If being a student were a job (depending on who you ask, it is) then the primary skillsets required would be studying and learning–and doing them well. How to master and execute these skills is one of many reasons why students gathered at the Academic Achievement Center at Rowe Hall on Wednesday evening.
Two master coaches from the AAC led the event: Jodi Gray, a fifth-semester human development and family studies major, and Dylan Block, a seventh-semester double major in communication and psychology. In tandem with the sharing of experiences and techniques they found useful, the coaches actively engaged those in attendance. For example, students were asked to write down the study skills they have used in the past and then shared them with the councilors and fellow students.
“They [Gray and Block] were discussing mind maps and that is something I have never been exposed to. A lot of people seem to use this strategy and I think now I am more apt to use it,” first-semester business major Kelly Finn said.
Everyone learns differently and it may come easily to some but not others. This sentiment was examined by the lecturers by also explaining the primary forms of learning, which are auditory, visual and kinesthetic. Students at the event were given a handout that examined each form of learning, ultimately allowing students to determine what kind of learner they are. Just about every student in the room was determined to be a visual learner when polled by Gray and Block.
This may surprise some, but given the age we live in, dominated by technology and the overload of visual stimuli available on the internet, it may not be. If one considers how professors around campus utilize power point in their lectures, visual resources are abundant.
Throughout the talk, different tactics and techniques for organization and time management were discussed and explored. The group was given a list of tools, called the students studying toolkit that are used to study. There were many, such as teaching: yourself, highlighting, rewriting every word, note taking, summarizing chapters, re-reading, flashcards, study groups, attending office hours and mnemonic devices such as acronyms.
With this list, the lecturers wanted to share with the group the most and least effective strategies. The three most effective strategies were: practice tests/problems, studying over time and teaching others.
“They taught us about the five day study plan which I found to be incredibly useful, because you know, a lot of people cram at the last minute,” first-semester-molecular cell biology major Alyssa Addesso said.
The AAC makes all of their resources available online at achieve.uconn.edu, and one may find a more thorough understanding of theory and strategies, through the Pomodoro Technique and Bloom’s Taxonomy.
“We want to see students succeed and we just try to be a big support system by offering them many different resources as much as we possibly can,” Gray said.
Matthew Gilbert is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.