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Advanced Academic Strategies Workshop Series

Spring 2015

The McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning is offering a series of hands-on, active, and process-focused workshops in which students learn and apply strategies designed expressly for the highly demanding Princeton University context. Led by McGraw's Associate Director, Nic Voge, the emphasis is on advanced and innovative techniques for purposeful and efficient learning. Students apply the strategies to their own course materials whenever possible during the workshops and, ideally, make a one-to-one follow-up appointment in The McGraw Center which builds upon what they learned in the workshop.

The strategies introduced emerge from a common core of research-based learning principles and comprise an integrated strategic approach. While each workshop can stand alone, the series is designed to build on itself and thus reinforce the core principles, and yet is sequenced to be responsive to the current demands of the semester (e.g. midterms).



Organizing Your Semester (for Balance and Success)

Map out your semester from the very start!

Balance academics with everything else Princeton has to offer. Try out proven practical techniques and tools. Find out about fundamental principles of time management and self-management that allow you to adapt to new, unexpected situations. Prevent procrastination before it prevents you from getting things done!

Bring to the workshop the syllabi from each of your courses and leave with a useful toolkit for:

  • Efficiently schedule your whole semester
  • Manage time on a daily and weekly basis
  • Getting more out of your study time
  • Using to-do lists more effectively

This is an active, hands-on workshop in which you will apply strategies to YOUR own courses. Individualized follow-up appointments with staff in the McGraw Center in Frist can be arranged.
Friday, Feb. 6, 1:30-3:00 p.m.,  330 Frist
 to reserve a space.

Wednesday, Feb. 11, 8:30-10:00 p.m.,  329 Frist
RSVP to reserve a space.


Efficient Learning Strategies: Studying Large Amounts of Information

Looking for more effective—and efficient—study strategies?

Because of the large amounts of information assigned and the compressed schedule of midterm exam week, you need to prioritize, organize and study course content as the course unfolds. Waiting until exam week to study just doesn’t work.

Learn several different study methods applicable to a variety of courses so that you can read, take lecture notes, and study more purposefully and efficiently in ALL of your courses.

Friday, Feb. 13, 1:30-3:00 p.m., 330 Frist
RSVP  to reserve a space.

Wednesday, Feb. 18, 8:30-10:00 p.m., 309 Frist
RSVP  to reserve a space.


Strategies for Efficient Reading

Learn how to make the most of assigned readings.

To achieve academic success at Princeton it is crucial for students to develop superior strategies for reading and learning from text. In this workshop you will learn: an approach that helps you align your reading strategies to instructor objectives techniques for reading various kinds of academic texts strategies for enhancing retention and recall methods for reading faster and more efficiently 
This is an active, hands-on workshop in which you will learn specific strategies by applying them. Arrange an individualized follow-up appointment at Frist with a McGraw Consultant. Sign up at:
Friday, Feb. 20, 1:30-3:00 p.m., 330 Frist
to reserve a space.

Wednesday, Feb. 25, 8
:30-10:00 p.m., 309 Frist
to reserve a space.


Effective Mid-Term Exam Preparation Strategies

Ready for your midterms? In this workshop you will learn proven methods for:

  • Anticipating and preparing for the kind of problems and questions you will be expected to answer on exams. 
  • Selecting and prioritizing the most important information in your courses. 
  • Synthesizing and reducing large amounts of information from multiple sources into manageable formats. 
  • Organizing your knowledge in ways that promote deep learning, retention, and efficient recall.

This is an active hands-on workshop in which you will work on materials from YOUR own current courses. So, bring a syllabus or two and any other information from your courses such as previous exams (check Blackboard) that might be useful in preparing for midterms.
Wednesday, Mar. 4, 8:30-10:00 p.m., 329 Frist
RSVP  to reserve a space.

Friday, Mar. 6, 1:30-3:00 p.m., 330 Frist
to reserve a space.


Moving Forward From Midterms

What did you learn FROM your midterms? 
How can you use your exams to make adjustments to your approach?
In this interactive workshop, you will use the feedback gained from your midterms to develop more effective approaches to learning for the rest of the semester.  You will take away:

  • A concrete action plan for your courses
  • A process for using exams to adjust your studying
  • A better understanding the kinds of studying required to be successful in Princeton courses generally

Friday, Mar. 27, 1:30-3:00 p.m., 330 Frist
to reserve a space.


Efficient Research Workshop

As researchers, learning to use your time in lab efficiently is essential to successfully moving forward with a project. At Princeton a successful lab experience can be essential in developing a sufficient body of work and knowledge to draw on when writing your JP or Thesis. Outside of learning the science and methods associated with your project, what can you do to become an efficient researcher?  This workshop will touch on many resources, techniques and behaviors that you can employ to get the most out of your research experience whether you have already started working in a lab, or are preparing for a summer research experience.

Tuesday, Mar. 31, 7:30-9:00 p.m., 309 Frist
 to reserve a space.


Understanding and Overcoming Procrastination

Is procrastination an obstacle to maintaining balance and achieving academic success?

If so, you are not alone.  Up to 80% of college students report that procrastination has been a significant issue. Procrastination is not a matter of mere “laziness” and the solution is not simply “better time management”. In order to overcome procrastination it is vital that you understand its root causes and motivational dynamics. It is also vital to learn an array of (sometimes counter-intuitive) strategies and techniques for dealing with it.

In this workshop you will:

  • Gain a deeper awareness of what procrastination is and why people do it
  • Understand the motivational dynamics and mind games that perpetuate procrastination
  • Learn a variety of techniques for managing procrastination

All participants can arrange individualized follow-up appointments at:

Friday, Apr. 3, 1:30-3:00 p.m., 330 Frist
to reserve a space.


Making the Most of your Summer Research Experience:

How to Benefit from Mentorship

Are you conducting research in a lab this summer? If so, you will likely have a research mentor.

  • Want to help improve your productivity and have a positive experience?
  • Want some advice on how to develop your mentor-mentee relationship?

In this workshop we'll discuss ways to make the most of the training and mentorship your lab provides.  We'll troubleshoot common situations that arise in undergraduate research and equip you to avert confusion and inefficiency by clarifying mentor and mentee roles and responsibilities. These practical approaches will help prevent frustration that can, in turn, make working in a lab unproductive. You'll take away a useful framework for starting a conversation and developing a productive relationship with your mentors.

Tuesday, April 28th, 7:30-9pm, 309 Frist 

RSVP to reserve a space