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Reviewing Course Material

Create a Comment Bank

Keep a bank of comments about frequent errors students make and organize them in groups for easy access—if you see many errors on the same topic, keep those related comments together. Consider grouping comments according to module, assignment, or chapter. Then, use these banked comments as problem-solving exercises for the students to investigate and develop responses in groups. You could use the results of this activity to develop an FAQ for the course to post for current and future students.

Unwrap the Class

Ask two students to “unwrap the class” by summarizing what happened in the previous class meeting. This technique allows students to refocus on the course material and provides a segue to discussing the current day’s topic. You may want to alert students at the end of class that it will be their turn to unwrap the class at the next meeting as a courtesy.

Final Exam Review – Studying Technique

The final exam period for students is typically marked by high anxiety. In many classes, students may be responsible to study content from an entire semester of from the last mid-term exam. Studying multiple chapters of a textbook and reviewing extensive notes can be overwhelming even for the strongest of students.

Memory theory affirms that human’s ability to access information is often related to how much the information is rehearsed. An important tip to give your students is to encourage them not to read too much at one time, such as an entire chapter. Instead, suggest to your students that they read by subheading and stop after each section to ask simple questions, like “What did I just read?” Performing this studying exercise mirrors being quizzed over the material and students can self-assess their knowledge.

Additionally, after reading each subheading section, students should review the critical pieces of information within the subheading, such as important definitions, explanations or noteworthy examples. This process is called “chunking” the task and exposes students to information at least three times. Students who read entire chapters before pausing to reflect do not perform as well on exams as students who perform the “chunking” study method.

While we, as academics, might think this is an obvious strategy for studying, this is not always the case for students. Therefore, it’s always important to advise students on studying strategies.

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