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Study Skills - 21st c

July 18: Week 2,  Day 3 

Learning/Study Skills for 21st c. college success

What study skills do you find your students need to develop? Traditionally the Study Skills courses cover such things as:

  • How to study for a Test
  • Memory Techniques
  • How to Improve Memory
  • How to Focus and Concentrate
  • How to take Notes
  • Time Management
  • Study Motivation
  • Reading Strategies
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Procrastination
  • Communication Skills
  • Test Taking Strategies
  • Organization Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • How to deal with Stress?
  • Setting Goals
  • Writing Skills
  • Self Esteem
  • Priority Management
  • Stress Management
  • Listing Skills
  • Participating in Class
What about study skills for the 21st century learner?  Here's a picture of 21st c learning skills. What is important to teach students for success in college?
Share a link to your school's "study skills" syllabus.

Task Discussion

  • Julie Lemley   18 juli 2012 23:42

    After reading through such a comprehensive list, I had the thought that if students were surveyed about how capable they consider themselves to be on each point, what the results would be. I tend to think they'd either be extremely honest about it - or would answer according to what they think we want to see. However, if they were being totally honest, I think many would flag quite a few of the points. Some don't even make a coorelation between the daily/weekly work they do in relation to their success in a class as a whole. I can personally look at this list and know that I am now a much better test taker than I used to be, not only in terms of preparedness, but the anxiety that I used to have in relation to tests. College can be very intimidating to freshman, and I think we also need to remember the things which are competing for their time - campus activities, work, etc.

    This could be the basis for a great workshop for incoming freshman. While some of these things can be learned, some also need to be "unlearned" - such as procrastination. I've always said I could help any student who would try - but that I couldn't do much with laziness. However, I do think there are many misconceptions about what it takes to learn and succeed in such a different, more quickly-paced environment - and that is something to address on its own. Some students have never experienced so much freedom, and some get a bit carried away with it. All of the skills are important, and some more difficult for learners to master.

    In any class, I could easily say most of my students would need to work on all of these; some might do well in class, but procrastination often thwarts work needing to be done outside of class, and well, you get the picture.

    One area I don't feel is dealt with specifically enough is the aspect of technology. The technology factor would be huge in relation to all of the other items listed.

  • Maggi   19 juli 2012 09:37
    Reageer op:   Julie Lemley   18 juli 2012 23:42


    I think you have hit on an important point when you talk about how students would likely be honest about themselves. That's been my experience both as an instructor and as a consultant. When students take well-designed surveys such as the LASSI, CSFI, or LSI, they are generally quite honest and also much more motivated and open to learning about ways to address their weaknesses. These sorts of instruments are pretty good at getting to the heart of individual's problem areas. I have never heard a student say, "What? I'm not a procrastinator /poor notetaker / bad test taker ..." when seeing the results of an inventory. Similar tools can be found or designed to assess students' levels of proficiency with technology.

    Time is so precious in college and students in Dev Ed especially can't afford to be in classes where everyone's potential difficulties are addressed. When instruction and practice is focused, everyone benefits.

  • Ruth Rominger   19 juli 2012 10:49
    Reageer op:   Maggi   19 juli 2012 09:37

    Thanks Maggi,

    Do you (anyone following the charrette) use one of these instruments?  If so, which? If not, why?

    LASSI  Learning and Study Strategy Inventory

    CSFI College Success Factor Index

    LSI Lifestyle Inventory

  • Maggi   19 juli 2012 11:02
    Reageer op:   Ruth Rominger   19 juli 2012 10:49

    Hi Ruth,

    I have used both the LASSI and  the CSFI. I am not currently using either one because I'm not teaching a study skills oriented class. But I like both. My understanding of the current version of the CSFI is that it is correlated to some textbooks so that if a student reveals a problem with motivation, for example, he or she is directed to specific materials. This can be useful for a program where students are more self-directed or are using a lab. The LSI I was referring to earlier is the Learning Styles Inventory based on David Kolb's work. I am not familiar with the Lifestyle Inventory - but thanks for sharing that link. Now I'm curious!

  • Ruth Rominger   18 juli 2012 18:53

    Thanks for sharing the B2S project Patrick.  I think it's a great resource and model for providing students skill development. It would be great to have something like this specifically for ELA.  

    Does anyone else know of similar online resources available to students as a course?

    - Ruth

  • Patrick McAndrew   18 juli 2012 17:54

    Hi All,

    I have been reading the discussion up to now as I am not an expert in Developmental English - but do have a connection with offering materials to help people get into learning. We started with introductory materials that we have used at The Open University in the UK, which has shown itself to particularly help those students who do not have the qualifications to get into other universities. There are now two courses released through "Bridge to Success", one for Mathematics and the other one, which fits with some of this list, is Learning to Learn. The course is open and free, if you want to see it, or use it, the courses are at and more about the project at


  • Catherine   18 juli 2012 15:35

    Students need to know most of these skills.  Many students in college need to learn how to study and prepare for exams.  Spending a few minutes reading the assignment is not studying to learn the material, which, unfortunately, is what most students think is studying.  I have taught study skills for the last ten years and have found that quite a number of students come to college unprepared to study .  Even students who are top of the class in high school often know very little about being adequately prepared.  One student even remarked that she was embarrassed that she was just now learning skills that she should have learned in junior high. 

  • Malkiel Choseed   18 juli 2012 15:14

    One of my former colleagues used to say that in a Dev Ed class one of the things that students needed to learn, perhaps the most important thing they need to learn, is how to be a student.  She called it "student-craft."  By that term, she meant the sorts of assumptions, attitudes, and skills that successfull students just seem to know.  At my community college, you have students who don't understand how to read a syllabus or that they ought to bring a pen and notebook to EVERY class. 

    The list above seemed very comprehensive.  I just wanted to add this to the conversation.  It might be a useful term to encapsulate a lot of complex ideas.

  • Ruth Rominger   18 juli 2012 15:19
    Reageer op:   Malkiel Choseed   18 juli 2012 15:14
    Study-craft is a nice concept. Are the skills of the craft timeless? Ruth
  • Rhonda Traylor   18 juli 2012 19:00
    Reageer op:   Malkiel Choseed   18 juli 2012 15:14


    I love the idea of "student-craft". Having taught for so many years, students who do not understand the basics of being a student: coming in prepared, doing all assignments, being timely in all things, generally have a hard time being successful in many aspects of their lives. Teaching good habits period are an important part of working with DEV students.