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Chapter 6   Becoming a Better Distance Learning Student: Steps to Success

Web Resources

(To locate your own current Web resources about studying, simply enter the terms “study techniques,” or “study methods,” or “study skills,” into your favorite Internet search engine. You will bring up a multitude of resources; pick those that match your interests. The resources listed below relate directly to topics discussed in Ch. 6.)

Study Skills -—

Math Library, Drexel U. http://mathforum.org/library/

Online Survival Skills, David Butler http://distancelearn.about.com/library/weekly/aa102102a.htm

Study Guides and Strategies http://www.studygs.net 

Study Skills, Eileen Tracy http://www.eileentracy.co.uk/study_skills.htm

Study Techniques for Specific Disciplines, Elmhurst College http://www.elmhurst.edu/library/learningcenter/Study%20Techniques/study_techniques.htm

Study Tips, Dushkin Online, McGraw-Hill http://www.dushkin.com/online/study/studymain.mhtml

Computer & Internet Literacy -—

EduResources Weblog http://radio.weblogs.com/0114870/

MERLOT TWO, Teaching Well Online http://www.merlot.org/Home.po?discipline=TWO

MIT OpenCourseWare http://ocw.mit.edu/index.html

Computer Science Student Resources http://williamstallings.com/StudentSupport.html

Computer Skills Self-Assessment, EOU/DDE http://www.eou.edu/dde/webadv/SelfAssess/comp_skills.htm

Web Tools for Learning http://wwwtools.cityu.edu.hk/index.html

Cognitive Mapping -—

Mapping the Learning Space http://www.educause.edu/nlii/keythemes/lcp/

Inspiration Software http://www.inspiration.com

Writing Guides -—

Grammar and Writing http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/

WSU Online Writing Guide http://owl.wsu.edu

PH Authors' Guides http://www.prenhall.com/author_guide/index.html

Distance Learning -—

Is Extended Learning for Me?--Quiz http://eli.nvcc.edu/eliforme/eliforme.asp

Distance Education Self-Assessment, EOU/DDE http://www.eou.edu/dde/webadv/SelfAssess/selfassess.htm

American Center for Study of Distance Education http://www.ed.psu.edu/acsde/

Peterson's Distance Learning http://www.petersons.com/dlearn/

UWisconsin Distance Education http://www.uwex.edu/disted/

Statistics/Reports about Distance Learning -—

Gov. Social Science Stats http://www.nsf.gov/sbe/srs/stats.htm

Teachers and Tech Report http://www.wws.princeton.edu/~ota/disk1/1995/9541.html

Theory -—

Keirsey Temperament Sorter http://www.keirsey.com/

Funderstanding/Learning Theories http://www.funderstanding.com/index.html

Malcolm Knowles http://adulted.about.com/cs/adultlearningthe/a/knowles.htm





Adler, M. and Van Doren, M. How to Read a Book. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1972.

Antonovsky, A. Unraveling the Mystery of Stress: How People Manage Stress and Stay Well. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1987.

Antonovsky, A. Health, Stress, and Coping. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1979.

Apps, J. W. Study Skills for Adults Returning to School. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1982.

Astin, A. Achieving Educational Excellence. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1985.

Bartlett, F. C. Remembering: a Study in Experimental and Social Psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1932.

Bok, D. C. The Improvement of Teaching. New York: American Council of Learned Societies, 1991.

Brookfield, S. D. Understanding and Facilitating Adult Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1991.

Bradburn, N. M. and Noll, E. C. The Structure of Psychological Well-Being. Chicago: Aldine Publishing Co., 1969.

Bradburn, N. M. and Caplovitz, D. Reports on Happiness. Chicago: Aldine, 1965.

Brown, A. S. A review of the tip-of-the-tongue experience. Psychological Bulletin, 1991, 109, 204-223.

Brown, R. and McNeill, D. The “tip-of-the-tongue” phenomenon. Journal of Verbal Learning and Behavior, 1966, 5(4), 325-337.

Bruner, J. S. Toward a Theory of Instruction. New York: Norton, 1966.

Burka, J. B. and Yuen, L. M. Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It. Reading, Massachusetts, 1983.

Dworetzky, J. P. Psychology. Pacific Grove, California: Brooks/Cole Publishing, 1997.

Ellis, D. B. Becoming a Master Student. Boston: Houghton Mifflin College Div., 2000.

Fink, L. D. Creating Significant Learning Experiences: an Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Wiley Imprint, 2003.

Fraser, L. Making Your Mark. Port Perry, Ontario: LDF Publishing, 1996.

Gardner, H. The Mind’s New Science: a History of the Cognitive Revolution. New York: Basic Books, 1985.

Gardner, H. Frames of Mind. New York: Basic Books, 1983.

Gose, B. Disengaged from their studies. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 1998, January, Vol. XLIV (19), A37-A39.

Hackworth, R. D. Math Anxiety Reduction. Clearwater, Florida: H and H Publishing Co., 1985.

Hart, J. T. Sports Psychology, pp. 1074-1075, in Corsini, R. (Ed.) The Concise Encyclopedia of Psychology. New York: Wiley Interscience, 1987.

Hart, J. T. Memory and the memory-monitoring process. Journal of Verbal Learning and Behavior, 1967, 6, 685-691.

Hart, J. T. Memory and the feeling of knowing experience. Journal of Educational Psychology, 1965, 56, 208-216.

Hoffman, B. and Ritchie, D. Tools, Templates, and Training. San Diego State University, CSU Faculty Institute, 2003 http://edweb.sdsu.edu/T3/.

Holt, J. Never Too Late: My Musical Life Story. New York: Delta, 1978.

Holt, J. How Children Learn. New York: Pitman, 1967.

Holt, J. How Children Fail. New York: Pitman, 1964.

Ikeda, S. T. An Investigation of Stress and Coping Strategies. MBA Thesis Presented at California Polytechnic University, Pomoma, 1985.

Jackson, H. (Ed.) The Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear. New York: Dover Books, 1951.

Kember, D. and Harper, G. Approaches to studying research and its implications for the quality of learning from distance education. Journal of Distance Education, 1987, 2 (2), 15-30.

Knowles, M. Andragogy in Action: Applying Modern Principles of Adult Learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1984.

Knowles, M. The Adult Learner: a Neglected Species. Houston: Gulf Publishing, 1978, second edition.

Lakein, A. How to Get Control of Your Time and Your Life. New York: New American Library, 1974.

Lazear, D. Seven Ways of Knowing: Teaching for Multiple Intelligences. Palatine, Illinois: Skylight Publishing, 1991, second edition.

Light, R. J. The Harvard Assessment Seminars: Explorations with Students and Faculty about Teaching, Learning, and Student Life: Second Report. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University, Graduate School of Education, 1992.

Light, R. J. The Harvard Assessment Seminars: Explorations with Students and Faculty about Teaching, Learning, and Student Life: First Report. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University, Graduate School of Education, 1990.

Miller, G. A., Galanter, E., and Pribram, K. H. Plans and the Structure of Behavior. New York: Holt and Company, 1960.

Myers, I. B. Gifts Differing. Palo Alto, California: Consulting Psychologists Press, 1980.

Novak, J. D. & Gowin, B. Learning How to Learn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984

Pace, C. R. Measuring the Quality of Student Effort. Los Angeles: Laboratory for Research in Higher Education, UCLA, 1980.

Pascarella, E. T. and Terenzini, P. T. How College Affects Students. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1991.

Pauk, W. How to Study in College. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.

Paulos, J. A. Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1988.

Russell, T. L. The “No Significant Difference” Phenomenon. Raleigh, North Carolina: North Carolina State University, 1997.

Seibert, A. and Gilpin, B. Time for College: The Adult Student’s Guide to Survival and Success. Portland, Oregon: Practical Psychology Press, 1992.

Sternberg, R. J. The Triarchic Mind: a New Theory of Human Intelligence. New York: Viking, 1986.

Stowers, J. C. Straight A’s: If I Can Do It, So Can You. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996.

Thorndike, E., Bregman, E., Tilton, J. W., and Woodyard, E. Adult Learning. New York: Macmillan Company, 1928.

Tinto, V. Leaving College. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.

Tobias, S. Succeed with Math: Every Student’s Guide to Conquering Math Anxiety. New York: The College Board, 1987.

Whitehead, A. N. The Aims of Education and Other Essays. New York: Macmillan Free Press, 1929




1 To take a quick inventory about whether you are ready for distance learning courses visit the Web site at Eastern Oregon University, Division of Distance Education http://www.eou.edu/dde/webadv/SelfAssess/selfassess.htm. Also see Northern Virginia Community College’s Extended Learning Institute, http://eli.nvcc.edu/eliforme/eliforme.asp; the Extended Learning Inventory (ELI0 was developed by Robert Loser. To take a test that corresponds with one theory of learning styles, visit David Keirsey’s Web site at http://www.keirsey.com/; the site also lists books and articles related to Keirsey’s approach. Another related resource is the book Gifts Differing by Isabel Briggs Meyers (1980) which discusses research and theory related to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

2 There is a large collection of research studies from 1928 to the present which report on a multitude of investigations showing that DL courses are just as effective as traditional classroom instruction. For more detailed evaluations of DE research, see the excellent chapter on “Research in Distance Education” by Robert Threlkeld and Karen Brzoska, in Distance Education: Strategies and Tools, 1994.

1 E.g., see Learning to Learn, edited by Smith, 1961.

1 The cognitive theorist Jerome Bruner talked about a theory of instruction this way, “. . . a theory of instruction must specify the ways in which a body of knowledge should be structured so that it must readily be grasped by the learner” (Bruner, 1966). This statement can be re-phrased to say, “active learning requires that a student specify how a body of knowledge should be structured so that she or he can most readily grasp it.”

1 See “To Cram or Not to Cram?” in John Dworetzky in Psychology, 1997, pp. 350-351.

1 E.g., Brown, 1991; Brown and McNeill, 1966, Hart, 1965, 1966, 1967.

1 For a wide-range review of theories of adult learning, including a critique of Knowles’ theory see Stephen Brookfield’s Understanding and Facilitating Adult Learning, 1991.

1 For more information about Gardner’s theories see The Mind’s New Science: a History of the Cognitive Revolution (1985); for a contrasting theory of multiple intelligences read Robert Sternberg’s The Triarchic Mind: a New Theory of Human Intelligence (1986).

1 Consult Tinto, Leaving College, 1987, pp. 21 and 22, for more information about this retention research.

1 Pace, Measuring the Quality of Student Effort, 1980

1 See Astin, Achieving Educational Excellence, 1985; Tinto, ibid.; Pascarella and Terenzini, How College Affects Students, 1991.

1 My personal favorite among printed books is Becoming a Master Student by David Ellis because it is comprehensive and has been modified through use in freshman How-to-study courses for many years, plus it has lots of cartoons and illustrations to enliven the instruction. An inexpensive, but very helpful study guide is Making Your Mark by Lisa Fraser which covers everything from time management, to exam preparation, to writing papers, to note taking, to study hints and shortcuts, and finally general college survival skills. Three books directed especially at adult students are Time for College: The Adult Student’s Guide to Survival and Success by Al Siebert and Bernadine Gilpin, Study Skills for Adults Returning to School by Jerold Apps, and Straight A’s: If I Can Do It, So Can You, by John Stowers who returned to college as an adult to get a chemistry degree and went on to become a medical doctor.

1 See Hart, “Sports Psychology” in the Concise Encyclopedia of Psychology.

1 In their book Learning How to Learn, Novak and Gowin provide an extended argument about how concept maps can be made a central part of pedagogy. They use extremely elaborate diagrams which, I believe, would be inappropriate for most learners to attempt in most courses because the student would become overwhelmed by the details, the multiple connections, and the layering of the concepts. However, it is worthwhile for students to appreciate that this is the kind of learning plan that is behind excellent instruction. This is what Novak and Gowin say about what concept maps are and how they work to facilitate learning, “A concept map is a schematic device for representing a set of concept meanings embedded in a framework of propositions. Concept maps work to make clear to both student and teachers the small number of key ideas they must focus on for any specific learning task. A map can also provide a kind of visual road map showing some of the pathways we may take to connect meanings of concepts in propositions. After a learning task has been completed, concept maps provide a schematic summary of what has been learned” (1984, p. 15). Consult the Inspiration Software site for examples of how cognitive mapping software is being used in k-12 schools, http://www.inspiration.com/home.cfm.

1 Hoffman and Ritchie provide on-line access to their Tools, Templates, and Training (T3) workshop at this Web address, http://edweb.sdsu.edu/T3/.

1 In the 1980s Harvard and a number of other Eastern institutions made an extended effort to find techniques that could be implemented to improve instruction. They discovered that two of most effective ways for instructors to quickly improve instruction were to simply ask students to regularly provide feedback about what worked and what didn’t work for them throughout a course (did the lecture help? did the readings help? did the lab help? etc.) and to ask that students evaluate one another’s work. Once again we can see that both instructors and students need to engage and refine their mental maps for a course to yield effective learning. See Derek Bok, The Improvement of Teaching, 1991, for a general summary about Harvard’s efforts to improve instruction; for more detailed information see Richard Light, The Harvard Assessment Seminars: First Report, 1990 and Second Report, 1992. There is also excellent research showing that one of the most important dimensions of studying is the difference between deep and surface study efforts, the “surface approach appears to be the one most strongly associated with the failure of students to complete their course of study” (1987) in “Approaches to Studying Research and Its Implications for the Quality of Learning from Distance Education” by David Kember and Greg Harper.

1 Pauk’s How to Study in College, 1997 is the key guidebook used by generations of academic support professionals.

1 Chronicle of Higher Education, January, 1998, “Disengaged from Their Studies,” by Ben Gose.

1 See Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It by Jane Burka and Lenora Yuen 1983.

1 See Norman Bradburn’s The Structure of Psychological Well Being, 1969, and Reports on Happiness, 1965 for information about the two independent factors that determine a person’s happiness.

1 Consult Aaron Antonovsky’s Unraveling the Mystery of Health (1987) and Health, Stress, and Coping (1979) for his research reports about the “sense of coherence” and its importance in managing stress and staying healthy.

1 See Ikeda, 1985, for one research report that used the Hart Student Stressor Test. Contact the author at Eastern Oregon University, Division of Distance Learning for permission to use the Student Stressor Test.

1 Consult Herbert Benson, The Relaxation Response, 1975 and Beyond the Relaxation Response, 1984.

1 See for example Sheila Tobias’s Succeed with Math: Every Student’s Guide to Conquering Math Anxiety 1987 and Robert Hackworth’s Math Anxiety Reduction, 1985; most general study guides will also include sections on coping with math anxiety, improving math and science course work, problem solving, and lab work.


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