Study habits of college students and their perceptions of the impact of brain-based attention strategies on their independent study time

2004 2004

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Abstract (summary)

The purpose of this research was twofold. The first part explored the study habits of lower-division undergraduate college students during independent study time, with special inquiry into sustained attention and mental effort. A questionnaire and focus groups answered research questions that explored students' general study practices, their study habits, factors influencing study, the length of sustained attention and mental effort, the strategies used to maintain attention, perceptions about productivity, and the metacognitive strategies used (i.e., self-monitoring, self-regulating, planning, and self-evaluating). The study showed that (1) students do not spend enough time studying, (2) the more time students spent on the job, the less they studied; (3) different factors impeding study were identified by the different age groups; (4) only 67% of study time was characterized by productive, sustained mental effort; (5) of the variability on productivity, 15.5% could be accounted for by the use of metacognitive strategies; and (6) students reported using strategies most related to knowledge and comprehension goals rather than higher order thinking goals.

The purpose of the second part was to investigate the perceived impact of the use of a brain-based study strategy. Participants used a 20 to 25 minute study segment, followed by a two to five minute break, in which cross-midline body movement was employed. The research focused on questions about the benefits of the study strategy, its effectives in increasing sustained attention, its effect on the length of time studied, its influence on better learning and productivity, and its continued use. After a two-week trial, 15 students completed an individual interview about their results using the strategy. Students reported increasing their attention and productivity and positively impacting their grades and learning. They attributed their successes to use of the strategy and indicated that they would continue its use.

Three major conclusions emerged: (1) students need to study more and more productively, (2) professors need to teach study strategies, structuring their courses to include study strategies as an integral part of the course content, and (3) metacognitive study strategies (both cognitive and effort management) and higher order thinking strategies should be taught and supported.

Indexing (details)

Higher education;
Community colleges;
Educational psychology
0745: Higher education
0275: Community colleges
0525: Educational psychology
Identifier / keyword
Education; Attention strategies; Brain-based; College students; Independent study; Study habits
Study habits of college students and their perceptions of the impact of brain-based attention strategies on their independent study time
Evans, Sheryl L.
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 66/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780496967506, 0496967509
Landry, Richard G.
The University of North Dakota
University location
United States -- North Dakota
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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