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Embedding Study Skills in STEM Courses to Increase Retention and Success: A Quantitative Study

Journal of College Science Teaching—January/February 2024

By , , , ,

This study was conducted to determine if embedding effective study skills within a course would result in an increased use of these skills and, therefore, increase success and retention in introductory level science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) courses. An interdisciplinary team of STEM faculty members created study skills video modules that were embedded in their courses. A concurrent course in the same subject was taught without the modules as a control. Data were collected regarding course content knowledge, study skills awareness, study skills use, student confidence, course completion, course success, and course retention. Over the course of three semesters, faculty team members collected data via pre/post tests and surveys. Completion, success and retention data were obtained from College records. A significant change (p < 0.0001) in the use of flashcards, interleaving, spaced practice, and the Pomodoro Technique© were seen in students exposed to the study skills modules. A significant change (p < 0.01) was also seen in time management in the experimental group. While results indicate that exposure to the study skills does make students aware of their skill deficits, efficacy data indicates that there are other factors keeping them from fully adopting new study techniques.

Assessment Preservice Science Education STEM Teacher Preparation Teaching Strategies

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