Spotlight Blog Studying and memory

When you are growing up as a child in Middle school or High school, it is very important that you learn and develop good study habits over the years.  Parents play a very big roll in this because they provide the material, and the studying space where you study your material. They provide the environment and the home that you live in and that plays a big roll because if you have noisy parents or parents that are always arguing its probably hard to learn the material. Some things that parents can do to help their children study is make a routine for meals and for study time. It is good to do this because then the child has a habit for studying his school work right after he eats a meal. And this is the best time to study because your you not thinking about eating just studying. In addition parents need to provide a special place for the kids to study. Sometimes studying in your room is not the most effective way to learn the material. When kids are in their room sometimes they get distracted or feel like they can slack off because no one is watching them. Personally when I’m studying in my room I don’t get anything done because I’m always on my phone or watching tv. This is why when I study, I turn off the tv and I put my phone face down so its not a distraction. Your friends can wait but studying for a test that you have tomorrow cannot wait. Also, another good think that parents can do to help their children study is offer to review the material with them periodically. Do this so that they don’t feel pressured and feel like they have to know all the information perfectly the first time you quiz them.

Sources :

Study Strategies: Beginning, Middle, End.

After discussing my own study strategies and what i plan to do to for myself. It would be helpful to look at what others advise to students like me, and those unlike me. In this post i will look at study strategies suggested for the various stages of your academic life cycle.

High school:

In this article from it is suggested to study alone, remove distractions, take breaks, use flashcards, & DONT CRAM.

The advice they give on studying alone i can understand because a majority of high schoolers (and college students) tend to get distracted when studying in groups. This and the removal of outside distractions (music, tv, people, etc.) definitely have potential to lead to healthier study habits, as having these distractions removed takes away to temptation to stall and allow you to focus fully on studying. They also mention taking break every 15 to 30 minutes, this is good if not great advice because this matches up directly with the spacing effect and allows the brain to not become burnt out on focusing on that single task. Most importantly they advise against “cramming” which may be the most important piece of advice in the article. I say this because if this study technique is cemented as a habit early on it can have dangerous consequences later in your academic career. Although they do not state why cramming is bad scientifically i do know that it is a negative habit due to the amount of information you are taking in and that encoding that information when cramming tends to be less effective than when your study time is spaced out.


College Students:

I personally hate repetition so i will only be listing techniques not listed previously. This is because study techniques are not meant to only be for part of your life but they are like houses, without a good foundation you cannot hope to further progress confidently (That is unless you go back and change those foundations 😉 ).

The highlights of this article include taking good notes, staying away from tech, and  staying organized. One that i agree with completely is keeping good notes. I learn through doing something physically and that psychical interaction allows my brain to encode and retrieve the information that I write down more easily.  The key is to not just mindlessly write down what is on the board or what the teacher is saying. It is understanding what is important in what the teacher is saying. You can have a whole manuscript of a movie but if you don’t understand the message of the movie then the transcript is useless. The idea of distancing ones self from technology while studying is an interesting one. It can be beneficial as that is just one less temptation you have to go through facebook/reddit when you should really be studying. Yet one habit i wish i had was the ability to be organized and keep a effective planner.



In this article it focus’ on the habits we can pass down to our children and those younger than ourselves. The most important tips that i can designate are these. To know your expectations in the classes ahead, think positively, and actively listening. Going into a class and knowing what to expect and what is expected of you helps to set a certain tone for the class (Thats what syllabi are for!). Another factor in healthy learning is the mood in which you are in while learning. If you can find yourself in a positive mind set while learning you will be more open to learning more effectively and retaining the information because you want to learn the material. Active listening however is something that will play a part in your note taking experience and the quality of your notes. The attention paid to the teacher or material at this point would allow memories and material to better stay with you after the fact.



Spotlight Blog: Memory

Having good study habits is crucial in all levels of education. Learning better ways to study at a young age can improve throughout years of schooling and can make studying a much simpler, less stressful task at higher levels. Its not about how long you study a subject but how well you learn it and thus able to retain it. Spending numerous hours on a single topic with poor study habits is time wasted as the information is not being retained properly and then not able to be recalled later for an exam. Its best to figure out what works well for an individual when it comes to studying. Although it may be difficult to find the best methods, there are many sources that give studying advice to all levels of students.

As said before, learning good study skills at a younger age can be beneficial later. This all begins with a young child’s parents. There are ways for a parent to help their child learn better study habits. Advice I found to parents was having a designated work space for their kid to study and work on homework. Parents should help their child with time management, seeing how long different assignments will take and allowing enough time to complete them (Staff). This is similar to distributed practice, studying or working in smaller parts rather than all at one time (MacFarlane). This source also mentioned mnemonics or the tricks to help recall information later. This could either be a song or rhyme or abbreviation to help remember larger concepts. I believe this is good advice to a parent in order to help their kids learn good study habits which will help later in their education.

At higher levels of education such as high school, there is more specific advice given to students for better study habits. A source I found did reiterate finding a specific place to study that allows no distractions while working. Again it states that a student should split up their work or alternate between subjects. They further elaborated and gave advice to take handwritten notes while reading information and then turn the notes into flashcards (VLACS).  This is good study advice because given in an online lecture, Dr. Ian MacFarlane stated how just reading notes or the material is not productive and only gives false impression that the student understands the information. Another good study habit that was suggested is to self-study and self-testing. Studying the information in similar ways it would be tested on an exam is good for learning the material (MacFarlane). One piece of advice given from this source was not the best. It suggested to students that they should be reviewing notes and materials weekly. It is best to review notes within the same day they were taken to further understand the material.

I am able to mostly relate to the study advice given to college students. It becomes even more detailed about the best ways for studying at this level of education. A common theme through all ages of studying is the breakdown of time and either work in smaller chunks or alternate between various subjects. Studying in smaller bits over cramming information helps retain the information into long term memory. Cramming only puts the information into short term memory and it is harder to recall during an exam. It was suggested that a student should allow around 30 to 50 minutes of studying for one subject and then have a ten minute break or move to another topic. It’s advised to review notes within 24 hours of taking them to make sure you understand the material and then focus on things that you don’t. A statistic was given “…retention rate is 60% higher when information is reviewed within 24 hours of hearing” (Media). It is restated that a way to help remember information is applying meaning to it. Either use a personal experience or mental image. Stated in lecture by professor MacFarlane, this is known as semantic encoding and allows for most retention of information. Being able to relate the information to as many things as possible make it easier to recall the information later.

There are many overlapping ways to help get the best out of your study session. You want to learn the material rather than just familiarize it. If it has meaning and purpose theres a more likely chance of being able to recall it. There is many resources to help plan an effective study schedule, find the ways that work best for you.


MacFarlane, Ian . “General Psychology Mini-Lecture 4: Memory and Studying.” YouTube,         YouTube, 1 Oct. 2017,

Media, Column Five. “How to Study: Studying Tips for College Students.” Rasmussen                 College – Regionally Accredited College Online and on Campus, Rasmussen College, 15           Nov. 2011,

Staff, GreatSchools. “Study skills for middle school and beyond.” Parenting, 22 Feb. 2016,

“Top 10 Study Tips for Students.” VLACS, 13 Feb. 2017,                     students/.

Spotlight Post #1

I chose Option 2: Memory for this spotlight post. The first website that I evaluated was called “Study Habits for College Students” from the Huffington Post. While this article gave examples of some good studying techniques it also gave a few pieces of questionable advice as well. Actually, the first piece of advice that the article gave contradicted something that we learned in class about memory. They said that by changing your location that you are studying in, it increases the likelihood that you will remember what you have learned. In class we discussed some things that help with retrieval of memories, including context clues. This means that we remember things better in the place where we first learned them. Some other studying tips the website gave were studying in groups, making flash cards, and do not spend all your time studying for one class. This advice seems to correlate with some of the things we talked about in class. Working in groups and making flash cards are good study tips as long as they are being used appropriately. It is not beneficial to be introduced to material for the first time when you are in a study group. So, when the article says that working in groups helps you to “divide and conquer” this is not always the case, at least when it comes to studying. Everyone should be familiar with all the content. Flashcards can be helpful as long as they are being shuffled and went through randomly. If a student goes through flashcards in the same order every time, they can pick up retrieval cues from cards around it, and are not effectively learning the material. One of the last tips about not spending all your time on one subject may be helpful as well, from what we learned in class. Studying only one subject for many hours can give a student a false sense of mastery. Instead of actually knowing the material, they are just picking up retrieval cues from looking over the same information in the same order. Once a student can mix up the information and still remember the correct answer, they know that they have successfully put the information in their long-term memory. The second article I read was titled “10 High School Study Tips for Students.” This article contained many of the same study tips as the first article, with a few exceptions. The first tip was to study alone; they chose this as a tip because high school students are more likely to get off-topic when in a group setting because the whole group may not be as serious as a college student who is paying over a thousand dollars to be in a class. They also mentioned looking over things right before an exam. The only problem I see with this is the information that the student is taking in most likely is only making its way into their working memory, not their long-term memory. So the most that the student can keep in their working memory is about seven pieces of information, not a whole exam’s worth of information. The third article I read was directed towards parents and called “7 Tips for Improving Your Child’s Homework and Study Skills.” This article was looking at memory from a different perspective. Some of the suggestions in this article seemed like a no-brainer, like to keep checking in on your child’s progress to make sure they are focused and getting their homework done. Some of the pieces of advice, however, also correlated with advice given to high school and college students such as setting a timer for your child so they are not working on one subject for too long. This shows that advice given to young students, can also be helpful as they get older.

Spotlight Blog: Memory

Having good study habits is effective in all levels of education. It’s the most sufficient when students learn what study habits work for them sooner rather than later. The best study habits are the mechanisms that help the student memorize the material long enough to recall it during a test. If your study habits aren’t helping you memorize the material efficiently, then you could be studying all day with no positive results. If you find yourself studying day and night and still doing poorly on exams, you need to change your study habits. If the study habits are not effectively helping you memorize the information, you’re wasting your time. It doesn’t matter how long you study, it matters how smart you study. So finding the right study habits can save you time and improve you test score average.

I wish I found the right study habits at a young age. I found a website that provides advice to parents on helping their child learn how to study correctly. This website states that the parent should make sure there are no distractions when studying. An interesting point that the website made was to relate what is being learned to something that the child is familiar with. In the mini lecture on memory and studying, Professor MacFarlane stated that personal connections to the information being learned can help us memorize the material better. The website also mentioned mnemonics, which was another studying tip that was mentioned in the mini lecture. I personally use mnemonics all the time to help me recall information for exams.

It is suggested that you learn the right study habits before you get to college. I’ve heard countless of times where people never studied in high school, then got to college and really struggled at test taking. This could have been prevented if they learned good study habits in high school. The study tips website I found for high schoolers had a little more complex tips than the site for younger children. The first study tip was to be engaged, take notes and listen. I think this is a very good tip, you should be paying attention in class. In lecture, I remember it being said that attention is the key cause of memorization. It also talked about having no distractions when studying. This made me recall when it was said that multitasking is not good because you’re splitting your attention to multiple things.

There are college students that still struggle with finding the right study skills, including myself. I found a website that gives study tips for college students. I thought this website was very helpful for my personal study habits. It talks about alternating study spaces so that you’re not used to just one place to retain information. You’re not going to be able to complete your test in your designated study place so it would make more sense to alternate study places. This will get your brain used to retaining information in different places. The website also said to take practice test. The mini lecture on memory and studying talked about test assimilations and how they can help you recall better when it comes to the actual test. Students should practice recalling information as they would when taking a test.

Spotlight Blog 1: Studying

Tests are at the top of the list of stressful things a student deals with. In most classes, they count for a majority of the grade and can be a nightmare to prepare for. Everyone has different methods of preparing, some better than others, for these tests. For those without a set method, there are sources online that suggest the best methods of studying for all types of students and even their parents. Some of these study tips stack up with how memory works while some do not.

In my opinion, exams in high school did not carry the same pressure and weight that the exams in college do. That being said, students still need to prepare for them. While looking for study tips for high school students, I came across an article from LiveAbout appropriately titled “10 High School Study Tips for Students”. As the title says, the article gives the reader 10 tips to help a high school student study. I read them and compared the tips to what we learned about memory. The first suggestion was to study alone. The author, Holly Ashworth, advises the reader to study alone because unless a group is very serious about studying, they will struggle to stay on-topic. Ashworth makes a good point with this tip. Group study sessions can be beneficial but they do tend to get off topic more than someone would while studying alone. I wouldn’t say avoid this all together though. If you can find a good study group, studying can be a lot more efficient. Group-mates can create tests for each other to take. Because of interference, new or old memories that block the ability to retrieve information, students need to study in an environment as close to the test as possible. It is hard to get closer to the test environment than a practice test made and graded by someone else. Tips 2 and 3 tie into each other. Tip 2 says to find the perfect study area and tip 3 says to get all of your materials out. It is important to eliminate all distractions while studying and that all starts with the setup. Tips 4 and 8 both deal with flashcards. Tip 4 tells the reader to make flash cards and tip 8 tells the reader to test themselves with the flash cards. The use of flashcards can be effective but must be used correctly. A lot of students make the mistake of studying flash cards in one particular order. When you do that, you are basically memorizing a list, not the meaning of what you need to learn. When using flashcards to study, make sure they are shuffled before you start using them and before every other time you go through them. Tip 5 says to eat healthy while studying. There was not much evidence as to why this was important in the article but it does make sense. From personal experience, junk food can make me sluggish and studying while sluggish just does not work. Tip 6 says to narrow your studying down to the important parts. Ashworth suggests the use of a study guide provided by the teacher. This goes back to the idea of a practice exam. You should study as much information as you can if there is not enough time, use the study guide as a practice exam. If there is not a study guide, go back to the textbook and turn section headings into questions. Tip 7 says to take a break from studying. This is applying the idea of distributed practice. The brain actually retains more when you study for a little bit and then take a break. Tip 9 says to get enough sleep. Sleeping helps the brain retain what you studied. The less sleep you get means the less you retain. Finally, tip 10 says to study all semester long. The brain will retain more information when studying is spread out. Cramming the night before does not work (MacFarlane).

In college, the tests get harder and consist of even more information. Studying becomes crucial if you want to do well. The Huffington Post put out an article on their website with 9 studying tips for college students. The first tip suggests that students should use multiple study spaces. This tip makes sense because switching environments actually does have an effect on the retrieval of information. If you study in one room the entire time and then take the test in a different room, there could be problems with retrieval because your brain is used to being in the original room. Switching up where you study eliminates that issue. The second tip says to use study and homework groups. Again, as long and the groups are on-topic, they can be successful. Tips 3 and 5 advise a few of the same things as the LiveAbout article. Tip 3 says to make flashcards and 5 says to sleep. Tip 4 goes back to the idea of studying in a situation as similar as possible to the test. They advise readers to make tests for themselves to take. Taking practice tests will prepare the mind for taking an actual test better than any other method. Tip 6 says not to categorize yourself. For example, a student will say they are a visual learner and then only use study habits that work for visual learners. If you box yourself in like that, you could be missing out on other strategies that could really work for you. Tip 7 says go to class. This is a pretty obvious one. Although there are textbooks for most classes, professors could present and explain the information in a way that is easier to process. You will miss out on this opportunity if you do not go to class. Tip 8 says to switch between subjects. Mixing up the order of the things you study is a good habit to get into. Tests questions are not in a specific order so mixing up the order of what you study gets the brain ready to switch from section to section like it has to on a test. Tip 9 says to manage your time. It is important to spread out your studying and not cram (MacFarlane).

As we get older, some of us will become parents and the study habits of our kids might be an issue. An article from written by Kelsey Sheehy says that teens are sacrificing sleep in order to study and gives three tips to help them avoid that. The first tip says to set a schedule and make studying a part of every day instead of cramming. Spreading out the studying will be better for memory than cramming and it will allow the student to get a better night’s sleep before the test. The second tip is to get rid of distractions. This will allow the student to just focus on the material. The final tip is to take breaks. Again, breaking up studying is better for memory than covering all of the information in one session (MacFarlane).

MacFarlane, Ian. “PSY 105: Introduction to Psychology.” Elizabethtown College.           Psychology Department, Elizabethtown College, 2017.

Spotlight Blog 1: Memory

Several sites have their own studying tips to share with anyone looking to retain more learned information. The first site I found offers advice to college students on effective study habits. The first tip boldly states “good notes = good grades,” which I am immediately skeptical of, since note-taking isn’t effective for every student, nor does it always secure material in your memory, according to what we’ve learned in Chapter 8. By simply writing information down, you’re repeating information rather than effectively processing it and interacting with it. A few better options, according to the mini-lecture on memory and studying, would be to at least organize the info, and better yet draw connections between key terms or how the information relates to you. By visualizing a personal application of the information, we associate greater meaning with it, thus remembering it better. One good tip from this article is to not cram, which definitely is backed up by what is known about memory. Instead, the article suggests studying material a little bit each day. This tip completely aligns with the proven successful method of distributed or spaced practice, in which there is a longer period of time for learned information to solidify itself into memory.

As for tips for parents to help their kids study, most of the tips involve a lot of interference into the students’ learning. An article from, a site with information about learning disabilities, suggests setting a schedule for your child so that they do not wait until the last minute before an assessment and become overwhelmed. This aligns with the distributed practice method, but also is suggested to be combined with a reward system in which time studying is met with praise and positivity, along with “love and affection.” The best way I can describe this method is that it is assisted meaning-focused studying; instead of searching for the meaning of the information yourself, you are given rewards at the end of studying so that you associate positive feelings with it and pursue it further. This method may work for getting kids to study in the first place, but will not be effective long-term, since a reward will not always be available. In addition, you may feel over time that you deserve a greater reward, and demand something on the other side of studying for the session to be constructive at all. A better method would be to help your kids establish long-term goals to focus on rather than instant gratification.

An article from actually offers some great ideas for high school students trying to study better. One tip that especially sticks out is to “hang new information on an old ‘hook,'” as in, relate new info to what you already know. This is an effective course of action as it falls within the method of elaboration, which according to the mini-lecture includes using devices such as mnemonics to help expand on new information. The article even suggests using songs in the same way as an acronym or mnemonic. It also suggests studying in a group, which is another method supported by psychology. If you study in a group after developing your own background with the information, you are able to view information from different perspectives and likely find a better way of remembering it later.




Spotlight Post- Memory

The article “Top 10 High School Study Tips” by Todd VanDuzer and Renae Hintz discusses ten ways for high school students to improve their study habits. These tips include “Be engaged, take notes, and listen,” “Keep up to date with your homework,” “Have an organizational system in place,” “Have a routine,” “Have daily and weekly objectives in place,” “Do not procrastinate,” “Have an ideal study station,” “Unplug, log off, mute, and power down,” “Manage high school stress,” and “Take advantage of technology available.” This article includes charts, graphs, and images to create a visual enhancement for each study tip. The article also includes subheadings and lists. The study tips in this article are extremely helpful for a struggling high school student. The visuals aspects are attention-catching. The format of the article causes it to be easy to comprehend. The subheadings and lists describe multiple methods of executing the aforementioned study tips. The article seemingly has no weaknesses. The lists and visuals are simple, and following the article’s advice can allow a student to learn to better commit important material to working memory.

The article “How to Study: Studying Tips for College Students” discusses ideal situations in which college students study most effectively. This article also describes tools students can use to improve their study habits. The article includes statistics which demonstrate the effectiveness of  the study improvement tips discussed, such as certain amounts of sleep and use of technology. Though there are many visual enhancements which explain the study tips, the article is somewhat disorganized. The majority of the information is stated within the visuals as opposed to lists or subcategories. The format of the article is difficult to understand. This may confuse a struggling college student and result in unaffected study habits. The visuals are also convoluted and may be difficult to commit to working memory.

The article “Top 10 Homework Tips”, reviewed by Eric J. Gaber, discusses ten ways for parents to assist their children with studying and homework. “Know the teachers- and what they’re looking for,” “Set up a homework friendly area,” “Schedule a regular study time,” “Help them make a plan,” “Keep distractions to a minimum,” “Make sure kids do their own work,” “Be a motivator and monitor,” “Set a good example,” “Praise their work and efforts,” and “If there are continuing problems with homework, get help” are the tips explained in the article. The information in this article is simple and comprehensible. There are no visual enhancements within this article. Images or charts describing the effectiveness of the aforementioned tips would cause the article to be more attention-catching. Details could be added to the descriptions of the study tips to further explain each one. Despite these shortcomings, the article successfully explains methods of study which allow parents to aide their children in memorizing important material.


Gaber, Eric J. “Top 10 Homework Tips.” Nemours. Web. Accessed Oct. 8 2017.

Media, Column Five. “How to Study: Studying Tips for College Students.” Rasmussen College. Web. Accessed Oct. 8 2017.

VanDuzer, Todd. Renae Hintz. “Top 10 High School Study Tips.” Web. Accessed Oct. 8 2017.

Spotlight Blog 1 Prompts

Regardless of which option you choose, make sure to use the tag “Spotlight” on your post. Also include the tag listed for the option you choose below. The spotlight post is due by the beginning of class on Monday, 10/9.

Option 1 – Use the tag “Development”

As divorce has become more and more common in the US, the number of children affected by divorce has increased greatly. The effects of divorce on children are controversial and there are a number of opinions out there on just what is “best” for kids. If you select this option, I want you to find two credible sources that argue divorce is inherently harmful to children and two credible sources that argue children can come through a divorce without serious consequences. Make sure to assess the arguments and supporting data presented in each source, explain what makes the source credible, and state which side of the issue you think is correct based on your reading. Make sure to list all sources at the end of your post.

Option 2 – Use the tag “Memory”

Now that we’ve discussed how memory works and you’ve had a chance to think about your own study skills, I want you to critically evaluate websites that give students advice about how to study. If you select this option, I want you to find three different websites that provide advice for studying: one targeted toward college students, one targeted toward middle or high school students, and one targeted toward parents. Evaluate the advice provided on each and compare it to what you know about how memory works (include sources), making sure to correct anything you think is bad advice. Be sure to include links to the websites you are evaluating.

I look forward to seeing what you write!

Header image: CC by Flickr user Thomas Hawk

Impression post week 5

Throughout the years of me trying to study for an exam, the best ways that I learned to study is to make little songs that go along with what I am trying to learn. Or for an example, if I’m trying to learn like the parts of a cell for science, I might make a song about the different parts of it. So when it comes time to take the actual test I just sing that song when the question that I studied for appears. In addition I have never been someone too study throughout the week, or prepare for the test. I always procrastinate and wait till the last minute. This is one of the main reason why test taking is not one of my strengths in school. Also another way that I study is I make rhymes with the info  that I’m learning. Doing this make it stick in ur head and so that you don’t forget the info when you wake up. In addition to this study method, I also review my notes 30 minutes before I go to bed. The reason that I do this is so that the information that I just studied can run through my brain when I’m asleep. And the day that I have a test, as soon as I wake, up I look at the notes and see how much I actually remembered and quiz my self. As you can see there are many different study methods, many that I did not mention. But everyone has their own special study habit that works best for them.