If you’re already using a Learning Management System (LMS) as a course management tool, you should also consider how it could help students prepare for a test. Here are some different ways that we came up with. We’d love to hear your ideas!
Build a study schedule
There’s likely a calendar tool available in your LMS, and while it’s usually for students to track assignment due dates, imagine the power it could have as a study tool. Start by offering a suggested study schedule for your students. You can use the Pomodoro technique, which suggests that students budget smaller increments of time to study, i.e., study for 25 minutes, take a 5-minute break, etc. Explain to students that their calendars have sample study schedules available with suggested topics, but they can make adjustments according to their schedules outside of school.
Chunk the material
Students’ attention spans seem to be shrinking. But that doesn’t mean that they’re unable to retain information and take what they learn from short-term to long-term memory. Breaking coursework into more palatable chunks is sometimes an easier method for learning. You can use the LMS to aggregate videos on difficult topics. Breaking difficult topics down into smaller pieces can make it easier for students to grasp the information. And they can revisit the videos during their study time as a refresher.
Post to a discussion board
Discussion boards offer prime real estate within the LMS to provides students with additional resources. Use a discussion board to cite all of the research information in one location. This gives students one area to find additional resources outside of their course materials to dig deeper into certain topics. In addition, you can dedicate a discussion board topic specifically to test preparation. Give students an outlet to ask questions and share thoughts on challenging areas for some peer-to-peer assistance.
Chat it up
Chat rooms and instant messaging still might not get many teachers excited because they can cause distractions during classroom time. But using these tools to help students study can get them immediate help when they’re experiencing a challenge. Create instant messaging groups dedicated to test prep and allow students to ask teachers and other students for help with problem areas.
Most Learning Management Systems offer some sort of file sharing tool. Make the most of it by encouraging students to share their notes, study guides and other resources they’ve created for personal study. Many times, resources students create for themselves can be very helpful to other students in the classroom. Use file sharing to build a treasure chest of study resources to give students more options for their study time.