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Posts Tagged ‘Studying’

Related to my recent post on students in the real world, I’ve had a lot of students over the years who were busy, whether with sports, work, or Greek activities (some of them even spend time on school!).  I also have also, however, had a few students who are so busy that I get tired just thinking of their schedules.  These students sometimes have multiple jobs, children, or both, yet manage to maintain a high level of academic success.  In many ways, they remind me of a friend that I had in high school who studied more than anybody I knew and also worked around 40 hours a week on a farm doing fun things like castrating baby pigs (yes, I grew up in a rural area).

Beyond both of these groups I’ve also had a lot of students who believe they are busy but whose schedules are filled with video games like Call of Duty and Madden and important social events like trips to the bar.  I’m not trying to say that these things are not important, but not having time to work on a paper because you have two jobs is qualitatively different than not having time to work on a paper because you were busy playing Call of Duty.

What I wonder is whether sharing the work schedules of my super-busy students with my pseudo-busy students would have any effect on their thoughts about time management.  Would seeing what a single parent has to deal with in order to get a paper done on time, for example, give others an appreciation for the amount of time that they actually have to do as they see fit?  Or would it have the effect that thinking about these schedules has on me and simply make them tired (and in need of a nap before their next round of Call of Duty?

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After the aforementioned second rash of first-exam failures, scores on the second exam were significantly improved.  This fact alone does not confirm the wait-and-see approach but I can confirm that at least one student has taken this approach to my class.  When asked what she did after the first exam to improve her performance on the second exam she stated, “I actually studied this time around.”  Of course, when I asked after the first exam how long she had spent studying she reported a study time of three hours, so there is either a difference between “studying” and “actually studying” or my methods of data collection are returning invalid results.  I suspect the latter.

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