A summary of the research on how to study

by Stephanie Chasteen on December 19, 2011

To follow up on the last post on the videos pitched to students on how to study, I want to direct your attention to a wonderful resource I just found out about: Organizing Instruction and Study to Improve Student Learning.

It was published by IES, the Institute for Educational Sciences, which is the scientific arm of the federal education department.  I’m familiar with the work of many of the authors — cognitive psychologist Hal Pashler (who I interviewed for my podcast on learning styles), psychologists Mark McDaniels and Janet Metcalfe, among others.

It’s a nicely consice collection of recommendations, with two-page summaries for each one:
1. Space learning
2. Interleave worked examples with practice
3. Combine graphics w/ verbal descriptions
4. Connect abstract and concrete represent ations
5. Use quizzing to promote learning
6. Help students plan their time.
7. Ask deep questions.

Table 2 on page 13 summarizes the recommendations and the level of support for each of them. Page 15 has a checklist for all these. The 2-pagers begin on page 16.

Tip of the hat to Ido Roll for pointing this one out.

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