Rote Method is based upon repetition.
The more you repeat something the more likely it is to be remembered. This effect will be much more pronounced if you write the word or concept out by hand rather than type or recite it verbally. The following two memorization techniques
are extremely similar. Both code the information to be remembered into a simpler more easy to remember format.

These two techniques are the Acronym and
the Acrostic. Both code information into invented words or sentences. Acronyms and Acrostics
both code information into
creative, invented words or
sentences. We can more easily
remember and then break down
these invented items into their
constituent parts. The amount of
information you can code is only
limited by your imagination. Acronyms Acrostics > An Acronym is an
invented combination of letters in
which each letter represents a separate concept,
word, or fact. > Perhaps you have heard of Roy G. Biv. This fictional name is an acronym used to remember the spectrum of visible light by wavelength (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet). > The word doesn't even have to be real so long as the sequence of letters
is something you can remember! Try to create your own! > An Acrostic is a sentence in which the first letter of each word represents
a separate fact, word or concept. > Have you ever heard of "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally"?
This Acrostic is used to remember the order of mathematical operations.
(Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction) > Acrostics can be real fun to make. The sentences can be funny or nonsensical, there are no real rules
so long as it is a sentence you can
remember! > For instance, an acrostic to help
remember the order of the planets
from the Sun would use the letters: M,V,E,M,J,S,U,N. A possible acrostic
could be: Mean Velociraptors Eat
Many Jumping Squirrels
Unless Napping. The Peg System: > The Peg System is a somewhat complex memorization technique that when mastered can allow you to remember extensive lists of items.

> The Peg method is almost exclusively used to remember lists of specific items. Because of this its versatility in the classroom is limited. However, it is extremely useful to learn this method in order to simplify other areas of life which require reliable memorization. For instance, once you learn this system you could simply memorize entire grocery lists with ease.

> Lets go through how to learn and use the Peg System to memorize lists. > To use the
Peg System, you must first
create a personal list of items.

> The number of items you create for your personal list will determine how many items you will be able to remember.

> It is highly advised to somehow link
the created item on your personal
list to whatever number it
may align with. 1. Sun
2. Shoes
3. Bees
4. Doors
5. Hives
6. Chicks A Common way to do this is by rhyming them. This shall be our Peg List, using it we will be able to memorize any new list of six or more items. Step 1: Memorize
your created list of items. Be
sure you know them EXTREMELY
well. Step 3: For instance, given the new list...
1. Milk 2. Watches 3. Honey 4. Golf Balls
Associate with Your list...
1. Sun 2. Shoes 3. Bees 4. Doors Step 2: Once you have these items
remembered you can use your personal list
to remember new lists by visually associating new items to the old item for each number. The more vivid the visualization the better. Close your Eyes and

1. Milk curdling
in the hot sun,
boiling out of
its carton.

2. A pair of
shoes with
watches as

3. Bees swarming
around their honey. 1. Sun 2. Shoes
3. Bees 4. Doors.
5. Hives etc... A common way to
associate the created words
with each number is to rhyme
them with one another.

Using this strategy lets use the created list: Using this created list
we will be able to
easily memorize any
five items. Once you have made
these vivid visualizations it
will be easy for you to think back
to your personal list which you have
memorized thoroughly and make the
visual connections to the items
on the new list. You can reuse your created
list whenever necessary. l n A final
memorization technique
is known as the Method of Loci,
or Journey Method. This is
similar to the Peg System as it
requires you to associate new
items to an all already known,
linear journey. The key to this
method is choosing a path,
road or journey that you are extremely familiar with. Lets
use Main Street in the
Sakowich Center as an
example. 1. Socks
2. Kangaroo
3. Onions
4. Einstein The list we want
to remember:
The strength of the Journey
method lies in how easy it is to
remember the order of items
on a given list. The Journey Method
requires you to associate items from
the list with landmarks you see along your chosen path... In this case Main Street
through the Sakowich Center. Entering from the academic
quad the first landmark we
will use is the large glass
double doors. Close your eyes and picture
a pair of socks lying on the
ground right in front of the doors.

The more you focus on the details of
the image the better you will
remember it. Continuing
through the Sak the next landmark is the staircase
coming down from the
second floor. The second
item on our list is
Kangaroo. Once again,
close your eyes and
visualize a kangaroo jumping
down the stairs towards you. Do
this several times each time
making sure to make it more
and more detailed. Continue
this strategy for each
item on your list. Use landmarks you know well and that you can easily remember the order of. Also, be sure to add as much detail as
possible to each
image. If you take the time to create an image for each item on a given list and link them to points along a path it will be incredibly easy for you to recall numerous items in order with little difficulty. These are only a few of many
memorization techniques. Each one
has its own strengths and weaknesses
but it is important to remember that each
also has the possibility of making you
stronger academically, not to mention simplify
your everyday life. The key to making the
most of any technique is to practice it and
give it time. Even with these techniques
memorizing vast amounts of
information is no simple feat. There are three aspects to being a successful test taker. 1. Know your material.
The most simple way to ensure you do well on an exam is to know your material and to be prepared.
2. Manage your stress and anxiety.
Many people experience anxiety and stress leading up to an exam. Mitigating these feelings can help you remain calm, cool and collected. You will in turn be more confident and capable.
3. Know how each type of test works and what strategies to employ should you find yourself
stuck or at a loss for answers. Being
Prepared Being Prepared Vary Your
Studying to Maximize the amount you Learn and Retain. Study throughout
the week prior to the exam. Each day read over notes or take a practice exam. Spend at least half an hour each day. The day before the
exam devote more time
and energy to making sure
you know all the information. This should fill in any gaps in understanding you didn't
pick up throughout
the week. 1 2 3 Exam Day Week Prior
Exam Day Do a final last run
through of all your
materials before the exam
to make sure all the information is fresh
in your mind. Feed Your Brain! Tips for a happy brain:
1. Don't Stay up all night cramming. Study incrementally over a period of time.
2. Get a good nights rest before an exam, at least 7
hours of sleep!
3. Eat a well rounded breakfast,
and skip the coffee!
4. Arrive to the test early
so as to get settled
in and comfortable. Once you receive the test, look the whole
thing over to get a general idea of what
is involved and how you want to begin. If there are multiple
sections to the
exam try to nail
down what the
point values are
for each section.
This will help you prioritize. Also, be sure you are familiar with any
time limits associated with different sections as well
as the exam
as a whole. Begin by going through and answering all
the questions you know instantly.
These questions you want to get
out of the way so as to focus
on more challenging ones. If you are left with questions you do not know the answer
to it becomes necessary to formulate the best
possible answer you can. Objective questions and Essay questions. The strategy you use to determine the best possible answer depends on what type of question you are
facing. Questions can take one of two basic forms. Essay Questions Essay questions include any questions
which require you to write an
answer in complete sentences
to demonstrate understanding. Objective Questions Objective questions test your knowledge through recalling facts, figures and concepts without necessarily requiring you to apply them. These questions can take many forms, including... > Multiple Choice
> Fill-In-The-Blank
> True-False
> Matching Now lets look at some
strategies specific to
different forms of
objective exams... Matching
Questions Matching questions require
you to match one term to another.

Here's a good strategy...

1. Read all of the options in both
columns of words.

2. Go through an answer only those you are
100% certain of. Cross off the terms you use.

3. Go back through the lists working with the remaining words and answering them methodically. True
False 1. Look for qualifying words such as "always, never, best, worst". Questions which include such words are typically false. This is because few things are always anything and words such as best or worst are typically opinions.

2. However, should a qualifying word sit next to a word such as
"seldom, often, few or some" the question is likely true. These
words mitigate the exclusivity of the qualifying words.

3. Don't over-analyze. Do not look for deeper meaning or
hidden complexity within these questions. Take them as is
and do the best you can. Most people view true-false questions as an all or nothing deal. You either know the answer to
the question or you have to make a 50/50 guess on it. However, there are some strategies to
help you "guess" the correct answer. Multiple Choice Questions 1. Regardless of how well you think you know the answer to a multiple choice question, read all available options.

2. If you can answer the question, wonderful; if not, go through the options and cross out answers you know to be incorrect.

3. Remember to look for qualifying words within the possible answers. This rule applies here as well. Should you still be unable to answer the question it is time to make the best
possible guess you can. When making a guess remember these strategies. 1. Rarely are consecutive answers the same. Should the answer to question #3 be
option C. The chances of question #4 being option C are diminished. The more
consecutive like answers there are the more unlikely another like answer will follow.

2. The overall occurrence of each answer is likely to be similar. At the end of the
test there should be roughly similar numbers of all the possible options.
Having 20 option C's on a 25 question exam likely means something
is amiss.

3. Statistically, option B and C are more commonly
correct than other options.
Exam questions are in many ways more difficult than objective questions. They require you to apply or demonstrate class content in a well written yet time sensitive format. Exam Questions Tips for Essay Questions 2. Remember your audience. You are writing to your professor with the goal of demonstrating your mastery of course material. 1. Focus on answering the question being asked. Do not include more information than needed but be sure you answer the question in its entirety. A Few Final Points:

> Studying for an essay exam can be tough, try
searching for connections between content and looking at what parts make up the big picture.

> How you say something is just as important as what you are actually saying. Be sure to use key words and terms CORRECTLY and frequently.

> Plan out your essay. Before beginning to compose
jot down all the major points you want to
hit upon and make a simple outline. The term
"Learning Styles" is used
by different people in different ways to describe different concepts.

There is no single accurate definition of what learning
styles are. You have likely heard of VAK/VARK model of learning styles before. This model breaks learning styles down into 3 primary groups. This model was designed by Neil Fleming. Aural Learners Kinistetic Learners Visual Learners Visual Learners: Learn best from visual stimuli. This is to say these people collects and process information most effectively when the information is presented in a visual format. This could include pictures, graphs, charts, film or first hand observation.

Kinistetic Learners: Learn best through interacting with stimuli. These people absorb and integrate information most effectively through interacting directly with stimuli. Building, creating art or interacting during observation are ways in which these people best process their experience.

Aural Learners: These people learn best when information is presented to
them in the form of sound. Audio clips, lectures and presentations all
allow these people to listen and collect information aurally. The VAK/VARK Model is only one of many learning styles models. Other models break learning styles into completely different groups and some models view the concept of learning styles in a completely different manner all together. David Kolb formulated a model of learning styles comprising two possible ways of grasping experience and two possible ways of processing the experience after the event has taken place. Kolb's Model Ways of Perceiving Experience -
> Concrete Experience (Feeling): Learning from specific experiences and relating to people. Sensitive to other's feelings.

> Abstract Conceptualization (Thinking) : Logical analysis of ideas and acting on
intellectual understanding of a situation.

Ways of Processing Experience -
> Reflective Observation (Watching): Observing before making a judgment by viewing the environment from different perspectives. Looks for the meaning of things.

> Active Experimentation (Doing): Ability to get things done by influencing people and events through action. Includes risk-taking. > To pull all the complex words together into a simple basic theme, Kolb's model emphasizes the interplay between experience and how we process this experience.

> He notes that most people develop strength in one experience approach and one processing approach. These combinations lead to a person's learning style... Converger Learning Style Perception Continuum Processing Continuum Concrete Experience Active Experimentation Abstract Conceptualization Reflective Observation Accommodating
Learning Style Converging
Learning Style Diverging
Learning Style Assimilating
Learning Style Graphically, Kolb's Model
looks something like this... As you can see, a person's learning style is determined by the interaction
of their preferred perception style
and preferred processing style. Let us take a look at what each of these learning styles means... Accommodators use trial and error rather than thought and reflection. These people are good at adapting to changing circumstances; and at solving problems in an intuitive, trial-and-error manner. These individuals also tend to enjoy working and learning with others. Accommodator Learning Style Diverger Learning Style Assimilator Learning Style Convergers emphasize the practical application and utility of ideas and problem solving. They like decision-making, problem-solving, and the practical application of ideas. These individuals prefer technical problems over interpersonal issues. Divergers utilize their innate innovative and imaginative nature to approach and do things. They view concrete situations from many perspectives and adapt through observation rather than by action. These people tend to be interested in people and tend to be feeling-oriented. They like activities such as cooperative groups and brainstorming. Assimilators pull a number of different observations and thoughts into an integrated whole. They like to reason inductively and to create models and theories. These individuals also like to design projects and experiments. Fleming and Kolb both view learning styles very differently; and, many other theories exist. However, all theories have their criticisms.

Try taking the Learning Styles Inventory (LSI) to
find out more about your personal learning style. Being an active learner
is the MOST IMPORTANT key to
academic success. Follow these overarching
and hugely important rules everyday.

> Listen intently in class.
> Take clean notes.
> Care about your learning and your education.
> Be an engaged and interested participant in
> Be proud of what you produce. Make every
assignment something you would be proud to show to your biggest critic. Five Myths of Organizing.
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