New Study Series beginning in February

With the start of the new academic year it is worth considering some methods, skills and tools for study in the year ahead. This year I have decided to put together a short seven week blog series covering many of the questions I am regularly asked when it comes to studying. I will divide it up into three separate sub categories: Study Tools, Study Skills and an assorted series of Biases and Fallacies that commonly arise. On Mondays the Study Tools part of the series will focus on organisational tools that can make the process of gathering, sorting, absorbing and synthesising information easier.
On Fridays the Study Skills section will look primarily at holistic skills for getting the most out of the time that is spent studying and writing.
Finally, on Wednesdays the Biases and Fallacies section will look at a series of common cognitive biases and fallacies that crop up in academia of all levels, and this section will finally culminate in an attempted Grand Theory of (Almost) Everything.

However, even though I have been studying and working in academia for quite a while now, I certainly have not come across everything that there is to be said in each section. Many of the posts will deal with questions I am asked commonly, and have proven helpful to others at Ridley and elsewhere. So I will mostly be sharing what works for me, and hoping that you, the readers, will be able to use and adapt my methodologies for your purposes.

I am really interested though in hearing what you would like to see covered. Are there any specific situations or problems that you find yourself regularly encountering? Also I will be welcoming comments and sharing of personal tweaks and methods on each of the sections when I get to the specifics. I am keen to learn from others, and hope that we can make the learning process as a whole better and more enjoyable. So please comment below, or on Facebook with what you would like to see me cover and what would be useful.


About Chris

  • Look forward to reading it Chris. I wrote a brief series a while ago on what I call explanatory functions.
    I constantly wonder if bible teachers are willing to upgrade their own explanatory function to match a better and more integrated understanding of scripture. More and more I’ve resigned myself to giving up on believing people are swayed by scripture.

  • Jenny George

    Hi Chris, I’m primarily interested in assessment, subject and program design at both the micro (e.g. minute by minute or hour by hour) as well as macro (how should a term be structured) level.

    I’ve tried pretty hard to design a new master’s program for maximum learning and memory retention but this is something I am always trying to improve and would be fascinated to get your ideas. (And since I have the ability to enact your suggestions it’s also more than just academic!). At the moment I usually try to design in periods where I review material, set short homework assignments that are aimed at making connections between the material and concrete and memorable examples with personal associations for each students (and then draw on these during discussions to further reinforce them), have a multi choice quiz every two weeks. That’s at the subject level. But we have also put in a long (2.5 hour) lunch break specifically so that students can have a nap (and provided a nap room) and given them free gym membership and encouraged them to do 30 mins of exercise during the break. Plus all new material is in the morning and the afternoon is applications of the material from the morning in “hands-on” group sessions. And the last week of classes (week 8) is no new material at all – just synthesising and consolidating material from the previous 7 weeks.

    Are there some things I haven’t thought of that you think would work well to maximise learning and retention?Things that are within my power anyway (I can’t make them listen but I can provide all the conditions for their learning to be as good as possible if they choose to take those opportunities).

    Cheers – Jenny