Would you like to help your students to learn and apply effective study strategies in your courses and beyond? If so, the Center for Excellence and Innovation in Teaching and Learning has just what you are looking for! We have created a set of online Modules that instruct students on study strategies (informed by the science of learning) that have been shown to improve students’ learning, retention, and transfer of material in academic courses.
These Modules, collectively called the Student Cognition Toolbox (SCT), provide students with instruction on effective study strategies, give them practice in using the strategies, and assess how well they have learned what they need to know about the strategies. The complete instructional package is contained in an online format and delivered through Open Learning Initiative courseware (https://oli.cmu.edu/).
We conducted our first round of tests of the SCT at UNH in Fall 2019 and followed with the second and third rounds in the Spring 2020 and Fall 2020 semesters. Over 4,500 UNH students to date have been administered the SCT in courses in courses from a wide range of disciplines.
Implementing the Student Cognition Toolbox (SCT) in Your Course
The Student Cognition Toolbox has the following components:
- An Introductory Module that sets the stage for what follows.
- A set of Study Strategy Modules, each of which addresses a study strategy that research has shown to be effective for the appropriate learning outcomes. The strategies are: practice quizzing (retrieval practice), self-explanation, elaboration, worked examples, spaced study, interleaved study.
- A Summary Module that helps students to “pull everything together” and to develop a plan for when and how they will use what they learned.
Assigning the Student Cognition Toolbox in Your Course
Based on our findings from the previous three semesters, we estimate that most students will be able to complete the entire SCT in about 2 to 2½ hours. We will work with you to structure the assigned work to be completed over several days during the first two weeks of the semester.
If you work with us, we will handle all of the details. All you have to do is include information in your course syllabus about the assigned SCT and provide a small amount of credit (low stakes) for completed assignments.
- provide students access to the SCT through your course Canvas site,
- send students announcements that tell them when and how to complete the SCT,
- collect information on whether each student did or did not complete the assigned material, which will be provided to you so you can give credit to those who completed the assignments.
Instructors who work with CEITL to implement the SCT in their courses will receive 1-point toward the CEITL Participation Certificate.