This past spring, I took a class on Reading Comprehension, which surprisingly I loved (primarily because the professor was great)! Though I am not a fan of reading, this class has helped changed my perspective of reading. It also taught me helpful skills, such as using background knowledge, graphic organizers, collaborating with peers, breaking down the information, and other reading strategies, to help improve my reading comprehension. One topics that intrigued me was how to get interested in uninteresting topics, where we learned how to apply the previously mentioned strategies/skills. Reflecting on that class, I thought I could use the skills that I learned and apply them to my current summer classes. I am currently taking a research method class that focuses on statistical analysis. Many people are not interested in this topic due to its complexity (including me). This situation is typical among college students because there are prerequisite courses that we need to take to pass the class and get that degree. To help me become successful at learning in my statistics class, I plan to use the strategies below. I also thought that would be a great opportunity to share them with you so that you can use these strategies in your future classes. If you are interested in learning more about the strategies below, The Center for Academic Success provides academic coaching regarding this skill. All you need to do is set up an academic coaching appointment with them and you are set!
- Background Knowledge – to ensure that you remember the information that you learned, it is important that you make some type of connection to the text in order to create meaning. For example, I am fortunate enough to have taken several statistic-related classes in undergrad and graduate school so I have some familiarity with the text. There are particular areas that I need help with so I may focus more on those.
- Graphic Organizer/Effective Notetaking – I am a visual and kinesthetic learner so I need to write things down and have hands-on activities. In this case, with statistics, I would take notes from our texts and lectures, and research videos to provide me with additional information to support what I learned. As long as you have a way to organize the information that you are learning (i.e. typing note, creating diagrams, or handwriting notes), this should help you review especially when you are getting ready for your quizzes or exams.
- Generating text-based questions – I find this helpful because I can create my own questions that can be answered through the text that I just read. This ensures that I remember the important information that I read. In addition, by creating questions, it helps you realize if you truly understand what you read.