Suggestions for Organizing Electronic Materials
Electronic course materials can consist of everything from animations to Word and Excel documents to complete Websites. How can you organize and keep track of all of this information so it's easy to find when you want to study for an exam?
- As you attend class, take notes, do readings, and complete activities, create an electronic "master document" containing an outline of what has been covered in the course. When you find out what will be on the test, you can edit the outline to include only those materials.
- As you gather electronic files, place the name of the document on the master document. Along with the name of the file, note where it is stored, i.e., ANGEL, on your computer, on a Website, etc. If the materials are located at Web sites, place the URL in your outline along with the name of the site or page.
- Create a separate folder on your computer to store your "master document" and electronic files for each course you are taking. As you receive electronic documents and files, be sure to save a copy in the correct folder for that course.
- If you keep class notes on your computer, use the class ID and date to name each file and save them in the appropriate course folder.
- If you keep class notes in a notebook, number and date each page, then note that information in the appropriate place on your master outline.
- Take careful notes
- Review your notes soon after you take them and before next class
- Schedule time at the end of the week to review and organize your notes, marking anything you don't understand.
- Form a study group to review notes and content once a week
- Attend class regularly and keep up with readings and class work. Once you fall behind it's hard to get caught up.
- Participate in class discussions
- Establish a regular study schedule
- Pay special attention to study guides your instructor gives you
- Pay special attention to points the instructor brings up during class just prior to the exam
- Test yourself on the material. Using your notes and other materials, generate a list of possible questions, then see if you can answer them.
- If possible, review previous tests you have taken in the class.
- Create study checklists by identifying all of the material that you will be tested on--list notes, formulas, ideas, and text assignments you are accountable for.
- Create summary notes and concept maps that briefly show the important ideas of the course and the relationships of these ideas
- Create summary notes that display lists and hierarchies of ideas
- Create flashcards for definitions, formulas, or lists that you need to have memorized--put topics on one side of the card, and answers on the other.
- Finish your studying the day before the exam