Help Students Hone Their Online Study Skills

Explore strategies and digital tools your students can use to effectively study at home.

Grades K-12 15 min Resource by:
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During hybrid learning, and certainly during remote learning, students are spending more of their time independently learning and studying at home. In order for students to be productive and successful in their studies, they need effective study skills. As teachers, we can provide them with resources and strategies. The following articles offer specific strategies and tools that you can use to teach your students how to study effectively during digital and remote learning:

Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.

Pelé, athlete

Along with teaching students these strategies and tools, it’s important to provide students the means and resources by which they can take responsibility for their own learning and be more independent. One strategy that students can use is a slightly modified version of the 3 B4 T strategy, where they work independently and/or with their peers to study before they reach out to their teacher for help.

Below are specific strategies and resources for each step in the study version of the 3 B4 T strategy. The strategies are written with the older student as the intended audience, so you may share them directly with those students. You can also reference these strategies and resources to design age-appropriate lessons and materials for teaching your younger students. The strategies are summarized in this 3 B4 T: Study Strategy template to share with your students. You can make a copy of this template and customize it to reflect your class’ and/or school’s resources.

The following strategies and resources can help you independently study for your classes.

Reading, Listening, and Viewing Course Content

As you read, listen, and view content, use digital tools to annotate/mark up the content. This can help you process the ideas, make sense out of them, and remember them better. There are several tools listed below to help you annotate each type of material. Give them a try!

Pro Tip: Use online dictionaries, such as merriam-webster.com or learnersdictionary.com, or right-click on words in Google Docs or Microsoft Word to define new words.

Taking Notes

As you read/listen/view class materials, including when viewing screencasts from your teachers, be sure to take careful notes. The first step is identifying the purpose for your notes so that you can select the best format to meet your needs. Here are some format options to consider.

Pro Tip: It is not enough to take notes and mark up resources. To improve your understanding and recall, you must regularly revisit, reflect upon, and use your notes. Creating and using an eBinder can really help you in revisiting, reflecting, and better recollecting your learning.

Recalling Information

Along with marking up content, taking notes, and revisiting those notes, use the below strategies and resources to improve your recall of new information.

Writing Resources

The following digital resources can assist you when writing your papers and/or working on projects.

Pro Tip: Record yourself reading your writing to see if it reads as you intended. You can use recording tools built into Google Docs or Microsoft OneNote, or use a website like online-voice-recorder.com to record yourself.

Managing Projects

For larger assignments and projects, consider using the following tools to manage all the related tasks and ensure that you meet deadlines.

Gamifying Your Learning

To keep yourself motivated, gamify your learning. You can do this by setting up goals or challenges that include deadlines and fun rewards. For example, as you complete a challenge (e.g.,  a step in the project or a certain number of flashcards correct), reward yourself with something that you enjoy doing, such as watching a 10-minute YouTube video. Do this for each major step in the project. When you complete the final challenge (i.e., complete and submit your project on time), celebrate with an even bigger reward, such as watching a movie with a friend.

As you study, you will most likely have questions. Use your available resources to find the answers.

  • Review Your Class Materials: Carefully review and study the materials provided by your classroom teacher. Most teachers post resources in the class’ learning management system (LMS). Some LMS options include Google Classroom, Schoology, Microsoft Teams, and Seesaw.

Your peers can also be a great resource for you.

  • Student Study Discussions: If your teacher has created a “Parking Lot” discussion in your LMS, leverage this space to ask questions of your classmates. Be sure to give back to your class community by answering your classmates’ questions, too.
  • Student Study Groups: If your teacher is hosting videoconferences for your classmates to support each other, join these study sessions to both give and get help.
  • Study Buddy: For each class, find a “study buddy” who you can reach out to as needed to study together, ask questions, and seek clarification regarding assignment directions or class notes.

If you still need help after attempting to answer your questions independently, reach out to your classroom teacher.

  • Visit Your School’s Virtual Learning Lab: Visit these if your school offers them. These “learning labs” may be led by teachers and/or educational assistants who are available to provide tutoring support for any of your classes.
  • Meet Virtually With Your Teacher: Sign up for an individual videoconference meeting in Google Meet or Zoom if your teacher offers virtual “open office hours.”
  • Call Your Teacher: Call your teacher using the phone number provided. Call only during the times that your teacher has indicated they’re available to take calls.
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