Online Lunch Lecture ‘Study Smart’

08/04/2020 by Felicitas Biwer & Sanne Schreurs

Today, we organized the first online lunch lecture in our department. Usually, teachers and staff members come together every six to eight weeks, to grab a sandwich and learn something about ongoing educational (research) projects. This time, everybody had to organize their own lunch while listening to our interactive online lecture on the Study Smart project. This is what it looked like:

Are you interested in the current status of our project, what will come in the future and what are the lessons learned? Have a look at our slides. Since these slides contain brand-new information that is yet to be published, these slides are password-protected (for now).

To give you a short overview of what we talked about:

Study Smart how it began

In 2017, the Study Smart project was started, with two main goals: designing training of effective learning strategies in all faculties, and incentivizing student and staff engagement to endorse the importance of effective learning strategies. To do so, a three-session training focused on several evidence-based learning strategies was devised. The strategies we spoke about in this lunch lecture were Summarization, Self-explanation / Elaboration, Distributed practice, Rereading, Highlighting and Practice testing. Do you know which ones of these are effective? Our participants sure did! If you’re uncertain, check this page!

Felicitas also spoke about the results of her first study, which has been accepted for publication! As soon as this article is online, we will share it with you.

Study Smart where are we now & how we will continue

The Study Smart project team is working hard to support all faculties in implementing the training in their curricula. Of course, there are many challenges to overcome, but more and more faculties are participating to increasing degrees! If you want to know how your faculty is participating, see this page! And if you have any trouble, feel free to contact us.

Lessons learned

Throughout the design and redesign iterations of Study Smart, the project team realized that it would be a shame to let all of those experiences go to waste. Especially since there was thorough data gathering throughout the entire process, such as evaluation questionnaires, focus group discussions with students & teachers, observations in sessions, and many project team discussions. Therefore, all this data was synthesized into easily applicable tips, to support higher education institutions enabling their students to become successful self-regulated learners.

To preview some of our tips: Make sure to provide a learning strategy program as early as possible and to all students to equip everybody with the skills for life-long learning and self-study. Furthermore, we suggest to support students in the process of developing effective habits by organizing follow-ups and reflection meetings. And another one: practice what you preach and implement principles of effective learning in your teaching. Be creative and stimulate students to retrieve information by starting your lesson with a little quiz about last week or let students share their self-made practice questions with each other.

Exactly which lessons have been learned and what we still need to find out is already shown in the slides, but if you were not present in the lunch lecture, these results will remain a mystery a little while longer! We will keep you updated and will upload the article as soon as possible!

Study Smart in times of COVID 19

We ended our presentation with a few short tips on how to Study Smart in these uncertain and difficult times. These tips can be found in our previous blog: Effective homebound learning!