Strategic Advantage

Filling Gaps: Overcoming a Poorly Taught Class

Teaching is a very challenging profession, but we need to realize that some classes do not work for some students.  The cause of these gaps can be stylistic, lack of access to resources, unclear lectures, or a combination of many interconnected issues.   The solution is to figure out how to learn the material in the class independently.  This is often hard for students because of the expectation in middle and high school is that learning will be directed by an…

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Learning Levels: An Introduction

Do you ever feel frustrated that you can’t understand how to get better grades in class and on your assignments? This is very frustrating.  I often have students who conclude that they “are just not smart enough” to understand.  This problem does not have to do with a student’s intelligence it often comes from underestimating what learning level the teacher is using to assess the class.  Classes often level up without students being aware of the shift. Watch this video to see…

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Analyzing Papers, Projects, and Tests

When students get an assessment back it is very common for parents and teachers to help them analyze their work. This process can help students critically examine their work, effort, and approach.  I explain how we can modify this process and help students become more self-reflective and open to critical feedback. When students can pinpoint what went well they can start to build mental models and study habits around their success.  Many students have never been asked to reflect on what…

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Take Advantage of Office Hours

Sometimes it is hard to crack how to get better grades in college.  Because there are so few graded assignments in college it can be hard to adjust our study strategies.  To fill these gaps it is important to be more strategic. One of the great secrets of successful college students is that they take advantage of office hours. Office hours are often presented to students as an opportunity to ask specific questions and get help on assignments. However, what…

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