5. Lead a discussion about what the students learned from doing this activity.
OUTCOMES/EXPERIENCES: Many of my students responded that they were amazed that they had 1) remembered so much information and so many details without referring back to the document, 2) remembered so much in such a short period
of time. When asked how this had happened, most offered that it was because they had reviewed the material so many times.
The class had recently studied memory strategies and why it is important to use them. So this was a very good example of how
repeating or reviewing, over learning and rehearsing information gets it into the long-term memory. Not only do these strategies
get information into the long-term memory, they help us work on and organize that information in the long-term memory, which
enables us to better retrieve the information when needed. If information is stored in the long-term memory in an unorganized
manner and without cues, it will be difficult to retrieve that information.
Many of my students confess that they fall asleep or that their minds drift while reading. Formulating questions and highlighting
answers, as they do in this activity, gets them involved in the reading. If they are reading alone, they can substitute the game for
their own review session. They can simply formulate the questions, look at and recite the question, cover up the answer or
look away and see if they can answer the question. If they find they cannot answer the question, they know they need to
review some more. Many of the students have told me that they find the strategy useful for reading their textbooks, even the
texts that had previously put them to sleep.
LESSONS LEARNED: Once again I observed that when students participate in a well-designed activity, they are empowered
to learn and take responsibility for their own learning. As an instructor I have learned that I must always seek well-designed
activities so that optimal learning can occur.
Finally, I believe that this activity teaches personal responsibility. Students learn that they are responsible for their reading
experiences. They can be instructed how to use several strategies, but they have to be responsible for utilizing those principles
and for getting the outcomes they desire. Several of my students have mentioned to me that they feel more empowered. They
realize that not only are they responsible for their outcomes and experiences, they are responsible for doing whatever is
necessary to achieve them. This was another tool they can use to achieve those desired results.
--Angela Williams, Student Development Specialist,
University of Arkansas (AR), Angelaw@mail.uark.edu
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