Challenges of Shaping Student Study Strategies for Success

Keywords: successive relearning, study methods, students as partners, retrieval practice, spaced practice

Abstract

This paper reports results from a mixed-methods intervention conducted in partnership between a faculty member and an undergraduate to shape student study strategies for success in an introductory course. The instructor provided students with information on the effectiveness of the successive relearning study strategy, conducted an in-class demonstration of the strategy, and explained how students could apply the strategy to their study plan for the first exam. Students were asked about their planned study behaviors for the first exam before the intervention and exam and about their actual study behaviors for the exam after the intervention and exam. Students were asked before the intervention what an instructor could do to convince them to try a new strategy, and again after the intervention whether or not they adopted the new strategy and why. Quantitative results indicated that the intervention had no effect on students’ study behaviors, contrary to the predictions of the prior literature. Qualitative analyses suggested that students were open to learning more effective ways to study and thought that interventions like the one used in this investigation would convince them to try a new strategy. However, students were unable to use successive relearning because of procrastination and time management issues.

Author Biographies

Trent Maurer, Georgia Southern University

Trent W. Maurer is a Professor of Child and Family Development at Georgia Southern University (USA). He teaches courses in Family Science, Child Development, and the University Honors Program.

Catelyn Shipp, Georgia Southern University

Catelyn Shipp is a Clinical Research Coordinator III at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (USA). She graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2019 with a major in Psychology and a minor in Child and Family Development.

References

Beattie, Graham, Jean-William P. Laliberté, and Philip Oreopoulos. 2018. “Thrivers and Divers: Using Non-Academic Measures to Predict College Success and Failure.” Economics of Education Review 62: 170–82. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.econedurev.2017.09.008.

Blasiman, Rachael N., John Dunlosky, and Katherine A. Rawson. 2017. “The What, How Much, and When of Study Strategies: Comparing Intended Versus Actual Study Behaviour.” Memory 25, no. 6: 784–92. https://doi.org/10.1080/09658211.2016.1221974.

Boser, Ulrich. 2019. “Teaching the Skill of Learning to Learn.” Inside Higher Education, February 19, 2019. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/advice/2019/02/19/advice-faculty-members-how-teach-students-how-learn-opinion.

Dembo, Myron H., and Helena P. Seli. 2004. “Students’ Resistance to Change in Learning Strategies Courses.” Journal of Developmental Education 27, no. 3: 2–11.

Dobson, John L. 2011. “The Effect of Selected ‘Desirable Difficulty’ Learning Strategies on the Retention of Physiology Information.” Advances in Physiology Education 35, no. 4 378–83.

Dobson, John L. 2012. “The Effect of Uniform Versus Expanding Retrieval Practice on the Recall of Physiology Information.” Advances in Physiology Education 36, no. 1: 6–12.

Dobson, John L. 2013. “Retrieval Practice is an Efficient Method for Enhancing the Retention of Anatomy and Physiology Course Information.” Advances in Physiology Education 37, no. 2: 184–91.

Dobson, John L., and Tracy Linderholm. 2014. “The Effect of Selected “Desirable Difficulties” on the Ability to Recall Anatomy Information.” Anatomical Sciences Education 8, no. 5: 395–403. https://doi.org/10.1002/ase.1489.

Dobson, John L., and Tracy Linderholm. 2015. “Self-Testing Promotes Superior Retention of Anatomy and Physiology Information.” Advances in Health Sciences Education 20, no. 1: 149–61.

Dunlosky, John, and Katherine A. Rawson. 2015. “Practice Tests, Spaced Practice, and Successive Relearning: Tips for Classroom Use and for Guiding Students’ Learning.” Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, 1, 72–78. https://doi.org/10.1037/stl0000024.

Felten, Peter. 2013. “Principles of Good Practice in SoTL.” Teaching & Learning Inquiry: The ISSOTL Journal 1, no. 1: 121–25. http://doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.1.1.121.

Felten, Peter, Julianne Bagg, Michael Bumbry, Jennifer Hill, Karen Hornsby, Maria Pratt, and Saranne Weller. 2013. “A Call for Expanding Inclusive Student Engagement in SoTL.” Teaching & Learning Inquiry: The ISSOTL Journal 1, no. 2: 63–74. http://doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.1.2.63.

Georgia Southern University. n.d. NSSE 2015: Frequencies and Statistical Comparisons. Retrieved from https://em.georgiasouthern.edu/ir/nsse/.

Gurung, Regan A. R., David B. Daniel, and R. Eric Landrum. 2012. “A Multisite Study of Learning in Introductory Psychology Courses.” Teaching of Psychology 39, no. 3: 170–75. https://doi.org/10.1177/0098628312450428.

Hartwig, Marissa K., and John Dunlosky. 2012. “Study Strategies of College Students: Are Self-Testing and Scheduling Related to Achievement?” Psychonomic Bulletin Review 19, no. 1: 126–34. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-011-0181-y.

Hattie, John A. C. 2009. Visible Learning: A Synthesis of Over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement. New York, NY: Routledge.

Hattie, John, John Biggs, and Nola Purdie. 1996. “Effects of Learning Skills Interventions on Student Learning: A Meta-Analysis.” Review of Educational Research 66, no. 2: 99–136.

Hora, Matthew T., and Amanda K. Oleson. 2017. “Examining Study Habits in Undergraduate STEM Courses from a Situative Perspective.” International Journal of STEM Education 4, no. 1: Article 1. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40594-017-0055-6.

Hutchings, Pat (2000). Opening Lines: Approaches to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Menlo Park, CA: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning.

Karpicke, Jeffrey D., Andrew C. Butler, and Henry L. Roediger. 2009. “Metacognitive Strategies in Student Learning: Do Students Practise Retrieval When they Study on Their Own?” Memory 17, no. 4: 471–79. https://doi.org/10.1080/09658210802647009.

Kerby, Dave S. 2014. “The Simple Difference Formula: An Approach to Teaching Nonparametric Correlation.” Comprehensive Psychology 3, no. 1: 1–9. https://doi.org/10.2466/11.IT.3.1.

Kornell, Nate, and Robert A. Bjork. 2007. “The Promise and Perils of Self-Regulated Study.” Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 14, no. 2: 219–24.

Kruger, Justin, and David Dunning. 1999. “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 77, no. 6: 1121–34. https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.77.6.1121.

Logan, Jessica M., Alan D. Castel, Sara Haber, and Emily J. Viehman. 2012. “Metacognition and the Spacing Effect: The Role of Repetition, Feedback, and Instruction on Judgments of Learning for Massed and Spaced Rehearsal.” Metacognition Learning 7, no. 3: 175–95. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11409-012-9090-3.

Maurer, Trent W. 2017. “Guidelines for Authorship Credit, Order, and Co-inquirer Learning in Collaborative Faculty-Student SoTL Projects.” Teaching & Learning Inquiry 5, no. 1: 115–31. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.5.1.9.

Maurer, Trent W., Laura Frost, Diana Sturges, Simone Charles, Deborah Allen, Michelle Cawthorn, Cherry C. Brewton. 2009. “Faculty and Student Perceptions of Influences on Post-Exam Attendance.” Journal of Scholarship on Teaching & Learning 9, no. 3: 38–55. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.iu.edu/journals/index.php/josotl/article/view/2141.

McCabe, Jennifer. 2011. “Metacognitive Awareness of Learning Strategies in Undergraduates.” Memory & Cognition 39, no. 3: 462–76. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13421-010-0035-2.

Manor, Christopher, Stephen Bloch-Schulman, Kelly Flannery, and Peter Felten. 2010. “Foundations of Student-Faculty Partnerships in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Theoretical and Developmental Considerations.” In Engaging Student Voices in the Study of Teaching and Learning, edited by Carmen Werder and Megan M. Otis, 3–15. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Morehead, Kayla, Matthew G. Rhodes, and Sarah DeLozier. 2016. “Instructor and Student Knowledge of Study Strategies.” Memory 24, no. 2: 257–71. https://doi.org/10.1080/09658211.2014.1001992.

Mueller, Caroline. 2019. “Learning about Learning: A Student Perspective. In Improve with Metacognition (Spring 2019: The Evolution of Metacognition), edited by Audra Schaefer. Retrieved from https://www.improvewithmetacognition.com/a-student-perspective/.

Oreopoulos, Philip, Richard W. Patterson, Uros Petronijevic, and Nolan G. Pope. 2019. When Studying and Nudging Don’t Go as Planned: Unsuccessful Attempts to Help Traditional and Online College Students (NBER Working Paper No. 25036). Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research. Retrieved from http://www.nber.org/papers/w25036.

Oreopoulos, Philip, and Uros Petronijevic. 2019. The Remarkable Unresponsiveness of College Students to Nudging and What We Can Learn from It (EdWorkingPaper No. 19-102). Providence, RI: Annenberg Institute. Retrieved from http://www.edworkingpapers.com/ai19-102.

Otis, Megan M., and Joyce D. Hammond. 2010. “Participatory Action Research as a Rationale for Student Voices in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.” In Engaging Student Voices in the Study of Teaching and Learning, edited by Carmen Werder and Megan M. Otis, 32–48. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Patton, Michael Q. 2002. Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods, 3rd Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Persky, Adam M., and Shelby L. Hudson. 2016. “A Snapshot of Student Study Strategies across a Professional Pharmacy Curriculum: Are Students Using Evidence-Based Practice?” Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning 8, no. 2: 141–47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cptl.2015.12.010.

Putnam, Adam L., Victor W. Sungkhasettee, and Henry L. Roediger. 2016. “Optimizing Learning in College: Tips from Cognitive Psychology.” Perspectives on Psychological Science 11, no. 5: 652–60. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691616645770.

Rawson, Katherine A., John Dunlosky, and Sharon M. Sciartelli. 2013. “The Power of Successive Relearning: Improving Performance on Course Exams and Long-Term Retention.” Educational Psychology Review 25, no. 4: 523–48. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-013-9240-4.

Robles, M. M., and M. T. Roberson. 2014. “The State of Studying and Learning in Business Schools Today: Applying an Expectancy Theory Framework.” The Journal of Research in Business Education LVI, no. 1: 17–31.

Roediger, Henry L., and Mary A. Pyc. 2012. “Inexpensive Techniques to Improve Education: Applying Cognitive Psychology to Enhance Educational Practice.” Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition 1, no. 4: 242–48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jarmac.2012.09.002.

Rodriguez, Fernando, Mariela J. Rivas, Lani H. Matsuura, Mark Warschauer, and Brian K. Sato. 2018. “How Do Students Study in STEM Courses? Findings from a Light-Touch Intervention and Its Relevance for Underrepresented Students.” PLoS ONE 13, no. 7: 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0200767.

Werder, Carmen, Shevell Thibou, and Blair Kaufer. 2012. “Students as Co-inquirers: A Requisite Threshold Concept in Educational Development?” Journal of Faculty Development 26, no. 3: 34–38.

Werder, Carmen, Luke Ware, Cora Thomas, and Erik Skogsberg. 2010. “Students in Parlor Talk on Teaching and Learning: Conversational Scholarship.” In Engaging Student Voices in the Study of Teaching and Learning, edited by Carmen Werder and Megan M. Otis, 16–31. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Published
2021-03-07
How to Cite
Maurer, Trent, and Catelyn Shipp. 2021. “Challenges of Shaping Student Study Strategies for Success”. Teaching & Learning Inquiry 9 (1), 241-57. https://doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.9.1.16.