EPISODE 1

Quizzes! Tests! Exams

Description of the video:

00:40
Anthony: We'd like to invite you to imagine yourself right now as immersed in a grand
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story. This is a story full of rewarding careers. It's shaped by a broad and deep education
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and lifelong learning. And it's marked by engaged participation in a truly global 21st
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century world. We are asking you to invest in the idea that a college education at its
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maximum potential is an absolutely essential ingredient in making sure this life happens.
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But it won't happen automatically. You must make it happen. It's up to you to put the
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pieces of your college classes and experiences together into some meaningful whole. You are
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the main character in the story, but you're also the author and so that means that how
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it turns out is entirely up to you. The end hasn't been written yet but you've already
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started on the beginning. Fortunately you have some help, and that's where we come in.
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My name is Anthony Guest-Scott and I'm the Academic Coordinator here at the Student Academic
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Center on the IU Bloomington campus. This online workshop series is all about how to
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make the most of college, but it's a "most" that's unapologetically ambitious. It's a
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most that includes, but goes well beyond, the idea that a degree is simply a job ticket.
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We're trying to raise the bar high, as high as we can put it.
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I want to talk a little bit more about the main character in this story now: you. And
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I'm going to describe the kind of learner you'll want to be if you want to to wring
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every last drop of potential out of your college degree, on both a personal and professional
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level. First, you want to be a reflexive learner. Reflexive learners are self-aware. They set
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goals. They monitor their motivation and comprehension. They track their progress and performance.
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They think about their own thinking and they connect this with those goals.
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Second, you want to be a self-regulated learner. Self-regulated learners understand that learning
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and studying are active processes that are largely under their control. They know it's
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up to them to get what they need and what they want out of their college degree. And
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so they must make it happen and they'll find the resources they need to do that, or if
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they don't exist, they'll create them themselves. And when they do encounter obstacles, they'll
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go and they'll seek support. And we have a ton of support on campus.
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Third, you want to be a deep learner. Deep learners, like everyone else, care about grades,
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they care about jobs, but they're most motivated by the love of learning itself. And so they
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want to do well on all of their college work because they see it as an opportunity. An
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opportunity for personal growth that will lead them somewhere exciting, to a life full
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of curiosity, wonder, understanding, and compassion. They know their college degree will provide
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them the critical thinking they need to deconstruct the world as it is now and the creativity
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they need to reimagine it as it might be.
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If you can get behind these ideas, behind this kind of learner (reflexive, self-regulated,
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and deep), then that will lead you on a path where you'll learn to mine your college courses
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for ideas that will permanently transform the way you think, act, feel, and experience
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the world. This is what we hope for you and this is what we want you to hope for yourself.
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So how do we get there? There are two roadblocks to student success that come up over and over
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again. They are attitudes and application. Sometimes what's standing primarily in a student's
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way are their mental models, their whole way of thinking about a certain topic, say, studying,
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or taking notes. That's the "attitudes" part. Other times students have a pretty good handle
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on that, they know what they need to do, but they're not quite sure how to actually do
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it. That's the "application" part. So we're going to be dealing with both things. We're
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going to be talking a lot about big ideas and philosophies, approaches to ways of thinking
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about the topics we address, but we're also going to be talking a lot about very practical,
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everyday strategies you can use right now to start making a real difference in your
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education. What we hope is that we'll help you create a positive habit. Something that
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eventually you won't even need to think about.
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All right, now a word about the format. Each episode in this series comes in a video and
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audio only version and they're about 20 to 25 minutes apiece. Our hope is that you can
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get through two or three topics that you need help with in about an hour. And they're mobile
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and accessible so you can watch or listen to these while you walk around campus, wait
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between classes, while you're working out, or washing the dishes. If you visit us online
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at our blog you'll find that each episode comes linked to a number of supporting documents
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that you can download, online resources that are connected, etc. Also on the blog you can
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talk back to us, so please do come and post questions, even very personal ones, and we'll
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answer them. Suggest other ideas for episodes and we'll get to them.
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All right, that's all for now. I want to you to remember that story I talked about at the
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beginning, the one you're writing. This series is about that journey. So enjoy, good luck,
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and please let us know what else you need.

Exercises

  1. Identify what the student was doing wrong in the story the co-hosts told at the beginning of the episode. Then, using the tips and strategies presented throughout the episode, rewrite this story so it turns out to be a successful test-taking experience.
  2. Create a checklist of things you should do when preparing to define and schedule study time for an upcoming quiz, test, or exam. Then try using this checklist for an actual test in one of your classes.
  3. Download the Study Guide Template and complete it as you prepare for this quiz, test, or exam.
    • Use Quizlet to create a custom set of flashcards you can use to review and memorize key terms.
    • Use some of Joshua Foer’s suggestions regarding elaborative encoding and the “memory palace” from his TED Talk.
Download the exercises