Study Smarter, Not Harder

One of the major tasks in college teaching is helping students develop appropriate study skills and engage in class preparations that will bring them much success in your course.  How to Get Your Students to Come Prepared describes the use of “class preparation assignments” as informal, structured assignments that motivate students to complete all pre-class preparations (e.g., assigned readings) and engage in higher-order learning activities during the class session.  Why Students Should Be Taking Notes outlines findings from a research study that highlights how undergraduate students engaged in restructured note-taking opportunities serve as more meaningful learning opportunities compared to passively receiving instructors’ pre-made PowerPoint slides and lecture notes.

Mark your calendars!  The Rutgers TA Project is hosting a panel discussion, Helping Your Undergraduates Learn How to Study, led by experienced TAs from the Computer Science, Education, and Psychology departments who will share their insights on useful ways to engage their undergraduate students in “studying smarter, not harder.” Join us on Thursday, March 12th at 12:00pm in the Busch Campus Center (Room 117) for this TA professional development panel discussion.  Register here.

Planning Ahead for the Spring Semester

Welcome to the Spring 2015 semester!  In light of the “new semester” feeling, this blog entry explores some useful college teaching tips to consider when supporting students to “study smarter, not harder” in your lecture and recitation sessions.  The Faculty Focus article, It’s Not Too Early to Begin Preparing Students for Cumulative Finals, shares strategies to be incorporated throughout the course experience that support students’ preparations for final assessments.  These discussed strategies include making connections to earlier content, assigning students to develop meaningful final exam questions, and forming semester-long study groups.  Tomorrow’s Professor e-newsletter entry, Note-Taking Pairs, highlights the teaching technique of pairing students as note-taking partners and how this looks across different college classroom structures including large lectures and online classes.

Mark your calendars!  The Rutgers TA Project is hosting a panel discussion, Recitation Planning across the Disciplines, led by experienced TAs from the Anthropology, Ecology, and Plant Biology departments who will share their insights on useful ways to engage their undergraduate students during recitations periods.  Join us on Wednesday, February 4th at 12:00pm in the Busch Campus Center (Room 117) for this TA professional development panel discussion.  Register here.