Becoming A Successful Science StudentLearning & Studying More Efficiently and Effectively
Introductiono Learning science is a process of mastering science concepts.o In science each new concept builds on a frame of ideas you mastered in the previous chapter.o Effective science learning means acting directly to insure you master each course unit.o The high level of mastery required in science demands that you must be or become an active learner.o Efficient science learning means mastering the material and maximizing the strengths of your unique and personal learning style. What is your learning style and how do you learn best?
Introductiono You need to take a systematic approach to learn science—find a system that works best for you.o People who do well in science work hard.o There are a few tips and tricks that can help master science concepts.o We will identify key learning tasks for mastering science units.
Learning StrategiesStep 1 Motivate Yourself to StudyStep 2 Develop Readiness for Every LectureStep 3 Review Your Notes After Every LectureStep 4 Make and Use Flow Charts to Understand Key Physical ProcessesStep 5 Construct Comparison Charts to Master Important DistinctionsStep 6 Prepare Systematically for Exams
Step 1Motivate Yourself to Studyo Your attitude toward learning is the single most important factor in academic success.o Motivation is a process that goes on inside the learner.o You have to motivate yourself!o Start by assessing your level of motivation.o Complete Assessment
Step 2Develop Readiness for Every Lecture o Deciding “what’s important” is your first and most important learning task. o If you don’t begin with an understanding of the key question the lecture will address, you miss the main points. o Without the main points the details are meaningless. o Previewing begins with skimming text and lecture notes for clues to what is important. “What do I think are the three most important concepts of this unit?” o Chapter outlines are provided in some textbooks o Study outlines are your personalized overview.
Step 3Review Your Notes After Every Lecture o Having a good set of notes is essential to success. o Information is often presented in lecture that you will not find in other class materials. o Schedule an appointment with yourself immediately after class. Go back over your notes and fill in missing information. o Review your notes in ways that support your learning style. Visual learners-draw charts and diagrams Auditory learners-review with a partner or use a recorder Kinesthetic learner-rewrite your notes, take advantage of labs and hands-on activities o Note Review Checklist
Step 4Make and Use Flow Charts to Understand Key Processes o Learning science is based on developing a deep understanding of physical processes and how each process works. o Apply the power of visual organizers to increase your understanding and memory of complicated scientific processes.
Step 5Construct Comparison Charts to Master Important Distinctionso Mastering science is based on mastering distinctions.o Botanist must master differences between plants; geologists must master subtle differences between rock and strata.o Comparison charts are two-dimensional tables that summarize important distinctions.o It provides a handy overview, facilitates review and aids memory by reducing a lot of material to just a few items.
Step 5Construct Comparison Charts to Master Important Distinctions Lava Types Magma Magma Eruptive Volcano Volcano Lava Composition Viscosity Style Type Shape TypesBasaltic High iron Low Gentle lava Shield Gentle slope Low silica viscosity flows Volcano covers a wide (“runny”) areaRyolitic Low iron High Highly Strato Steep slope High silica viscosity explosive Volcano covers a (“sticky”) small area
Step 5Constructing a Comparison Chart Step-by- Step 1. Skim lecture notes and text. Make a list of the concepts you will compare. (2 lava types) 2. Skim again. Make a list of comparison characteristics. 3. Draw a table outline. 4. List the concepts you will compare (step 1) in the first column. 5. List key words for each comparison characteristic in the top row. 6. Fill in the cells in the table using your lecture notes or text. 7. Self test by covering one or more columns. Utilize learning style techniques.
Step6 Prepare Systematically for Examso Get organized by blocking out a schedule for how you will divide your time before the exam.o Allow at least 1 week for exam preparation.o List the units to be covered on the exam and give roughly equal time to all units.o Cramming is inefficient and should be used only as a last resort.o Be sure to be clear about the test format-multiple choice, essay, etc.o Mastery occurs as the result of asking yourself questions & answering them.o Finally organize your time to allow for a good night’s sleep.
Resourceso Take advantage of all the resources available free to Bluegrass students.o Study Skills assistance is available through SSS and the Career Development and Counseling office.o Free tutoring is available at all BCTC campuses. Check to see if science tutoring is provided at your campus.o Check the science department websites for resources and tips: “How to Succeed in BIO 139 (While Really, Really Trying!)”