Volume 47, Number 2 - September 8, 2009

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Theo Karantsalis
Theo Karantsalis
Staff Writer

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Grade Boosting Study Tips Revealed

By Theo Karantsalis

Student studying
Photo courtesy of Theo Karantsalis

Study methods used by Miami Dade College students are as varied and diverse as their backgrounds.

In order to hone their study skills students must first determine what kind of learning style suits them best.

“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to study methods because each student is different,” said Cherie Cannon, a professor in the English and communications department.  “I give each of my students a series of handouts on effective learning and test-taking skills.”

A visual learner might learn best with pictures or images; an auditory learner can learn best when listening; and a kinesthetic learner can learn best through physical activity.

“I like to study alone and usually make time each day between school and work,” said Cyncia Desrosiers, 20, education major, who takes classes at North Campus and the Meek Center and plans on teaching.  “I prefer a quiet environment like either my home or the library.”

Cannon encourages students to create a study system that includes establishing a routine and quiet place to study; using campus resources like the library, computer courtyard and study labs; starting with the hardest subject first; and taking frequent breaks.

Desrosiers said that she prepares for her classes by completing all class-assigned readings in advance, reviewing the material, then following up with the instructor for clarification. 

Every study method and every discipline requires some form of active reading, or an engaged style of reading that requires discipline and hard work.  The memorization of notes and lectures won’t help if you don’t fully understand them. 

“It is my belief that many problems with writing derive from a lack of time spent reading,” said James Hayes-Bohanan, Ph.D., who wrote The Online Guide to College Success

He recommends that students read “well-written books and periodicals.”  He adds that newspapers and news weeklies rarely contain high-quality writing and that scholarly reading is far different than reading for entertainment.   

The college provides students with access to library databases and academic information to help students continuously improve their knowledge.

In 2007, the college introduced it’s iTunes U website, an extension of iTunes where professors can post course related material such as videos and podcasts.    

Students who bring their laptops to school can study anywhere they choose on campus, courtesy of free campus-wide wireless Internet.

For students who require extra support the college also offers labs.

“I learn best by watching and then doing,” said David Solomon, 62, a Meek Center student who just completed a community education class on the Internet and plans to build a web site for a church.  “That’s why I like to see labs attached to classes so I can get hands-on experience.” 

The campus labs offer an abundance of study tools and resources to help students pass any class. 

“The labs provide students with all types of academic support,” said Crystal Dunn, academic resource lab manager at the Meek Center.  “We’re a one-stop shop.”

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Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
Miami Dade College is an equal access/equal opportunity institution and does not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, color, marital status, age, religion, national origin,
ethnicity, pregnancy, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, or genetic information.
Contact the Office of Director, Equal Opportunity Programs, ADA and Title IX Coordinator, at 305.237.2577 for assistance.