Self-regulated learning skills

Learn to learn better

Study skills are at the core of academic education and as such, they deserve explicit attention. One of the reasons why this is important is that for most students, the way they have to study at the university is fundamentally different from how they have studied in e.g. secondary school, where they had clearly defined materials to study.

Learning and PBL

Students’ strategies are known to differ widely and many students (reports differ from 60-90%) largely use ineffective strategies, such as highlighting and rereading textbook materials. Within the context of problem-based learning (PBL), which advocates active and constructive knowledge development, there is a need for incorporation of learning strategy training to optimize students’ learning process. Step 6 of the PBL seven-step approach (self-study) is a blind spot for educators not only at Maastricht University but at universities throughout the world.

Everyone can do it

Learning strategies are in fact procedural skills that can be practiced and perfected through instruction and training. Given its predicted effect on the effectiveness of students’ self-study, this will likely affect grades and student study success in the long run. Over the last decade, the cognitive psychology of learning has provided insight into the learning strategies that clearly relate to improving student learning success. These strategies show a certain diversity but are all based on principles of active retrieval of information from memory and distributing study sessions over time. Evidence also exists on how to implement these two principles in different learning environments. The study smart training aims at helping first-year students to learn effective learning strategies and developing self-regulated learning skills.

Our training offer to become a more effective learner

Maastricht University has developed three training sessions to improve the awareness and use of effective learning strategies.

Session 1: The awareness session

  • Make students aware of effective and ineffective learning strategies
  • Make students aware of ‘desirable difficulties’ and the experienced learning – actual learning paradox
  • Increase or trigger students’ readiness to practice effective learning strategies

Session 2: The practice session

  • Practice effective learning strategies on your own learning materials
  • Get students motivated to make the promoted learning strategies a sustainable part of their learning behavior

Session 3: The reflection session

  • Reflection and analysis on own study strategies and methods
  • Becoming aware of how to implement alternatives
  • Formulating learning goals on how to continue