Challenges of Shaping Student Study Strategies for Success
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.
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