Learning strategies that work

September 1, 2020 | Claudia Stanny

Learning strategies that work

Students benefit from specific guidance about how to study effectively. The demands and expectations for learning in higher education may differ from those students experienced in previous educational settings. The strategies they used to meet expectations then might not serve them well for current expectations. Now, with the pivot to increased dependence on remote instruction, students might need to develop additional learning strategies. 

CUTLA has several resources faculty can use to mentor students toward more effective approaches to learning. Two resources are PDF handouts that describe empirically validated learning strategies. One is an infographic that describes six learning strategies that have been studied extensively by researchers in memory, cognition, and education (Dunlosky et al., 2013; Sumeracki & Weinstein, 2018). Similarly, Saundra McGuire (2015) offers specific advice to students about how to study to achieve higher order learning goals as defined by Bloom’s Taxonomy.

The current learning environment presents unique challenges for student learners. The combined effects of anxiety and stress associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and adaptation to technology tools required for remote instruction require different strategies for managing time and focusing attention as well as adoption of effective study strategies. Two new resources speak directly to these student needs. Stephen Chew (2020) has updated his excellent short videos on how to study to address effective learning through remote instruction. Similarly, a new Open Education Resource book, Learning to Learn Online, offers practical advice to students about how to successfully learn in an online environment (Csabai, et al. 2020). All of these resources can be downloaded and shared with your students.



Chew, S. (2020, July). How to learn in pandemic times. YouTube Video. https://youtu.be/XOKG2LrnwYo

Csabai, B., Sohail, B., Pavo, J., Swiatoschik, K., Odeh, M., & Ramesh, N. (2020). Learning to learn online. https://ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub/learnonline/

Dunlosky, J., Rawson, K. A., March, E. J., Nathan, M. J., & Willingham, D. T. (2013). Improving students’ learning with effective learning techniques: Promising direction from cognitive and educational psychology. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 14 (1), 4-58.

McGuire, S. Y. (2015). Teach students how to learn. Sterling, VA: Stylus. Link to PDF of handout: https://drive.google.com/file/d/14JQpbpJPIeyfAX7pT6P6GWgn0S064Yv7/view?usp=sharing

Sumeracki, M. A., & Weinstein, Y. (2018). Six strategies for effective learning. Academic Medicine, 93 (4), 666. https://doi.org/10.1097/ACM.0000000000002091 

09/01/2020 ajc