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Bucks County Community College

The Basics of Effective Learning
Learning Home, Topics Menu, Study Skills, Concepts of Learning,
Web Site Resources, BC3 Help Resources, Learning Site Map

Concepts of Learning

  1. Knowing Yourself as a Learner (Get More Details)
    1. Know how you learn best and adapt the study strategies that work best for you.
    2. Choose the best learning strategy for the task at hand.
    3. Monitor your understanding and progress as you go along.
    4. Adjust strategies when appropriate.
    5. Web sites on learning styles, metacognition (knowing how you know) and learning disabilities.
    6. Find out more about the Study Skills Course.

  2. Getting the Big Picture & Dealing with Details (Get More Details)
    1. Read the course syllabus for an overview of the course.
    2. Preview the whole text to get an overview of course content.
    3. Outline (Cornell notes) or map each chapter before you read in detail or go to class.
    4. Read/listen for the introduction and summary.
    5. Review your outlines or maps before tests.
    6. Preview the test before starting, then plan your strategy.

  3. Breaking Tasks into Meaningful Chunks (Get More Details)
    1. Break up study into 45 minute to 1 hour chunks.
    2. Break up reading or study by units of information ( i.e., chapters or topics).
    3. Label information in text books and in your notes.
    4. Connect new information to maps or outlines to keep it connected with other related information.
    5. Look for relationships-- i.e., categories, cause-effect, similarities/differences, etc. Use cognitive questions and visual organizers to assist understanding and memory.
    6. Study by reviewing main ideas and details from flash cards and Cornell notes.

  4. Questioning and Using Cognitive Structures (Get More Details)
    1. Determine your purpose for reading or for the task.
    2. Ask, "What do I already know about this task or subject?"
    3. Use questions at the end of the chapter or develop questions from headings to focus on important information as you read.
    4. Monitor your understanding as you read or listen to lectures.
    5. Use questions at all cognitive levels to help yourself process and remember information.
    6. Ask: "Does this answer make sense?"
    7. Ask for help if you need it.

  5. Memory and the Importance of Review (Get More Details)
    1. "Use it, or lose it". Go over material frequently.
    2. Focus on the material and information that is most important.
    3. Use index cards and maps or Cornell notes for quick, convenient review.
    4. Analyze past tests to improve your test-taking skills.
    5. Use mnemonic devices to assist memory of important information.

Learning Home, Topics Menu, Study Skills, Concepts of Learning,
Web Site Resources, BC3 Help Resources, Learning Site Map

Developed by Meg Keeley
Special Populations Office, Bucks County Community College
With funding from the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Applied Technology Education Act
Designed and Produced by Chimera Studio

Copyright 1997 Bucks County Community College. All rights reserved.

Author: keeleym@bucks.edu