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  • Best Study Techniques

    October 18, 2019 by

    “I can’t remember what I read!” “Anytime I take a test, my mind goes blank!” “Why am I failing this course?” We all forget important things, students and non-students alike. This occurs when information is not transferred into the long-term memory (Østby & Østby, 2018). Have you noticed that there are certain things that you do not forget? Today, I am going to give you five best study techniques. UNDERSTANDING THE CONCEPT Tip No. 1: You cannot remember it, if you do not understand it! It is important to make connections and make relations to new information. For example, before reading the signs and symptoms of a disease, it is important to make connections and understand the reason why the disease causes the signs and symptoms. VISUALIZATION Tip No 2. Create a mental picture For example, to understand the physiology of the heart, it is important for you to create a mental picture of the heart and the pathway of oxygenated and deoxygenated blood through the lungs, heart and body. If you find it difficult to create a mental picture, utilize visual aids such as concept mapping or a drawing (picture). Talk it Out! Tip No. 3: Talk about it. Remember when you used to talk to your dolls as a child and teach them? Well, the same rule applies here. Talk about what you have learnt. It might be to yourself, a friend, a family or a colleague. For example, to remember nursing interventions for a medical diagnosis, it would be effective if you practice by telling others about what your nursing interventions would be when a patient is presented with this diagnosis. ACRONYMS Tip No. 4: Create a word. An acronym is a word that you make from the first letters of a list of words. You can even use it to form a sentence. It is fun and easy. For example, the cranial nerves. “Oh, Once One Takes The Anatomy Final Very Good Vacations Are Heavenly.” REHEARSING Tip No. 5: Say it repeatedly! If you want to remember it, you must practice it. It does not mean that you must sit and repeat the same information for 2 hours. However, here are some tips you can follow: 2.Take a break and do something else and get back to it. 3. Find times during the day to repeat the information that you have learnt. Let’s recap. The five study techniques are to understand it, visualize it, talk about it, create a word and repeat it. Thank you for joining us on: Best Study Techniques. Be sure to check out our previous blog post on “Note Taking Strategies.” Next Blog Post: Cramming Effects. Stay Tuned! Reference Østby, H., & Østby, Y. (2018). Adventures in Memory: The Science and Secrets of Remembering and Forgetting. Vancouver: Greystone Books.

  • Better Notes, Better Grades

    October 5, 2019 by

    You sat in class for two hours listening to the teacher deliver the lesson through a PowerPoint presentation. Perhaps, you attempted to follow along by jotting down some important keywords (or you just tried to absorb as much as possible and hope for the best). Remember, note taking is not about your handwriting. If your notes are unorganized and messy, you are not going to get much use out of them. Better notes, better grades. Several studies have shown that effective note taking increases retention of subject matter and test performance. A study conducted by Carrell (2007) showed that students had ineffective note taking strategies. Moreover, there is a significant relationship between note taking and test performance. This implies that, an effective note taking strategy, increases your test performance. Therefore, the evidence still stands. Better notes, better grades. THE IMPORTANCE OF EFFECTIVE NOTE TAKING STRATEGIES Your notes are review materials. It allows you to actively listen in class. It allows you to make connections between lessons and topics. It allows you to listen, think and write (you can remember the topics discussed better) There are different note taking strategies that you can use. THE CORNELL METHOD The Cornell method of note taking allows you to organize your notes into details/keywords, cues, main points, and conclude with a summary. THE CHARTING METHOD This method of note taking utilizes columns to organize topics and subtopics. This method is useful for lessons that cover a lot of facts or relationships between topics. THE MAPPING METHOD The mapping method is a visual method of organizing notes to provide relationships among topics and subjects. This is effective among visual learners. Sentence Method This method is effective when there is a lot of information being covered by the lecturer. It involves writing down key concepts in short sentences. THE OUTLINING METHOD This method uses headings and bullets to systematically organize topics and important aspects to remember. Useful when learning about topics that include a lot of detail. References Carrell, P. L. (2007). Notetaking strategies and their relationship to performance on listening comprehension and communicative assessment tasks. ETS Research Report Series, 2007(1), i-60. doi:10.1002/j.2333-8504.2007.tb02043.x This is part of the series, “How to Study.” Don’t forget to check out the previous blog post.

  • Design Your Study Environment

    September 21, 2019 by

    Design Your Study Environment Hey guys! This blog post is in collaboration with an amazing youtuber, Melissa Edwards. Melissa Edwards is a Registered Nurse and provides informative content on both nursing and lifestyle, to help new nurses and nursing students build clinical knowledge and skills. Her YouTube channel is both educational and entertaining, giving viewers a glimpse into the life of a Registered Nurse. Melissa has a passion for helping her fellow nurses and soon-to-be nurses, along with sharing her personal journey through the struggles of becoming a nursing. Check out her channel as she goes through a “HOW TO…” series for nursing students and nurses. You would learn a lot. Subscribe to her channel! Click the link below! How to Study: The Perfect Study Environment There are different types of physical learning environments (study space) or areas in which students love to go and study before an exam, quiz or for a review. Here are a few study spaces you might have used before! Library The library is quiet, spacious with available books and study materials to enhance your learning experience. Although the library might be a great place to study, often times the same quiet environment can make you sleepy. The Coffee Shop Your laptop, books, study materials with a cup of coffee or tea is a study space that some students love. It is amazing for group discussions. A coffee shop is spacious yet loud, and may cause distractions as well. Study Lounge A study lounge might be provided at your school. It is also great for group discussions and collaborative learning. Your Room At the comfort of your own home, where you can go and make dinner when you are hungry is another amazing study space that we all utilize. However, your room can be so comfortable that you mind end up crawling in bed. Learning style and Learning Environment There are so many other study spaces that you can create or utilize. With the pros and cons of each study area, what is a study environment that is in accordance with your learning style? For example, if you are an interpersonal learner (learns in group discussion) the coffee shop or study lounge would be a facilitating environment for your learning style. In contrast, an intrapersonal learner (learns alone) would prefer the library. There should be a congruence between your learning style and physical learning environment. This however, doesn’t mean you should always study at a coffee shop or the study lounge. This would however guide you to make learning easier. Creating a Study Space in Your Room ( Design your study environment) Remove distractions Organize study space and materials Lighting Ideal temperature Remove Distractions Remove all distractions such as phones, videogames, food and drinks etc. Control your environment by removing your distractions. Instead, reward yourself when you have finished studying. Organize study materials Organize all your study materials before you begin. This also includes organizing your study space to be spacious and uncluttered. This would help you increase your concentration by keeping you organized. Lighting A study conducted by Shishegar (2016) investigated the influence of light on student and workers. The study showed that there is a relationship between light and student’s attention and productivity. Try to study near a window to get natural sunlight. Another significant tip is to experiment with brightness and color temperatures until you find your ideal. Ideal Temperature Extreme temperature can cause you to be consciously distracted and cause you to make mistakes. Research shows that temperature has a significant effect on learning and productivity. Therefore, it is crucial to adjust the temperature if possible, for your comfort. Thank you for going through the how to design your study environment. This is the part two of the how to study series. Be sure to subscribe if you haven’t already to receive blogs and updates on your email. Our next topic would be on Best Notetaking Practices. Previous Blog Shishegar, N. (2016). Natural Light and Productivity: Analyzing the Impacts of Daylighting on Students’ and Workers’ Health and Alertness. International Journal of Advances in Chemical Engineering and Biological Sciences, 3(1). doi:10.15242/ijacebs.ae0416104

  • How To Study: Your Learning Style

    August 10, 2019 by

    This is the first blog of the series: How to Study. This is a five-part series to go in-depth about the best study practices for your success. This mainly focuses on nursing students; however, all students are welcomed! At the end of this series, there would be a GIVEAWAY, so stay tuned and subscribe. This blog would begin with “How to Study: Your Learning Style.” The 5-part series topics would be: How to Study: Your Learning Style How to Study: Tips to Design Your Study Environment How to Study: Best Note Taking Habits How to Study: Memorization Strategies How to Study: Cramming Effects LET’S GET STARTED! How to Study: Your Learning Style There was a girl in my class who I used to admire so much because of her academic performance. Her GPA was amazing and she pretty much got an A in most subjects. I was so eager to find out how she studied. One day I decided to ask and her reply was very disappointing. She said, “I just read.” As though I don’t read! I guess I was waiting to hear about a secret potion or tricks she used to remember all those terminologies in nursing school. But I guess I was wrong! Perhaps, she just didn’t want me to get an “A” as well. However, after years of doing my masters in nursing degree, this situation changed my perspective about studying. Probably, her learning style was only reading and implementing that strategy as a learning style would not have worked for me. Today, I want to emphasize the importance of knowing your learning style. Everyone has a different learning style or preference that works for them. Some may have a dominant learning style, whilst others have a different learning style for various situations and circumstances. Regardless, there is no right or wrong in terms of learning styles, however, what matters is how you utilize it towards your success as a nursing student. It is important to note that it is unlikely for one to have only one learning style. Perhaps, one learning style might be dominant out of the others. The VARK and Memletics model Neil D. Fleming, born in 1939 developed a model called the VARK model. Sean Whiteley created the Memletic Model. These models give a summary of different learners. Visual: Learns through seeing Auditory: Learns through hearing Reading/Writing: Learns through reading or writing Kinetics: Learns through moving, doing, demonstrating Verbal Learners: Learns through speaking Logical Learners: Learns through reasoning and logic Interpersonal learners: Learns in group discussions Intrapersonal: Learns alone Three Ways to Use Your Learning Style to Maximize Your Learning Experience. Know Your Learning Style: Experiment In determining what works best for you, experiment. Probably, your learning style for pharmacology which is mostly memorization of drugs would be different from pathophysiology. Hence, experimenting would help you know your dominant and other learning strategies that helps you study. Click the PDF and Download the Learning Style Inventory. Take the test and know your learning style. Find Study Tips for Your Specific Learning Style There are different study tips for different study styles. Research on the best study tips for your study preferences and use it creatively to fit your needs. Do Not Box Your Learning Experience Let’s just say you are a visual learner. Do not box yourself solely on visual learning. You probably should read your notes first, then use YouTube videos as a re-enforcement of what you have just read. Knowing your learning style is a guide, hence, it is important that you do not define your entire learning experience with it. Check out the Previous Blog.

  • How To Prepare For Nursing School

    August 8, 2019 by

    Congratulations! You got accepted into nursing school and we are all proud of you! You have probably told your friends, family and relatives. It is such an amazing feeling to start this journey towards the ultimate goal. To become a nurse, saving lives. After the celebration, you are now home, sitting on your bed and all of a sudden, your excitement goes away and the reality of starting nursing school hits. You have probably seen all the memes about nursing being the hardest degree and you have probably heard of the dreadful anatomy, pathophysiology, pharmacology and all the other nursing subjects. The question now is, “What should I do now? How to prepare for nursing school? You are not alone. I remember a few months before nursing school, I would be talking to nurses, watching nursing related YouTube videos and getting all stressed up. It is always good to prepare towards change, but it is important to know what to prepare. Here are some tips on how to prepare for nursing school which I wished I did. 1. Relax You might be a little annoyed by this tip, but this was my biggest mistake. I got caught up stressing about teacher’s expectations of me, the workload etc. However, it is important to note: YOU ARE EXPECTED TO KNOW NOTHING. Relax! You are going into nursing school to learn. The nurses we see today started on a clean slate. 2. Know Your Learning Style Understanding your learning style is very important. Not everyone are readers. Know what works best for you. Nursing demands you to know a little of everything, because you are the heart of the health care system. You deliver the care! You need to understand the doctor’s orders, medication, nutrition, and so much more. How can you remember all of that? Understand your learning style. 3. Find Motivation Through Others You might have a friend or a family member who is a nurse. Find your inspiration through them. Listen to their stories and take the positivity out of it. If you do not have any family or friends, find your motivation through amazing Youtubers, blog post and Facebook nursing support groups. 4. Have Fun Do the things that you want to do. It might be a mini vacation, spending time with friends that you haven’t seen in a long time, engaging in your favorite activities etc. Have some fun. Nursing school can take almost all of your time. 5. Learn Meal Prepping You would need to learn how to meal prep in nursing school. This would help you to not waste time in the morning. Learn some easy and healthy recipes that you can do and prep your meal before the night prior. 6. Adjust Your Body Gradually adjust your body to waking up early and sleeping early. A sudden change is unhealthy to the human body. Therefore, it is important to gradually practice these things before you officially start school. 7. Think Positive Be positive. Four years would fly by pretty quickly so make every moment and memory count. Yes, there would be obstacles and failures in this journey, but what defines you is what you do after the failure. Be sure to subscribe for more amazing content!

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