Hillcroft LRC

Posts Tagged ‘revision

tulipsBW-800pxSuch phrases that are supposed to encourage hard work sometimes have the opposite effect. For example, being told to ‘put your nose to the grindstone’ could put off anyone for whom self-discipline is elusive, from ever studying again! In the New Scientist this week (Issue 3126, pp. 27-30) is a feature article called ‘Daydream believer’. It looks at what we can do to increase our focus at a long task such as revision, looking particularly at letting the mind wander around a topic.

Several studies suggest that letting yourself daydream intentionally about a topic which you are learning is a more effective strategy than forcing yourself to concentrate over a lengthy period.

So when you’re studying, don’t put your nose to the grindstone – tend to the thought garden. Consider the makeup of the flowers (the interesting parts), appreciate the insects and worms (the causes and unseen elements), imagine the sunshine and rain that will fall in the future (the bigger context and processes). Build up an intentional daydream about your topic of study. Mull things over not only when you’re at a desk or in the library, but when you’re in the shower, walking up from the station or making a cup of tea.

If this doesn’t appeal to you, there are other tried and tested memory techniques that are based on visualisation of the topic matters for instance in rooms of a “house”. Read about that tool in The Memory Book by Buzan and Harrison.

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iPod in handOur colleague Andrew Checkley E-Learning Manger at Croydon College has been developing a Moodle Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) course with his Learning Resources (LRC) team which he talked about at the March 16 London FE Moodle Roundtable event. The course is on academic writing. Find out more about it on their E-Learning blog post.

As well as using material from the LRC on the course Andrew found some useful research material on the State Library of Victoria’s website. The resource covers:

 

  • working out what question you are trying to answer
  • finding the information
  • choosing the resources you use
  • making and organising notes
  • presenting your material
  • reflecting on your work.

There’s also some handy material on writing essays too which covers:

  • identifying the essay question
  • using quotations
  • writing
  • editing.

Plus there are tips on study skills:

  • stress management
  • dealing with exams.

Last but not least at this time of the year many of our students are doing GCSE examinations in English and maths so this BBC Bitesize app available on Android and iOS will help you. The app has flashcards which will help you revise and covers numerous GCSE subjects.

Of Mice and MenOur GCSE English students on Preaccess A and B are studying John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. We’ve done some research on supporting material for students and found a recording of Steinbeck on YouTube discussing Of Mice and Men and Grapes of Wrath.

For anyone doing an assignment for GCSE BBC Bitesize – Of Mice and Men has some handy links with character information, plot summary, themes and videos.

In the LRC we also have copies of:

Wnat to know more about Steinbeck’s characters from  his novels? Take a look at the Library of Congress’s John Steinbeck Map of America on the American Treasures of the Library of Congress. The map by Molly Maguire has pictures of characters and numbers on the map to indicate which novel they appear in.

If you’re into apps there’s a free download from the National Theatre with interviews with the cast James Franco and Chris O’Dowd and a Revise Of Mice and Men app on Appcrawlr.

Last but not least there’s an interview with a volunteer archivist at the National Steinbeck Center on the Authors Road: John Steinbeck, Novelist and More