Here are some study hints that should assist you in either remembering what you already know or add to what you know.
Before beginning to read a
module, it is often helpful to know what you are expected to be knowledgeable
about after you have finished reading.
There are many ways to
read material, for example,
- Scanning —
looking to see if the content is of interest, looking for specific
- Skimming —
reading for main ideas (newspapers, new material)
- Exploring ideas —
reading to get a fairly accurate picture of the whole presentation of ideas
- Study reading —
reading for maximum understanding of the main ideas and their relationships
(preparing for an examination, answering a set of questions-written or
- Critical reading —
reading and then considering possible biases, inconsistent logic, false
analogies, or faulty logic
- Analytical reading —
reading with a questioning mind, seeking complete clarification
Too often learners are
asked to read some material but are not told how to read it, or what they should
be looking for. Therefore, they read using the wrong approach, e.g., they
scanned the material only to find out they needed to be critically reading. Now
they have to reread the material.
In this course, you are provided with a list of pre-reading questions, questions throughout the module, and post-reading questions.
It is suggested that you read the pre-reading questions before you begin to
The rationale for these
three sets of questions is:
- Pre-reading questions —
these questions will ask you to remember what you already know about the various topics that are covered in the module.
When you think about what you already know, you can modify it, change it, or
add to it as you read the material.
You will likely remember more because you are scaffolding
on (adding to) to what you already know. This is also part of active learning.
- Questions within the
module — these questions will ask you to think about the content.
You may be asked to apply the ideas to the forest industry;
think of other ideas; or agree or disagree with what is presented. There may be other kinds of questions, too.
Once again, this is part of active learning. If you
are actively learning, you will remember more and remember longer.
- Post-reading questions —
these questions will be divided into four or five kinds of questions.
Recall questions may not be used in every module or module parts. When
utilized, they likely will ask you to recall information by placing it in a graphic
diagram (Ladder Diagram, Tree
Diagram, Graphic Organizer)
- Application — You are asked to apply
(or transfer) what you now know to your professional life and/or personal life.
- Reflections — You will be asked to reflect about what is in the content of the module.
For example, you may be asked to think about how your attitudes are changed or modified, how this content is similar or different from what you knew before, what did you learn that is new, or what you still wonder about.
metaphors or analogies
You are asked to take a familiar idea and compare it to an unfamiliar or less familiar idea.
You are provided with two statements that ask you to compare the unknown to something you know
about — e.g., a violin, a hot air balloon, or a typewriter.
For example, how is a forest like a typewriter? How is
a forest not like a typewriter? Regardless of the metaphor that is
chosen for comparison, it is never perfect. That is why you are asked to think
of how it is not a perfect metaphor.
Synectics in this course is used to assist you in understanding the concepts better because you
are starting from a familiar idea.
They are fun, and more importantly, they will get you thinking in ways that
lead you to new understandings about the topic.
Self-assessment quiz — You are asked to answer a self-assessment test. It will assist you in determining if you have learned the
material. Links to the answers are provided.
Reading the course materials
Look at how the course is
organized before you begin. This will reduce your frustration and increase the
rate at which you learn.
If you are one of those
learners who take the time to flip through a new textbook before you begin
reading it, you will know the benefits of understanding how the text is
organized and what extra features (glossary, tables, graphs, various kinds of
appendixes) it has. The same applies to this course.
The time it takes to
survey the course will alleviate possible dissatisfaction time later. For
example, it is too late to discover where the glossary is when you have finished
It is important to know
how many modules there are, and how long they are. It is essential to know what
the various titles are so that you can choose the order that you want to read
them or choose which ones to skim.
Begin by surveying the course materials.
How many modules are there?
Are the modules
divided into chunks that are short enough for a single learning timeframe?
What are their titles?
In what order will you read them?
Is there a glossary?
Where is it?
Where is the table of contents? What kind of information is in it?
How many tables of contents are there? Where are they? Can you access them
Are there diagrams and
pictures? Are the diagrams large enough for easy viewing? If not, is there a
way to enlarge them?
Are there some unique
features in the course that may be of assistance to your learning process? If
so, what are they?
Notice the following features in each module
The figures, charts, and pictures within the modules. How
will they assist you in your learning process?
The questions on the
left side of the screen. What use are they to you? Will they keep your mind
actively involved in your learning process?
The icons beside the
questions. Do the icons alert you to the questions and the type of question?