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Ewan McIntosh

Study skills are taught explicitly in most Scottish schools and have been since I was at school. Time management, optimum length of study, how to use free time, how to organise notes and resources throughout the year ready for the final exam push. I might ask if one of the 'experts' there could write a blog post to outline the principles.

Try my friends at Kelso High School: http://www.kelso.scotborders.sch.uk/publications/study_skills.htm

and the BBC's popular Onion Street: http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/communities/onionstreet/skills/

Let me know if you would like any more successful strategies from Scotland!

Ewan McIntosh

And another one: http://www.jcu.edu.au/studying/services/studyskills/studysmart/

Bronwyn G

Here is at least one free resource that I greatly appreciate - and that your students can contribute tips to:


I am sure the Reading tips are especially relevant to achieving the outcomes the students want to achieve. I also recommend the guidance on alternative methods, especially mind maps. They are great, especially for planning an essay in the expositery/analytical form.

Oh, yes. Planning is important. See if the students can anaalyse themselves according to how they followed their agreed plan.

Dana Huff

My classroommate designed and together we implement a two-week study skills course. I'll ask her for you where she found stuff. I know some of it came from Mel Levine's All Kinds of Minds.

B. Durbin

Heh. I was one of those students who excelled at everything, not only getting good grades but actually learning a great deal of material.

And my study skills are *terrible.* I don't take notes. I don't manage my time well. Studying doesn't happen. I did manage to break the procrastination habit, but not before I picked up the incidental skill of the night-before-ten-page-paper.

Along the way, I ended up with some odd combination of signs that something was a little off. I aced philosophy and history but not English, ravenous reader though I am. My planned papers usually took a sideways turn along the way.

I finally figured it out. It took me years— and a college degree through the Honors program— but I figured out why nothing quite fit.

You see, in life there are two major modes of thinking. One is the logical mode, in which premise is built on premise until a conclusion is reached. The other is the intuitive, the grasping of a concept as a whole.

I am an intuitive thinker, trained in a logical mode. Scholarship is, of course, a highly logical pursuit, or at least it is taught that way.

I can fake the logical style of thinking well enough to get a degree in it. Or even to write what seems to be a reasoned, logical explanation of my brain. But it's so unnatural to me that it comes out in certain ways like not taking notes or not analyzing the story in enough depth because I'm too taken by the gestalt of the concept.

And it means that my study skills are really, really bad.

So why am I bothering to write this? Just as a caution— while many or most of your students will do well to learn good study skills, a small percentage might actually find them harmful. While certain skill sets did me good— self-discipline is a useful skill to learn— others engendered a certain amount of frustration. They stifled me. I was lucky enough to find a way out of that particular problem... mostly... but not every student will be able to do so, particularly not at a young age. The only real warning sign is stress.

Admittedly, the problems such stresses cause are not likely to show up for years. But I thought I'd give you a warning from the minority.


I am sure that we - and most UK universities - could repeat your findings with degree-level students. Which becomes an increasing problem the more you expect students to do. If you are teaching them at to perform optimally to meet exam markers' criteria, study skills can be glossed over. If, on the other hand, you aspire to train them to be critical, analytical thinkers capable of original, independent study, you need them to have a sound underlying approach to their work.

Which is why we - and almost all UK unis - have a team that works with students and teaching staff alike to support generic skills development.

Have a look at what we're up to at http://studentacademicsupport.abertay.ac.uk. You're more than welcome to use materials we've produced taken from our database, so long as you let us know and credit us.

John Lloyd

I'm for systematically and explicitly teaching students how to study. Among special educators, there are some well-known strategies for students with disabilities available from the good folks at the Kansas Center for Research on Learning: http://www.ku-crl.org/downloads/.

Of course, it helps heaps if the students actually are fluent readers, competent calculators, and etc. That is, we might teach all the study skills we can, but they will be of little use if the students do not have the fundamental tools used in studying.


I find this blog is very workable and important. This blog is provide good teaching student skill.


Awesome post! I love stuff like this.

ffxiv gil

Admittedly, the problems such stresses cause are not likely to show up for years. But I thought I'd give you a warning from the minority.

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