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Peer Review

Sites to Promote Academic Success



Overall Numeric Rating:

3.75 stars
Content Quality: 3.75 stars
Effectiveness: 3.25 stars
Ease of Use: 3.75 stars
Reviewed: Mar 22, 2014 by Psychology
Overview: This website provides a list of links to external websites that discuss time management and academic success for undergraduate students. Specific topics include helping students to manage their time, improve note taking, develop study skills and test taking skills, apply learning and memory principles, and handle college stress better.
Type of Material: Collection of links to external websites.
Recommended Uses: • Most students do not realize the benefits of these sites. Often the belief is that we should not need them. In reality, most of us would benefit from attending to our study habits, our time management, memory, and stress. Ideally faculty would assign some of these topics in different courses, particularly orientation courses or study skills courses. • This site would likely be provided to students as a supplemental website to help them structure their academic activities. The information is not specific to psychology or psychology students.
Technical Requirements: • One reviewer used both Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox with no access problems. • A second reviewer successfully viewed the website with a PC running Windows 7 on Internet Explorer. • No other plug-ins or players were required to view the site.
Identify Major Learning Goals: Students will learn how to more effectively manage their time, schedule academic activities, and study effectively.
Target Student Population: • Undergraduate students are the primary target; while the information is relevant to all students, the presentation of information is aimed at first-year college students.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: None.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 3.75 stars
Strengths: • A lot of useful information is presented regarding skills necessary for learning success. • The collection lists a number of relevant links that are grouped according to theme. The links (that are functional) direct readers to informative, valuable information.
Concerns: • More information on studying and memory would be helpful.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3.25 stars
Strengths: • The links include information, worksheets, videos – ways to reach all learning styles and covering a wide range of topics. • Information is relevant for students and would likely facilitate their success in college.
Concerns: • Were the site more clearly organized by topic rather than presented as a list of sites, it would be more useful to students. Given minimal direction, it will help the average learner, but many sections would need to be assigned to get the typical student to use them. Without guidance information, this becomes an abbreviated web search that relies on the student to determine how to effectively explore. • The time to go through the links to see which sites are beneficial might prevent many from going through them. • Arguably, the collection of links may not provide information beyond what one could get in a general web search.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 3.75 stars
Strengths: • The website is easy to use – one only needs to click the links. • The list of links is clear and each is titled according to the name of the external website.
Concerns: • The website contains no information or guidance to facilitate the use of the links. The groupings of links are not labeled, no descriptions are provided, and there is no information to guide exploration of the list of links. Since some of the links require additional information to help the student understand their value, a sentence or two of description might be helpful. Partitioning the links on the site would improve the organization of the site as well. • While it is easy to click the links and use the "back" button to return to the list, many of the links are non-functional. It does not appear that the website is being regularly maintained or updated.

Other Issues and Comments: • There are a number of dead links right now – a pitfall of lists of websites. Given many of these are hit early in the list, it may discourage use of the rest of the site. • The information is helpful, but this collection of links may not provide significant assistance beyond what a student or faculty member would find in a web search.

Creative Commons:
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States