Memory and Study Strategies Presentation

Uploaded by JoshMartinVodcasts on 28.09.2010

‘Memory and Study Strategies’ Presentation
A Quick Note about Study Strategies Classes
Just like the first year of college and just like first year students and college students
as a whole, academic support services and study strategy courses have received a lot
of attention. And, just like the other topics we’ve covered, the results of research about
the effectiveness of such programs and services is mixed.
Here is what I want us to focus on from this body of research, that students tend to dislike
these types of services or not use these services at all for the following four reasons: first,
that students believe they cannot change, that they are incapable of learning new strategies
and techniques or adapting old ones; second, that students don’t want to change, their
old techniques worked just fine in high school and, if applied, will work just fine in college;
third, that students don’t know what to change, that they are unsure of what techniques
can be carried over from high school to college, what techniques should be developed further
in order to be more successful, and what techniques should be dropped completely; and, forth,
that students don’t know how to change (Dembo and Seli, 2004).
The next part of this presentation will provide students with an overview of the Standard
Memory Model; how any type of sensory input is taken in and transformed into a representation
that can be placed into memory, how that representation is stored or encoded in such a way that it
is retained in the memory, and how you can retrieve or gain access to that stored information
(Sternberg and Williams, 2010). Students will participate in a short exercise designed to
assist them in thinking about how they take in information, store and retrieve it. This
presentation will conclude with a brief overview of different resources about study strategies,
which students will use to complete the Week Four Discussion Forum and Week Four Journal
What is memory? For the purpose of this presentation, we are going to use the following definition,
that “memory is the active mental mechanisms that enable people to retain and retrieve
information about past experiences” (Baddeley, 1999; Crowder, 1976 as cited in Sternberg
and Williams, 2010, p. 270). This is just one definition, and the Standard Memory Model
is just one model of how memory works. If interested, students are encouraged to consult
with the Reference Librarian for additional sources of information about memory. For our
purposes this week, we are going to focus on sensory input, retention of this sensory
input or how the memory of the experience is retained, and finally, how the retained
input is retrieved and used in some way by the student.
Let’s start by looking at the environment that you are interacting with. As students,
we’ll focus on the stereotypical classroom. In this classroom, the instructor is providing
information in several ways: first, as notes on the board, second, as spoken word, and
third as an interactive activity that students in the class complete as members of small
groups. In this example, you are taking in information from your environment in a number
of ways including visually, aurally, and kinesthetically. As this information is coming in through your
senses, it is put into short-term memory. How long this information stays in short-term
memory depends on what you do with it. If you do nothing with the information you are
taking in through your senses, you may loose it within a matter of seconds; if you consciously
choose to do something (which we’ll define in a minute) with the information, you could
retain it for a few minutes or, depending on how invested you are, you could possible
retain the information for life (Sternberg and Williams, 2010).
As I stated earlier, unless you consciously choose to do something with this input, you’re
going to forget it within a few moments. This ‘thing’ you could decide to do is called
“rehearsal…[or] the repeated recitation of an item” (Sternberg and Williams, 2010,
p 273). You probably do this everyday and have since as far back as you can remember.
What do I need from the grocery store; what was that persons phone number; how do I take
my coffee; how do I operate my car; what classes do I have today and what building is the classroom
in? The amount of recitation or practice and the level of sophistication of this practice
will have an impact on your ability to retain the information over a long period of time
and be able to retrieve the information and put it to use.
Let’s do a short exercise to try and illustrate this point. I’m going to read a series of
words and these words will appear on the screen. As I am reading this list of words, DO NOT
write them down. I am then going to give you one minute after I have finished reading this
list of words to write down as many as you can remember. With me? Alright, here we go.
ANGEL, pencil, classroom, computer, textbooks, professor, FAFSA, Washington Hall, registration,
SUNY, discussion, syllabus, research, students, Timberwolves, transfer, advisement, graduation,
major, library.
Okay, you have one minute on the clock. Try to recall as many words as you can in the
next sixty seconds.
Alright, times up. Here is the list of words again on the screen and I’ll read through
them now: ANGEL, pencil, classroom, computer, textbooks, professor, FAFSA, Washington Hall,
registration, SUNY, discussion, syllabus, research, students, Timberwolves, transfer,
advisement, graduation, major, library.
Did you get all twenty? Between fifteen and twenty? Between ten and fourteen? Less than
ten? The number you remembered in this activity isn’t important. What’s important is what
you did to try and remember them. For example, did you pick up on what all of these words
had in common? That’s right, they are all things associated with SUNY Adirondack. As
I was reading them aloud, did you try repeating the words to yourself? Did you try to make-up
a story about the different words and how they may fit together?
Whatever you did, that’s a type of rehearsal and this is a good place to transition to
the last part of this presentation, study strategies.
Study Strategies
Here is what this part of the presentation isn’t going to cover: specific things you
can do to improve your time management, note taking, or other academic self-regulatory
processes. Developing a list and making suggestions of specific techniques are things that you
are going to do to help each other as part of the Week Four Discussion Forum.
What this part of the presentation is going to cover are sources of information that you
can use to find out about different techniques for improving your time management, note taking,
and in-and-out of class behavior to assist you in improving academically. Also, in this
part of the presentation, I’m going to make one last attempt at connect the importance
of understanding how memory works and about knowing yourself and ways that you can improve
your chances for success in college, and even in the work place.
Sources of Information
The Internet is a great place, however, it has both good and bad neighborhoods. Here
are some sources I’d recommend and I’ll include the necessary links within the Week
Four folder in ANGEL:
Study Guides and Strategies, a web site that contains links, articles, and even interactive
web-based exercises on everything from time management and working in groups to different
memorization techniques and tips for organizing projects. I’ve used this site for years
and highly recommend it.
Learning Disabilities Pride is another web site that I’ve used for a while now and
while it is geared towards individuals with learning disabilities, there are resources
available through this site that are general enough for all learners, regardless of ability
or disability.
Finally, if you are into assessments, I’d recommend the VARK – A Guide to Learning
Styles web site. This site contains a learning styles assessment and different resources
for learning study techniques that match your strengths as an individual learner.
Real quick. As you are working your way through these sites, you may be tempted to purchase
a book or manual or assessment results. DON’T. Take advantage of the resources available
on-campus such as books in the library, hand-outs available from the counselors or the Center
for Reading and Writing, or do another web search on the topic you are looking for. You’ll
probably be able to find additional sources of free information, especially from different
college or university web sites. For example, the University of Minnesota at Duluth, as
part of their online Student Handbook, has a great Study Strategies Homepage with links
to all sorts of information.
Quick Overview of Assignments
Week Four Discussion Forum
For the Week Four Discussion Forum, students are required to create an original post about
their study strategies and techniques. How do you manage your time? Read a textbook?
Study for exams? Share what’s worked for you with the class. As we’ve been doing,
after you’ve created your original post, comment on at least two classmates posts.
By the end of Week Four, our discussion forum will serve as an additional resource of suggestions
for different study strategies. I’ll convert the Discussion Forum into a PDF file that
you can download to reference in the future.
Additional instructions can be found in the ‘Week Four Discussion Forum’
Week Four Journal Assignment
For the Week Four Journal Assignment, I want you to respond to the following statement:
I am a great student who earns the grades I want to earn and do not need any help with
my courses.
As with previous journal assignments, your submission should be a page long.
Additional instructions can be found within the ‘Week Four Journal Assignment’.
Due Dates
All assignments must be posted by midnight on Tuesday, October 5, 2010 to receive full
credit. All late submissions will receive 75% of the original points possible for the
Remember, any late assignments must be submitted by Tuesday, November 16, 2010 in order to
receive any points. No late assignments will be accepted after midnight on Tuesday, November
16, 2010.
Contact Information
If you have any questions you can email me at
You can also post in the ‘Raise Your Hand’ Discussion Forum. This forum is located in
ANGEL and I encourage students to use this and to interact with one another. Get in the
habit of checking this discussion each time you access the course in ANGEL. You may be
able to answer your classmates question or provide insight or suggestions.
Dembo, M.H., & Seli, H.P. (2004). Students’ resistance to change in learning strategies
courses. Journal of Developmental Education, 27(3), 2-11.
Sternberg, R.J., & Williams, W.M. (2010). Educational psychology (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle
River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.