University 101: Study, Strategize, and Succeed
Posted: July 10, 2018 | Updated: December 1, 2020
Author: Kwantlen Polytechnic University Learning Centres
University 101: Study, Strategize, and Succeed helps students to create a foundation for post-secondary studies by learning how to learn. By taking the time to read this book and work through the exercises included, students are investing in the skills that will support them in all of their classes and future learning. Successful students share a set of skills and habits in common. The good news is that these skills are not a secret; anyone can learn the skills that support successful learning. By taking some time to learn proven study strategies, students will be able to reach their learning goals, and avoid the pitfalls that can take them off-track.
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University 101: Study, Strategize, and Succeed by Kwantlen Polytechnic University Learning Centres is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.
3.6 / 5
Q: The text covers all areas and ideas of the subject appropriately and provides an effective index and/or glossary
The text covers most of the important areas for academic success. However, it doesn't cover critical thinking & effective communication (a natural outcome of reading)
The writing process assumes that students understand the entire process and should give a bit more detail on how to logically sequence their writing.
Often, the text provides strategies without saying why these are effective.
Comprehensiveness Rating: 3 out of 5
Q: Content is accurate, error-free and unbiased
Gardner - 'self-smart' - switches pronouns from personal to impersonal.
Should also note (pun intended) that Musical intelligence also means that they use music to make meaning.
Memory explanation is missing critical elements of the process - see notes in PDF text.
Content Accuracy Rating: 3 out of 5
Q: Content is up-to-date, but not in a way that will quickly make the text obsolete within a short period of time. The text is written and/or arranged in such a way that necessary updates will be relatively easy and straightforward to implement
Lots of space to add content to flesh out concepts.
Relevance Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text is written in lucid, accessible prose, and provides adequate context for any jargon/technical terminology used
Generally, the text is written in easy-to-understand language.
In several instances, examples or fuller explanations are missing. These would help students - especially EAL students or those who need concrete examples - to understand the concept and how to apply it.
Clarity Rating: 3 out of 5
Q: The text is internally consistent in terms of terminology and framework
The layout is fairly consistent - almost too sparse - no connection between units in many cases
Consistency Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text is easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections that can be assigned at different points within the course (i.e., enormous blocks of text without subheadings should be avoided). The text should not be overly self-referential, and should be easily reorganized and realigned with various subunits of a course without presenting much disruption to the reader.
This entire book is more like a compilation of workshop notes/handouts - so they can easily be integrated into other materials. However, in some cases, the intros and summaries will need to be revised for flow if units are re-arranged.
Modularity Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The topics in the text are presented in a logical, clear fashion
I found it a little odd to start with metacognition. It might be better to ease students into the concept by giving some context first - maybe via a scenario or two.
The text doesn't describe the problem before launching into Gardner's Mult Intelligences - why is this relevant?
Memory unit should come before the reading/studying units
Some sections later in the text should be briefly introduced at the start to provide context for learning (e.g. developing a growth mindset)
Organization Rating: 4 out of 5
Q: The text is free of significant interface issues, including navigation problems, distortion of images/charts, and any other display features that may distract or confuse the reader
The images that are there are adequate but some would benefit from presenting as blank and filled out.
Interface Rating: 3 out of 5
Q: The text contains no grammatical errors
None that I could find.
Grammar Rating: 5 out of 5
Q: The text is not culturally insensitive or offensive in any way. It should make use of examples that are inclusive of a variety of races, ethnicities, and backgrounds
No insensitive language that I could find. The content is presented fairly neutrally, but doesn't provide strategies for students who may have learning disabilities, language gaps or who may be generally unfamiliar with the expectations of Canadian higher education.
These could take the form of alternate strategies (i.e. for those who have real difficulties with reading) or links to other resources.
Cultural Relevance Rating: 3 out of 5
Q: Are there any other comments you would like to make about this book, for example, its appropriateness in a Canadian context or specific updates you think need to be made?
Yes, I recommend this text. It's important to note that it's useful as a supplement to more rigourous instruction. It's highly modular but also reads as a series of handouts rather than a cohesive text with flow between concepts and sections.
Overall, this does get at some of the essential elements of student success, sometimes at the expense of explaining WHY certain techniques work. However, it did spark some ideas for activities (in addition to what's provided), and should be relatively easy to adapt."
In some instances, tying concepts or strategies to previously learned material and/or research would be helpful for synthesis and credibility.
It's very text heavy - additional diagrams, better layout and perhaps some videos/animations would be useful to illuminate concepts.
In many instances examples should be added to clarify concepts.
Videos (from the online version) should be linked in each relevant unit.
Some sections later in the text should be placed earlier to give students the context for learning.