Friday, March 5, 2010

Study tips from students

I often pick up study tips from my students.  They mention software that helps them or a technique that has worked.  Periodically, I gather their ideas and share them here on the Blog.

Using One Note:  More and more students are mentioning to me that they like the One Note software for organizing their work.  They find the folders easy to use.  They like the "tag" feature that allows them to tag rules, policy, code sections or other items and print a special list of those particular items.  The only negative that I have heard repeatedly is that the features for making graphics are not very helpful.

Graphic organizers:  There are lots of web sites that give examples of graphic organizers that students can use for converting law concepts into visuals.  One website that has templates that students can print off is Education Place. 

True/false questions: Students often confuse themselves on true/false questions by ignoring the "little bit false" part of a statement - almost like arguing you can be just "a little bit pregnant."  One student suggests that you ask yourself "Is it TOTALLY true that..." as you read the statement.  If there is anything that is false, then the statement is false.   

IPhone and IPodTouch applications:  A number of students have mentioned to me that the aps for bar study are useful - some free and some costly.  One student especially liked the free ap from BarMax for MPRE studying.

Cutting up practice essay question answers:  A student mentioned that she was having trouble 1) organizing her practice question analysis and 2) avoiding flowery language.  She discovered that after she typed an initial answer she needed to print out a copy and cut it up into the separate sentences.  She then could reorganize the sentences into a more logical format.  And flowery sentences could get removed entirely or rewritten on the sentence slips.  She would then type the new answer and compare it to the original.  The exercise helped her to improve on both of her problem areas. 

Yahoo Messenger to conference: One of our 1L sections regularly uses this capability to discuss questions that the students have in all three of their doctrinal classes.  Most of the section participates in the discussions about the material.

Our students have creative ideas for studying that use their different learning styles and computer literacy to advantage.  I always enjoy learning something new from my students!  (Amy Jarmon) 

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