How do you study?

I have a routine with my kids. When they come home from school they grab a snack and then get straight to studying.  They sit at the same table, often in the same chair, at the same time each day.  Makes sense right?  It has all the ingredients for information retention:

  • Quiet work space.
  • Stick to a homework schedule.
  • Set goals.
  • Set boundaries.

Apparently, I’m mistaken.  An article in the New York Times shows that what really improves memory contradicts popular beliefs.  Research supports the following:

  • Alternate between subjects.
  • Study in different settings.

Even though academics have not caught on to this, athletes have.  It’s called cross-training.  The author of the New York Times article, Benedict Carey says “varying the type of material studied in a single sitting — alternating, for example, among vocabulary, reading and speaking in a new language — seems to leave a deeper impression on the brain than does concentrating on just one skill at a time.”

I was also shocked by what was not shown to be a measurable factor in learning.  How often have we heard that learning styles make a big difference in retention of information, or how we learn?  You know, the idea that some are visual learners, versus auditory learners; and that some are left brainers vs. right brainers.  So I was surprised to learn that in a recent review of the relevant research, published in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a team of psychologists found little to no support for such ideas.

What about the different teaching styles?  Does that make a difference?  The answer is, they simply don’t know.

“We have yet to identify the common threads between teachers who create a constructive learning atmosphere,” said Daniel T. Willingham, a psychologist at the University of Virginia and author of the book “Why Don’t Students Like School?”

Wow.  The article is worth reading, and for me, worth applying.  When my kids come home today, I think I will have them sit in the living room, spend 15 minutes on one subject and then alternate to another.  I will conduct my own research on this subject.

What works for you?


Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/07/health/views/07mind.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1321974528-PkDNPyedDAZVQomf3iSJzg&pagewanted=1 ; http://psi.sagepub.com/content/9/3/105.abstract

Tech Tip Tuesday – Keyboard Shortcuts

Hey BPSers! Hope you had a good, restful weekend and enjoyed the holiday with family and friends.

Now, it’s time to get back to work and finish strong for the semester.

Have a few papers due this term? What takes up the most time when you’re writing? Is it the research? Organization? The Writing?

Sometimes, the biggest time-waster is mouse-clicking back and forth between windows or trying to copy and paste using the right mouse button.

Here are a few keyboard shortcuts that will help you shave a few seconds off your next paper-writing marathon time.

1. CTRL + c = Copy  – Use this when you want to copy text.

2. CTRL + x = Cut = Use this to cut what you just copied or to cut out text entirely.

3. CTRL + v = Paste – Use this to paste what you just copied & cut!

4. CTRL + z = Undo – Did you mess up? Hit this shortcut and your last action will be undone.

5. CTRL + y = Redo – Didn’t mean to undo that? This shortcut will bring it back.

6. CTRL + b = Bold – Make a bold statement.

7. CTRL + i = Italics – Emphasize what you say.

8. CTRL + u = Underline – To make underlying points.

9. CTRL + p = Print – Your printer window should pop up with this shortcut.

10. ALT + Tab = Toggle between windows on  your desktop screen

Here are a few links that give you some other keyboard shortcuts for Windows & Mac: Windows 7 Keyboard Shortcuts and Mac.

Happy typing!

Monday Career Services

Cost Estimators

Education:  Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor’s degree.

Tasks

  • Consult with clients, vendors, personnel in other departments or construction forepersons to discuss and formulate estimates and resolve issues.
  • Analyze blueprints and other documentation to prepare time, cost, materials, and labor estimates.
  • Prepare estimates for use in selecting vendors or subcontractors.
  • Confer with engineers, architects, owners, contractors and subcontractors on changes and adjustments to cost estimates.
  • Prepare estimates used by management for purposes such as planning, organizing, and scheduling work.
  • Prepare cost and expenditure statements and other necessary documentation at regular intervals for the duration of the project.
  • Assess cost effectiveness of products, projects or services, tracking actual costs relative to bids as the project develops.
  • Set up cost monitoring and reporting systems and procedures.
  • Conduct special studies to develop and establish standard hour and related cost data or to effect cost reduction.
  • Review material and labor requirements to decide whether it is more cost-effective to produce or purchase components.

National Wages and Employment Trends

  • Median wages (2010) $27.82 hourly, $57,860 annual
  • Employment (2008) 218,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2008-2018) Much faster than average (20% or higher)
  • Projected job openings (2008-2018) 103,600

Source: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/13-1051.00

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hey BPSers!

It’s Turkey Day and we hope you’re enjoying a day of food, family, friends, football, and fun.

We are thankful for all of you wonderful students who make our program a success.

We’re taking the rest of the week off to enjoy the holiday with our family and friends.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Study Fuel

The holidays are approaching and a recurring theme in holiday celebrations is food.

Don’t forget to keep up with your BPS studies while chowing down on turkey and stuffing this week and, while you’re studying, try these foods to fuel your study sessions.

1)      Complex carbohydrates – these can include whole grain breads, whole wheat or whole grain pastas.

2)      Fresh fruits and veggies – these will keep your blood sugar stead so you don’t crash in the middle of writing that big paper.

3)      Omega-3 fatty acids – find these in fish. These are good for your heart as well as your head.

4)      Above all: balance! – Keeping your study-foods balanced will help you through the long haul.

Of course, once you finish your paper or you’re ready for your test, you can always reward yourself with a nice cookie. :)

Keep up the hard work and happy holidays!


Source: http://dailyuw.com/news/2008/nov/24/positive-energy-a-study-on-study-foods/

Join us!

Hey there BPSers!

Join your fellow students in an online community. Be a part of your blog! Your contributions and comments are welcomed and encouraged.

Share…

  • Tips on studying, writing, or researching.
  • Holiday recipes, crafts, or gift ideas.
  • Motivation and inspiration for academic success.

Comment…

  • Was the blog helpful?
  • Do you agree/disagree?
  • Other suggestions?

Details…

Tips…

  • A blog is a conversation. Try to write the way you speak.
  • Keep it short.  Blogging is an exchange of ideas.
  • Invite comments.  Encourage your classmates to read and comment on your blog posting.
  • Remember, none of us are professional writers. We blog to create community and have a dialogue with you.
  • HAVE FUN!

Monday Career Services – Resume Writing

One of the more difficult assignments students must complete is creating their resume or curriculum vita.

If you’ve never written a resume before, here are a few helpful tips that will get you started.

1) Gather all of your information (education, past employers, reference names and contact information, etc.)  in one place. This can be on your desk or your desktop.

2) Be consistent. Use the same font throughout. Capitalize words carefully. Punctuation is your friend, use it correctly.

3) Keep it simple and clean. The best resumes are those that can easily be scanned for vital information (education, experience, etc.).

Here are some links that will provide you with more in-depth tips on resume writing.

http://www.dailywritingtips.com/resume-writing-tips/

http://www.mit.edu/~career/guide/resumes.html

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/719/1/

And, as always, we’re here to help. Want a second pair of eyes on your resume? Email us and we’re happy to have a look!

Happy Monday!