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Dual Enrollment Student and Faculty Resources: Study Skills

Dual Enrollment Support at Learning Resources

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a skill that students develop gradually as they progress in school. This skill becomes more important in higher grades, but some students find it difficult to understand the concept of critical thinking.

The concept can be difficult to grasp because it requires students to set aside assumptions and beliefs to think without bias or judgment. That is difficult to do!

Critical thinking involves suspending your beliefs to explore and question topics from a "blank page" point of view. It also involves the ability to know fact from opinion when exploring a topic.

These exercises are designed to help you develop critical thinking skills.

From About Education, Critical Thinking Exercises

Critical Reasoning for Beginners courses from the University of Oxford

Arguing for the importance of teaching critical thinking in college: The Huffington Post - Critical Thinking Is Essential in Every College Class

Exercises:

Study Skills

Principles of Time Management 

  1. Commitment
  2. Pursue fun with a vengeance
  3. Time vs. task focus
  4. One thing at a time
  5. Block out time
  6. First Things First
  7. Routine
  8. Flexibility
  9. respond vs. React
  10. Organize your environment

From Princeton University, Principles of Effective Time Management for Balance, Well-being, and Success

"Tim Urban knows that procrastination doesn't make sense, but he's never been able to shake his habit of waiting until the last minute to get things done. In this hilarious and insightful talk, Urban takes us on a journey through YouTube binges, Wikipedia rabbit holes and bouts of staring out the window -- and encourages us to think harder about what we're really procrastinating on, before we run out of time."

"DocMikeEvans... informative and practical video on managing stress. Dr. Mike Evans is founder of the Health Design Lab at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto, and a staff physician at St. Michael's Hospital."

"Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others."

Strategies:

  • Ask yourself pre-reading questions. 

  • Identify and define any unfamiliar terms.

  • Bracket the main idea or thesis of the reading, and put an asterisk next to it. 

  • Put down your highlighter. Make marginal notes or comments instead.

  • Write questions in the margins, and then answer the questions in a reading journal or on a separate piece of paper.

  • Make outlines, flow charts, or diagrams that help you to map and to understand ideas visually.

  • Read each paragraph carefully and then determine “what it says” and “what it does.” Answer “what it says” in only one sentence.

  • Write a summary of an essay or chapter in your own words. 

  • Write your own exam question based on a reading.

Read more about these strategies along with diagrams on The McGraw Center for Teaching & Learning's "Active Reading Strategies: Remember and Analyze What You Read".

Examples:

Textbook reading notes

Novel reading note taking

"When is the last time you did absolutely nothing for 10 whole minutes? Not texting, talking or even thinking? Mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe describes the transformative power of doing just that: Refreshing your mind for 10 minutes a day, simply by being mindful and experiencing the present moment. (No need for incense or sitting in uncomfortable positions.)"

Reading List: Mental Health