Want to "Study Smarter, Not Harder?" Reading an Article May be Your Best Bet

Sean Callahan Butler University, Alexis Bell Butler University, Hanna Throgmorton Butler University, Amanda Hall Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Tara Lineweaver Butler University
The “Study Smarter, Not Harder” study tips program teaches students eight tips designed to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of their study habits, all derived from empirical research. Putnam and colleagues (2016) recently published an article that summarizes most of the same tips: "Optimizing Learning in College: Tips from Cognitive Psychology." The current study compares these two tools (the presentation vs the article) to determine which has a greater positive impact on students’ academic habits.
Participants either spent 60 minutes reading the article or 60 minutes attending the “Study Smarter, Not Harder” presentation. Approximately six weeks later, we emailed them a link to an online survey; 172 students completed the survey, 79 who had read the article and 93 who had heard the presentation.
Together, our results indicate that students can benefit from instruction in how to study more effectively. Attending a presentation or reading an article about study tips enhanced students’ understanding of effective academic strategies and altered their approach to their own study habits. However, our results suggest that students who read the article were more discriminating in their study approaches (studying smarter), whereas students who attended the presentation used both recommended and non-recommended strategies more frequently (studying harder). Thus, reading an article may be a more effective way to improve the efficiency of students’ study habits than teaching them these strategies in a presentation format.
Oral Presentation

When & Where

09:15 AM
Pharmacy & Health Sciences 156