Have you had a bad semester or first year at college? Did the work seem overwhelming or were your grades not up to par? Perhaps it’s not because you are a poor student but that you have not looked at how you learn.
New evidence suggests when you look at the incorrect ways you go about something: solving problems, writing a report, or doing a lab, you can begin to learn how to learn correctly!
Students who fail usually fail for a couple reasons. One is they think they know the material better than they actually do. Students also tend to attribute failure to something outside themselves. “It was the text, too unclear” or “The professor doesn’t like me.”
A more effective approach is to think about your own learning process and monitor your study habits. The best way to do that is to continuously check yourself. As you work or read, look back at covered material and quiz yourself. In the case of math problems, do some and see of they are right. If they are wrong, that’s when your work begins. What did you do wrong? Can you rework the problem and find where you went astray? Can you write a sentence or two about how to go about solving the problem correctly?
If you are writing, can you check to make sure you have enough support? Can you have someone else read your writing to make sure it is clear? Could you have a graduate student give you feedback about what to change? And, then could you write a paragraph to an imaginary student to tell him or her how to improve their writing?
If you can explore how to do it differently in order to do it right, you are likely to not only to get the correct strategy but to get rid of bad habits that impede your learning.
In conclusion, evidence shows that tutoring and extra help are not as effective as learning to be a self learner.