A compendium of information about specific study strategies available in English with a lot of it also available in 18 other languages. The strategies range from traditional study skills like SQ3R and how to take tests to newer skills such as how to succeed in web-based courses and evaluating information found on the Internet. Many of the links lead to condensed essays or lists of tips, but some link to a page of links to other websites with related information.
Type of Material:
Resource: Database of guides to learning.
For students of all ages who could benefit from information and tips related to learning and studying.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
To help students who need basic information and tips about learning. The author?s goal is ?providing, and digesting, educational research into an understandable and accessible form to help learners help themselves."
Target Student Population:
All students in grades 6-12 and in college. May be especially useful for English Language Learners. The author says the content material is geared to junior high reading level but that they appeal to a broad age-range of learners, as is reflected in letters received from returning adult students, as well as parents seeking to help their children.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
This site provides a large number of specific strategies for studying/learning a variety of areas ? reading, writing, note taking, test preparation and test taking, etc. The diversity of the strategies should help to promote understanding on the part of the student that a wide range of actions can be taken to become a more active and self-directed learner as a result of using this site. The information presented in each guide is basic and essential to the topic. Examples are often provided and links to original sources or to other websites are also offered for those who might want to go further in learning more than the fundamental information presented about each topic. Most of the information is referenced in some way, and many of the topics are presented in a graphically enhanced form in addition to the text-only format. According to the author, ?The Guides are developed directly from educational research. Often they are digests of existing web pages reformatted with permission to the Study Guides' Web site's style. In some cases they are copies of information found elsewhere, copied with permission. In other cases they are combinations of research projects and papers. All contributions have been voluntary, and used with permission as much as possible. ?
Most of the strategies do not contain references to any documentation about their effectiveness in improving achievement.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
With the use of this site students should be able to identify study strategies appropriate for different learning tasks and problems and to acquire the basic knowledge and skill necessary to apply the strategies. Helpful guides are included about learning,
studying, writing, and using the Internet that college-level instructors teaching distance learning courses can suggest to their students. For example, students could be pointed to the information listed under Web truths, including guides about evaluating website content, netiquette, citing web sites, and doing research on the Internet. Much of the information is ?how to? so students can practice and begin to learn how to apply the strategies and teachers could incorporate the strategy information into their instruction. Much of the information on this site has been translated into 18 languages including Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, French, German, Spanish, Hindi, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Tamil, and Turkish. This makes this site very useful to English Language Learners and to ESL teachers. Each area had a search function built in, which could be very useful to an instructor looking for a specific topic. The author grants permission to freely copy, adapt, print, transmit, and distribute Study Guides in educational settings that benefit learners, although he prefers that users link to this website because the materials are frequently updated. Such openness makes this site an excellent resource for instructors who can either point students to a particular guide or print it out and use as a handout in class. Also, because the author freely grants permission to copy, adapt, print, transmit, and distribute Study Guides in educational settings, this can be of great benefit to both instructors and learners.
Advice on the strategies varies from sparse to more detailed step-by-step instructions; information may be insufficiently detailed in some of the strategy descriptions to allow the person to attempt to use the strategy.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The site has a simple but effective user interface that should be navigable by the range of users that the site was designed to serve. Formatting of text and use of lots of bullets makes each guide very readable. Some pages have graphic examples in addition to the text-based explanations. Simple search engine allows users to locate specific topics. Author provides a place on nearly every page for feedback, corrections, and suggestions. FAQ provides user with a history of the site and its development philosophy
A few links are broken, but the back button works fine to navigate, if needed. The search link did not work during the review process and repeatedly returned Error 405 method not allowed from the server. The site is predominantly a text-based environment and may lack appeal to younger users more accustomed to more graphically-oriented environments.
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