Optional Assignment: Study Guide

After grading your exams, I am going to make an optional offer to the class. In the past, I have had students and groups of students who have formed a study group to prepare for exams. One of the activities in such groups is to develop a study guide. The idea of the study guide is not to produce something that everyone can memorize. Rather, the idea is to identify lists of things that people should (1) know, and/or (2) be able to do to perform well on the exam. The process of doing this encourages you to go over your class notes and to ask on each unit and each topic we have covered: What is important to know? In addition, the process identifies common themes and devices over the course of the semester. This activity always works better in groups because you can argue about what is most important and in the process you will set this into your head as you refine your list structure.

Students in a previous class prepared an example. The material in that class is obviously different (although you will see some overlaps), but this will give you an idea of what your structure should look like.

Here is my offer: If you form such a group (there may be many in the class), I will set up a time outside the class time to go over your list with you and refine the structure prior to the final. In exchange for my going over it with you, you will agree to send me your product and allow me to post it as a study aid on the website.

Here are the rules:

  1. You need to notify me via email before May 4 that you have formed a group, giving me a list of who is in your group. I will set the group up on ELMS for you to correspond. This also is optional, you do not need to use it.

  2. You must develop a structure similar to the example based on your review of your abstracts and notes from the course. A draft of this work must be complete by May 7. Do not use the structure from the example, develop your own structure that makes sense for this course. Then create lists within that structure analogous to the example.

  3. At least one member of your group must meet with me and representatives from other groups on Thursday, May 7, from 3-5 PM. Not everyone in your group needs to be available during that time but one does. They should bring your work to share and go over.

  4. At that meeting we will go over your structures and I will give suggestions. Then, I will ask that the member of your group attending forward your product to me by May 10. I will then post it to the website as a study aid.

I emphasize that this is an optional assignment. No one in the class needs to do the assignment, but if you do, I will try to enhance your learning from it.