Learning and Motivation Strategies: Your Guide to Success

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9780130330635: Learning and Motivation Strategies: Your Guide to Success

This hands-on volume teaches readers how to learn on their own and how to motivate themselves. It features a highly user-friendly style and an open, nontraditional look and approach. A consistent set of psychological principles--embodied in four major strategies and eight substrategies--are used throughout the book as unifying themes in exploring the various keys to achievement. Incorporates self-surveys, quick practices, applications, assignments, self-assessments, and portfolios. Introduction to Individual Learning and Motivation. The Keys to Achievement. Procrastination--The Thief of Time. Believing in Yourself--Self-Confidence. Taking Responsibility--It's up to You. Active Listening--Learning from Lecture. Active Reading--Learning from Text. Preparing for Exams. Preparing Papers and Speeches. Managing your Life in School. Relationships that Work. Planning for Your Future. For anyone interested in optimizing their study skills and strategies.

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From the Back Cover:

Written and designed to enhance students' independent learning, this innovative hands-on text uses a consistent set of psychological principles as the basis for teaching students how to learn and motivate themselves. Students are encouraged to actively participate in self-surveys, quick practices, applications, assignments, and self-assessments to improve their skills. The book's unique content is organized around four major strategies proven to increase achievement-oriented behavior:

  • Strategy #1 Take reasonable risk: Go for your goals via manageable steps.
  • Strategy #2 Take responsibility for your outcomes: build a plan and think positively.
  • Strategy #3 Search the environment: Ask questions and visualize model answers.
  • Strategy #4 Use feedback: Monitor your actions and give yourself instructions.

Learning and Motivation Strategies was developed and tested in the classroom to promote ultimate life success. The activities in the book are further complemented by a companion website (www.prenhall.com/tuckman).

Also, visit our Student Success Supersite at www.prenhall.com/success
Features include:

  • Majors Exploration
  • Career Advice
  • Web Links
  • Tips from Successful Students
  • Student Bulletin Boards
  • Faculty Resources

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

A Message to Students

Going to college is different from high school. For example,

  • there are more distractions
  • there is more work
  • the classes are harder
  • the kids are smarter
  • you have to apply yourself more
  • you have to motivate yourself to study
  • you have to cut down on watching TV, playing video games, going out
  • you don't have mom, dad, or grandma staying on your case

But succeeding in college is worth doing because it can

  • change your whole life
  • change who you are, what you can become
  • give you the chance to do interesting, self-fulfilling things
  • help you to have a comfortable, rewarding life
  • be a payoff for everything it took to get you there

What you have to realize is that success is not just a question of working hard; it's also a question of working smart. When it was easier back there in high school, you probably never noticed that there might be a better way. Maybe now we've got your attention.

What is that better way? It's strategies, ways of going about something to get the best result, the "edge." Everything you do requires strategies. You learn them as you're growing up. You watch people, especially successful ones, and see what strategies they use. Then, you try them yourself to see what happens, and practice them till you've got them down. Watch yourself in your own territory and see how many things you do that are strategic. Decoying a defender with a head fake, smiling at someone at the right time, acting like you're not good at something when you really are, going somewhere by yourself when you want to think things out: all strategies.

Many of the old high school strategies simply don't work in college. In high school, why bother to pay attention in class? It was pretty simple stuff. You could always ask a friend. Not in college though. What the professor says in class is very likely to end up on the test. So, you should have a strategy for taking notes, and a strategy for using the notes to prepare for a test.

This book is the strategy book. It has taken a great deal of new research to come up with these strategies. There is even a field of study that works on developing such strategies; it is called educational psychology. You may be a little surprised when, in the second module, you discover what these strategies are.

You may think, "How can I learn these strategies from a book? Books are dull! Books are irrelevant!" Just take a moment to flip through the pages of this book. Does this look like an ordinary textbook? Absolutely not! Why not?

  • Because the words are not packed so tightly they make you dizzy
  • Because there are neat pictures, drawings, stories, icons.
  • Because there's a Quest (you'll have to read it to find out what it is).
  • Because there are lots of things to do to keep yourself awake.
  • Because there are questions to answer, stories to write, tests to take about yourself.
  • And the best thing of all, because it's short!

We have used this book over and over with many students like you. We didn't just sit down and write it, sell it to you, and wait to see what would happen. When we first decided to write it, we knew that what we wanted to do was different from all the other books, but we also knew we wanted to achieve better results than they did. So, we tried this book out on students, lots of them, from different backgrounds, then listened to what they said, observed what they did, and evaluated the results.

This is what they told us they especially liked in our book:

  • our techniques for overcoming procrastination (their biggest problem)
  • our approaches for taking and learning from lecture notes
  • our approach to outlining and remembering what they read
  • our charts and diagrams for studying for exams
  • what we taught them about taking reasonable risk
  • what we taught about goal setting and breaking tasks into bite-size pieces

But the final proof was in the results for the term they took the course. The Portfolios in the book made them use the strategies in their other courses. And it paid off. Their grades shot up!

Will it do the same for you? Well, in large measure, that's up to you. We've fulfilled our responsibility by writing this book. If you fulfill your responsibility by believing it can help you, investing your effort, and giving it your best, then we would say the odds are pretty high that it will.

A Message to Instructors

This book is a component of an entire course, the other components of which are the accompanying Instructor's Manual and Web site. Many textbooks, indeed the majority, include content with some interactive material at the end of each chapter. This textbook includes a variety of interactive materials throughout, as a way of both breaking up the density of the instructional material and providing students with an opportunity to apply the content in smaller pieces.

A good way to gain a quick understanding of the structure of this book is to read the first module. Each of the interactive formats—quickpractices, applications, self-surveys, assignments, self-assessments, and portfolios-are described and explained. The first module also describes the instructional design used in the book, and the relation of the various interactive formats to this design.

Between the interactive materials in the book itself and the supportive material in the Instructor's Manual and on the Web site, including a sample syllabus and an entire grading system, instructors can initiate this course on their campuses in cases where such a course does not already exist. Given the reality of today's higher education environment, with students coming to college without all of the necessary preparation, this course can make a significant contribution to retention and ultimate academic success rates.

This book has a unifying theme and theoretical base that is threaded throughout all of the modules of the book. The theoretical base, also described in the first module, comes from educational psychology and gives rise to the four strategies and eight substrategies that are used throughout the book as the keys to achievement. These are described in the second module of the book. Although citations to supporting literature are not contained in the book (where they would do nothing more than divert students from the material), they can be found in the appendix of the Instructor's Manual. We are not interested in teaching students the technical details of the strategies and substrategies, only how to use them to achieve success in college. After many decades, educational psychology has developed into an applied science, reaching the point where it can be used to help improve learning and motivation in the real world.

This book has been written and designed to enhance students' engagement and independent learning. Just a quick skim through the book reveals that this book is different from the typical textbook. In addition to the many interactive materials distributed throughout, you no doubt will spot the frequent use of examples, along with an entire visual look aimed at creating interest and increasing accessibility. The design also represents an attempt to reflect the strategies that we are trying to teach, indicating a sufficient belief in their validity to "practice what we preach." For example, just as we advise students to break down material into bite-size pieces, we have done so ourselves; we have made frequent use of visual formats as we teach them to do, and relied heavily on questions, one of our major keys to achievement. Indeed, if all the world's information is the answer to questions, as we and Jeopardy contend, then questions can be used as the key to understanding.

And finally, this book has been put to the test. It has been used by students in all stages of its development, reflects their input and reactions, and has and will be constantly evaluated and improved. Initial evaluations show a significant improvement in grades during the term when the course built around the book is taken. Although this book is technically the first edition, it has already been revised three times. It has been used to teach a classroom version of the course, a web version, and a hybrid version—this last one being taught on campus in a computer lab with an instructor present, but no lectures. All three authors have taught the course and designed the different versions of the course.

We are now inviting you to join us in using the approach in this book as a way of helping college students master the strategies that will enable them to succeed in college.


We would like to acknowledge and thank the following reviewers for their insightful suggestions regarding the development of this book: Marcia Clarke-Yapi Milwaukee Area Technical College; Elizabeth Marsh, Bergen Community College of New Jersey; Elizabeth Hardaway, University of Georgia; Pat Ramdeen-Anderson, Madison Area Technical College; Barbara Oertel, Winona State University; Brenda Louise Marina, University of Akron; and Bette J. Mayes, University of Iowa.

Bruce W Tuckman
Dennis A. Abry
Dennis R. Smith

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