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Principles of Biology

Read/Write Learning Style

Read/Write Learners =  You like this page because the emphasis is on words and lists. You believe the meanings are within the words, so the talk was OK, but a handout is better.

If you have a strong preference for Read/Write (R) learning, here are some suggestions for how to be successful in BIOL 198. Not all of these will work for everybody, but some of them will probably work for you.

INTAKE [How to get the material into your head] - When taking notes on the introductory and wrap-up mini-lectures, use lists and outlines to organize the material. Ask the professor if he/she has a handout of the presentation, or if you can get one later. Read the textbook material and the studio manual for each class before you come to class. Pay attention to the web-based material and make notes (again, lists or outlines might be best) from this material. Do not transcribe it verbatim, but put it into your own words and your own format. Write verbal descriptions of the demonstrations, animations, or other visual aids that you are exposed to in the studio classroom. Write verbal descriptions of the lab experiments, the outcomes of these experiments, and the use of controls in these experiments. Take an extra notebook or some note cards, since your studio manual probably doesn't have enough room for all the things you want to write.

SWOT [Study without tears] - MAKE A LIST OF THE OBJECTIVES, and write a paragraph for each one, using your own words. Write our the words from your lecture notes again, and organize them more compactly. Get the study guides and read them before you review the textbook readings, and again afterward.  Go to the open studio hours or make an appointment with an instructor and ask them to read your objective paragraphs and make corrections or additions as needed. Revamp figures in the text or on the web into written descriptions (e.g. "This figure shows the growth of the human population over the last 12,000 years, and the curve resembles an exponential growth curve"). Imagine your lists as multiple-choice questions and practice answering them.

OUTPUT [To perform well in the examination] - If you have prepared as above, you should do well on the tests because words and lists and multiple-choice questions are the primary ways that we can write an exam using computer-graded cards. For the test questions that use diagrams or figures, write a written description of the figure before you answer the question. You may have a tendency to "over-think" on these questions, because you might worry about the exact meaning of a word or phrase. In general, go with your first instinct on an answer unless you discover that you have misread the question or missed one of the answers in haste.

If you are an Read/Write learner, and have some other strategies that have helped you in this class, please let us know and we can update these paragraphs.