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Experimental speed training of study skills

By Steve Draper,   Department of Psychology,   University of Glasgow.

I'm working on producing a kind of speed training for students that would improve their study skills, especially those important to psychology students. The two topics which we are ready to try are a) time management (e.g. in exams); and b) writing critically (whether for critical reviews, or for better exam essays). We are looking for volunteer participants.

The general idea is that by doing a short series of exercises, the participant will quickly get measurably better: and they will see themselves getting better, and so be likely to retain and reinforce the skill. Thus these are both experiments where researchers like me can measure what works, and also experiential training in which the participants equally can see whether and how their abilities change and judge how much value the technique is to them individually.

In one of the two studies, we are exploring a kind of speed training for critical reviews (writing 5 minute passages), and which of various kinds of format for the exercise makes the most difference.

In the other, we are exploring time management and anxiety reduction techniques that we expect to be important to exam performance (e.g. dividing time between recalling what you know, planning the answer, writing it out).

The people involved are:

  • Steve Draper (supervisor)
  • Alison Gemmell (critiquing exercise)
  • Ruth Muir (time management / anxiety reduction exercise)

    The sessions we ran are now over. Many thanks to those who participated.

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