03 January 2011

A guide to student suceess

Hello dear readers,

For those of you only familiar with the contributions of my worthy colleague Cato, allow me to reintroduce myself. I am Dr. Dick Johncock. I am a behaviourist, with a focus on educational behaviour. I believe that most problems in education today are, at their root, problems of behaviour. I also believe that most of these problems can be rectified through the use of my patent pending NBR and STFU systems (NBR and STFU).

Both of those renowned systems are teacher directed, and inflicted upon students. Today, however, I wish to share with you, the loyal Dr. Dick-ite, a system designed to help students be more successful in their studies. Before I reveal this new system to the world, however, I wish to share with you its genesis, and explain how I developed it.

Here in the collegiate world, the final exam season has only just ended. During this hectic time of year, students often come to my office hours (many for the first time all semester!) and ask how they might improve their grades. For some of them, they are beyond repair. Nevertheless, I have for several years been using a flow-chart type visual organizer to make my points. 

I have often thought that perhaps I should share it with students at the beginning of the semester. However, I firmly believe that students should self-advocate. However, I do recognize that at the high school level, those same students may need some prompting, and that this could be a valuable tool for educators at that level.

Now, with access to this fine educational blog (and the beginning of a new semester for so many of my dedicated readers), I have decided to share the system with the wider world at large. It is, like many of my publications, based on a shape, to help students remember the key points, since much research shows that people memorize shapes better than words.

On to the studying method

In my years of experience, I have deduced that there are roughly 12 key things which students should do to maximize their scores and learning. They are as follows:

1. Study
2. Take notes
3. Do homework
4. Go to class
5. Ask questions about the reading
6. Read the text
7. Listen to the teacher
8. Participate in class!
9. Put that phone away!
10. When in a group, work
11. Think
12. Draw Conclusions

Now, dear reader, you may think that these are far too many things to be put on a simple shape. After all, when I revealed the Octagon of Punishment (the OoP), there were those who complained that even eight ideas on a graphic organizer were too many, and now I'm going to attempt to put twelve ideas on one shape? The task is Shakespearean in scope, and yet with help from the mathematics department here at the Shannon Higher Institute of Teacher, I have the solution:

The Rhombic Dodecahedron.

Do you see what they've done? They've provided me with a three-dimensional shape, which obviously makes it easier to put all twelve student steps for success in one place! Better yet, dear reader, a rhombic dodecahedron provides me with the opportunity to acronymize my new system for student success:

I call it the RDOS, the Rhombic Dodecahedron of Success. If students master the twelve easy steps that make up the RDOS, they can be virtually assured of academic success.

Of course, I have student work sheets and teacher ancillary materials, so please don't hesitate to contact me, and I can begin the quote process for a visit your school, during which I would help you to put into place the RDOS, OoP, NBR, and STFU. In combination, these tools can revolutionize your learning environment.

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