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To Rebecca who asked about the relevancy of Ellis' book and why everyone at
CRLA was not talking about it.
 
Sorry I missed seeing you in Tempe!  I asked if you had registered and was
told that you were, but if our paths crossed, I am unaware of it.
 
To the point, here are my comments regarding the issues you raise.
 
1.      Most of us who are members of CRLA have seen and used the Ellis
materials at one time.  I originally purchased this book in 1982 or 83 when
it was called College Survival Skills and Dave Ellis was a newcomer to the
scene (the first text was prepared on a typewriter).  Although I believe
the book has some value for some courses, some situations, and some
colleges, we do not find that it is the best match for our students.  Ellis
has some good ideas and some good presentations, but overall the text is
not a study skills book but is meant for orientation courses.  Actually,
The Master Student is being used for one study skills course in one college
of R.U. and is used for one orientation course for another R.U. college.
        I have found that "traditional" college students are turned off by
The Master Student:  they feel that it speaks down to them and treats them
in an elementary fashion.  It tends to speaks well to the student who is
first-generation or who was not academically oriented in high school.
Adult students feel that it is demeaning and too "elementary."
        Personnally, I like Pauk's book, and Nancy Woods, and
Kolzow/Lehmann, and Gardner/Jewler, and Weinsheimer, and Shepherd, and
Whimbey, etc., etc.
 
2.      I think you have been given some inflated information (2,000-3,500
colleges use The Master Student).  First, if that were the case, then where
are the colleges which use one of the other scores/hundreds of other texts
that are out there?  Secondly, what does "use" mean?  Our learning centers
-- of which there are 5 -- each own a copy of The Master Student.  We have
a copy or two of every study skills, learning strategy development,
orientation text, etc., etc., as well as videos, computer software, etc. in
each center and try to steer each student to the appropriate material to
enable him/her to find the best personal means of learning.  However, I
certainly would not say that the LRCs "use" The Master Student in the sense
that it is the primary means of teaching/learning about learning.
 
3.      Every professional in the field has his or her favorite
terminology.  We've tried to define every term over the years, but I feel
that our field is still too new and emerging to worry about ABSOLUTE
definitions.  You refer to "success strategies" and "study skills" and
comment that "this term is more widely used."  Did you mean that "study
skills" is more widely used?  Where?  In the conference sessions that you
attended?  In the reading in the field that you are doing?
        Study skills is the long-used term dating at least from Robinson's
book in the early 40's.  Personally I prefer the term "learning
strategies".  Learning strategies can lead to success when other factors
are included, such as motiviation, drive, perseverance, inquiry, etc.
However, I firmly believe that one person's successful learning strategy
may not necessarily be successful for the next person.  Everyone must be
given the opportunity to find his or her personal learning strategy that
leads to success.
        I don't think this is such a big issue in the field as a whole.  It
IS a big issue at my institution, however, because the majority of faculty
see "study skills" as those lessons and activities which are mandated for
eighth grade instruction and never refered to again in the pre-college
environment.  Leaving that terminology behind in our centers helps us to
gain some recognition that what we are dealing with is collegiate learning
strategies which lead to academic success.
 
Well, I've certainly had my say!  As you can see, some issues elicit a
greater amount of comment -- and which issue elicits that comment is always
personal, too.
 
        Karen
 
 
 
************************************
>After returning from CRLA I compared notes with a fellow study skills
>instructor who attended a David Ellis workshop Master STudent/Student
> sucess.  I learned from my colleague two things that I heard no
>mention of at CRLA.  Can anyone comment on these "trends" for me?
>
>1.  2,000/3,500 schools use the Master Student.  (Study skills instructors
>    I spoke with at CRLA did not use or care for this text).
>
>2.  "Success strategies" for college is more representative of what is
>   taught than "study skills" and this term is more widely used.  (I did
>    not hear anyone use "success strategies" at CRLA).
>
>I either did not talk to the people in the "know" at CRLA or there are some
>curious discrepancies.  I believe the latter to be correct as what I heard
>seemed to be the cutting edge of research, technology and innovation.  I'd
>really like some comment on this.               me interact with my
>   leagues here.
>
>Very confused,
>Rebecca Pollard Cole
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Karen G. Smith, University Director
Learning Resource Centers
P.O. Box 5062
Rutgers University
New Brunswick, NJ 08903
908-932-1443 / fax: 908-932-1453
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