Study Tips

8 Study Strategies Used By Learners

Are you looking for the study strategies used by learners to implement the strategies? Here in this article, we have listed and explained the study strategies used by learners. However, you have to read this article carefully.

Since the invention of reading, students have employed several strategies in studying. As students read, some underline key sentences, take notes, summarize, or discuss ideas with coursemates or classmates, and so on.

Some of the study strategies used by learners will be discussed in the following way:

1. Note Taking
2. Underlining
3. Summarizing
4. Students Generated Questions
5. Outlining, Networking, And Mapping
6. Cooperative Scripts
7. SQ3R/SQ4R
8. Metacognitive Learning Strategies

1. Note Taking

Note-taking is a common strategy used in reading and in learning from lectures. Note-taking in lectures tends to make heavy demands on students’ attention thereby leaving them with little opportunity to think about what is being explained. Again students’ notes are seldom comprehensive and completely accurate.

To ameliorate these problems, the following things could be done:

1. Students can be asked to swoop their notes with their neighbors and read through them to see if major points have been covered, factual details recorded correctly, and so on. This can take place after each section or at the end of a lecture.

2. Allowing note-taking to take place from memory after a section of the lecture is completed. The teacher forbids taking notes while he explains a point or demonstrates a skill. After the explanation, he gives students the chance to record the key points and details they think they will need later on.

This strategy if adopted, will increase greater attention during explanation, as the students know they will have to remember and write down notes in a few minutes. Attention will be devoted to listening and thinking while the explanation is going on.

Secondly, the procedure will make the students ask more questions and instead of copying down what they do not understand, need to make sense of the explanation if they are to remember them and take notes from memory.

Thirdly, it teaches the students to write brief notes which pick out the main points in a form that makes sense to them rather than extensive copied notes which do not discriminate between key points and trivial ones, and which are structured in the teacher’s way. Also, it helps students learn during lectures.

3. Using the strategy, “Write This Down”, many students have a good deal of difficulty deciding what to note down and what to leave out.

4. Providing skeletal notes before a lecture or reading. This approach gives students categories to direct their note-taking.

5. Review of lecture notes or notes taken from books is one of the most powerful devices for improving learning. The sooner a review is done after notes have been taken down the greater its effects.

2. Underlining

Underlining is perhaps the common study strategy used by learners. Though its use is widespread, research on it reports few benefits. The reason is that most students seem unable to decide what materials are vital and should be underlined and which ones are unimportant. Many students tend to mark too many things. Students can be helped by being told what to mark.

When students are told to underline the one sentence in each most important paragraph they do retain more. This is probably because deciding which is the most important sentence requires a higher level of processing.

3. Summarizing

Summarizing involves writing brief statements that represent the main idea of the information being read. The effectiveness of this strategy depends on how it is used. One effective way is to have students write one-sentence summaries after reading each paragraph. By so doing, large content areas can be reduced into small pieces that can be quickly read through during exam periods.

Another effective way is to have students prepare summaries intended to help others learn the materials. When students do this, it forces them to not only be brief but also to consider what is important and what is not. This strategy of writing notes for others to read is an effective study method but it is probably too difficult for young children. Though several studies have found no effects of summarization yet students who have had to take written examinations find such summaries useful during revision.


4. Student-Generated Questions

Several studies have found that asking students to generate their questions about materials they are reading is an effective study aid. In one study, the researchers asked students to make up multiple-choice test items based on the material they were studying. Some other students used other methods to study. It was found that the students who studied using the student-generated question approach retained more information than the other group.

Students-generated questions do not influence behaviours that help a person learn. They help students direct their attention and selectively perceive what they need to learn.

5. Outlining, Networking, And Mapping

In this strategy, students represent the material study in skeletal form. Outlining represents the main points of the materials in a hierarchical format with each detail organized under a higher-level category.

In networking and mapping, main ideas are identified and then connections between them are diagrammed.

Research on outlining and mapping though limited is a study strategy used by learners.

6. Cooperative Scripts

An age-old study strategy that students have used on their own is getting together with classmates to discuss materials they have read or heard in class. A specific study strategy based on this old practice has recently been developed. This strategy is called Cooperative Scripts. In it, students work in pairs and take turns orally summarizing sections of materials (topics) to be learned.

While one student summarises, the other listens and corrects any errors or omissions. Then the two students switch roles, continuing in this way until they have covered all the topics to be learned.

A series of studies of the cooperative scripts method has consistently found that students who study this way retain far more than students who summarize on their own or simply read the material.

An interesting finding of research on this strategy is that even though both participants in the cooperative pairs gain from the activity, the larger gains are for the sections the students taught to their partner rather than those of which they served as listeners.

7. SQ3R/SQ4R

A study procedure called SQ3R, developed by Robinson (1961) and modified into a system called (SQ4R) by Thomas and Robinson (1972) is one of the best-known study techniques. This procedure involves teaching students a systematic approach to studying instructional texts and other materials.

The steps in SQ4R, which is an acronym for survey, question, read, reflect, recite, review are taught as follows:

1. Survey:

scan or look through the material quickly to get an idea of the general organization, major topics, and subtopics.

2. Question:

Ask yourself basic fact-finding questions about the materials as you read them.

3. Read:

Read the material. As you read, take down important notes. Try to answer the questions you pose mentally while reading.

4. Reflect On The Material:

Try to understand and make meaningful the presented information by relating it to things you already know.

5. Recite:

Practice remembering the information by asking and answering questions. You may use headings, highlighted words, and notes on major ideas to generate those questions.

6. Review:

In the final step, actively review the material, focusing on asking yourself questions and rereading the material only when you are not sure of the answer.

8. Metacognitive Learning Strategies

Metacognitive according to Flavell (1985) means knowledge about one’s learning. It refers to the ability to think about and control one’s thinking process. Students in the course of their development, learn several skills as assessing themselves to see if they are understanding, working out how much time they will need to study something, and choosing an effective plan of attack to study or solve problems.

  • For example, when a student reads a book for the first time, he may come across a paragraph he does not understand. He may do several other things. He may read the paragraph more slowly, or look for cues such as pictures, graphs, or dictionaries to help him understand. Additionally, he may even read further back in the chapter to see if his difficulty rose because he did not understand something that came earlier. All these things he does are called metacognitive strategies. He has learned how to know when he is not understanding and how to correct himself.

If you are an average student and want to do better in your studies, this list of study strategies used by learners will surely help you to improve your study habits.

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