Strategies and Secrets for Effective Tertiary Study: Reading, Understanding, and Learning in the Academic Setting

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This article reports on findings of a replication study in which text structure instruction was provided for student teachers. Earlier research was expanded in 2008, with the first author teaching a first year university course in communication skills. Participants undertook a pre-intervention task at the first class meeting and a post-intervention task in the final session. Course content included study strategy skills (specifically, metacognition, top-level structuring [TLS], and the use of visual organizers to organize and distil information from textbooks and course readers) as a regular part of the teaching-learning curriculum. Students compiled and discussed journal entries about their practice with the newly acquired strategy to record their own developing procedural know-how and what this meant for academic work in which they were engaged. Findings of the current study will be compared to those reported earlier which indicated that learning to identify the organisational structure of text and using that knowledge strategically enhances learners’ metacognition, motivation, and self-confidence.


Keywords: Metacognition, Teacher Education, University Study, Top-Level Structure, Text Structure, Organization of Text, Reading Comprehension, Reading Recall
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English, Spanish
Paper: , , , Strategies and Secrets for Effective Tertiary Study,


Dr. Ali Wegner

Lecturer, College of Education
School of Maori, Social and Cultural Studies, University of Canterbury

Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

I am a lecturer in the School of Maori, Social and Cultural Studies. I teach in a range of subjects including professional studies, communication skills, and research methods. My research interests include teacher education, metacognition and learning, autism spectrum disorders, cultural identity, working with infants and toddlers, practitioner research, cognitive apprenticeships.

Prof. Brendan Bartlett

Associate Professor, School of Education and Professional Studies, Griffith University
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Brendan is a Gellibrand Scholar, UNICEF Fellow, King Mongkut Medallist and award holder of the Rotary International Certificate for Significant Achievement in Education. He teaches graduate and undergraduate programs in teacher education at Griffith University. He researches how people identify the “big” ideas in texts they create or read and in their everyday homeplace and workplace problems – and how they remember and make sense of such ideas.

Ref: L09P0097