Category Archives: Study Habits

Be a Napster for Better Studying

You ought to take a look at this article on the LifeHacker blog: “Naps Can Seriously Improve All-Day Learning.” Here’s an excerpt:

Taking a 90-minute nap the day of a test or presentation sounds like a ludicrous luxury. But a recent study on the brain’s ability to recall facts found that napping at noon could mean a lot more brain power at 6 p.m.

Here’s the link:

Here’s a link to a similar recent article in Scientific American:

and one in Medical New Today:

Thoughts on Laptop or Notebook Computer Use in the Classroom

To help formulate my thoughts regarding student use of laptop or notebook computers during class sessions, I asked my colleagues at Southern Oregon University to respond to a survey regarding their own ideas and policies. I reported on the results of this survey in an earlier post.

With their input and my own experience over the last few years in mind, I have tentatively concluded the following.

  1. Laptop or notebook computers can be very useful in taking, storing, sorting, finding, and printing notes taken by a student during class sessions.  In addition to regular word-processing programs, a number of other applications have been designed to streamline note taking in class.
  2. Continue reading →

Survey Results: Student Laptop or Notebook Use in Class

A few weeks ago, I launched a survey asking SOU faculty about the student use of laptop computers in class. SurveyMonkey collected responses from fifty-four responders. Here are the summary results.

Do you allow students to use laptop/notebook computers in class?
Yes 82% No 18%

From six departments, there were zero “No” answers from BiologyCCJHPELHPSSSPC, and TheatreArt had the greatest proportion of “No” answers (2/3), followed by CPME (1/2), ES (1/3) Lang/Lit/Forgn (2/6, both in English), and  Psych (1/3).

If you allow laptop/notebook computer use in class, do you have specific policies regarding that use?
Yes 24% No 61% No Answer 15%.

23 out of 54 respondents reported they had specific policies regarding laptop/notebook use. Continue reading →

Tech Tip 1: Study Slides

Here’s an idea: use slides from your professor’s presentations as the “wallpaper” for your Windows screen.  Check out the Lifehacker article, “Set Study Slides as Rotating Wallpaper,” here:

Just imagine making this diagram (right) of a theoretical mercantile empire I prepared for my Colonial America course the background of your Windows desktop!  You’d have it down in no time!  You’d be inspired to dig deeper into the nature of Anglo-French-Dutch trade in the eighteenth century! You’d leap with joy when you learn the details of the Hat Act of 1732, or the Iron Act of 1750! You’d . . . . okay, just take a look at the article.

A Hard-Liner

Dr. Steven Dutch

Dr. Steven I. Dutch of the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay has had a long and full career as a professor of Earth and environmental science, as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve in Iraq and Bosnia, and as a working scientist with a long list of in-the-field research. Through all that, he has had a clearly-defined ethos of personal responsibility and effort. As a university professor, he urges this ethos on his students, and judges them accordingly. Though I have a few quibbles with his wording (especially his endorsement of the use of “customer” in higher education), I find his points of views to be both interesting and refreshing.

The following is from his web document, “Top Ten No Sympathy Lines.” Continue reading →

Current Reading I

For as long as I can remember, I’ve kept several books going at one time on my reading list.  Actually, it’s not really a list, it’s more like a pile or several piles stacked here and there around my house.  At any given time, there might be three or four stacked on the back of my toilet.  Several on my night stand, a handful in my briefcase, and a few even on the kitchen counter.  Here’s what I seem to have going right now:

  • Five Minds for the Future by Howard Gardner (2008).  His five minds are the disciplined mind, the synthesizing mind, the creating mind, the respectful mind, and the ethical mind. Continue reading →