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Deborah & all,

I love the exercise suggested by Gary Probst! I'm a big fan of this kind of
consciousness-raising exercise. More often than not, it's a matter of
selling the students on study habits. As an addendum:

Give two groups of students the same list of 20 or so words. (Pick keywords
at random from an upper-level textbook, so that a good many are unfamiliar
to them.) Tell them it's simply a memory exercise. Give one group a simple
set of directions, such as "Memorize the following 20 words. You have 10
minutes to review the list right now. You will be quizzed tomorrow morning."
Give the other group more directive instructions: "Memorize the following 20
words. You will have 10 minutes to review the list right now. You might find
it helpful to write the words down to review them later. Suggestion: try
grouping the words into categories, either by meaning, by the roots or
prefixes or suffixes, or even by initial letter. Quiz yourself a few times
between now and tomorrow morning, to make sure you can, indeed, recall all
20. You will be quizzed tomorrow morning."

Quiz the students, and have them compare notes about scores and how they
prepared. The exercise may help raise consciousness about careful reading of
instructions and taking initiative in learning, especially if a student
opines, "But I thought I only had 10 minutes!" Students will, one would
hope, start seeing good memory less as a function that one either has or
doesn't have, and more as a result of memory-reinforcing habits.

--Steve Runge
Academic Skills Coordinator
St. Lawrence U.
Canton, NY 13617
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>Deborah Pratt Sawoscinski wrote:
>
>> This is probably a poorly-timed question with folks breaking for a few
>> days, but I would like to do an activity as part of a study skills
>> workshop/tutorial that helps students
>> experience/discover the fact that it takes time and focus to learn.