Short video guides for students on effective study strategies

September 30, 2014

College students frequently waste time using ineffective study strategies because they are unaware of which strategies are effective or don’t retain the suggestions for effective study provided by their instructors. Stephen Chew, a cognitive psychologist at Samford University, created a series of 5 short YouTube videos that describe effective study strategies and explain why these strategies produce learning that lasts.

In each video, Chew provides context and defines terms so that an instructor can direct students to an individual video for good advice on studying. However, because each video builds on concepts explained in detail in earlier videos, the greatest benefit will be gained by asking students to view all of the videos in sequence. The following annotated guide to the five videos is based on descriptions provided by Stephen Chew.

Video Guide: How to Study Long and Hard and Still Fail…or How to Get the Most Out of Studying

The overall theme of the videos communicates two important ideas. First, students who use ineffective or inefficient ways of studying will discover that they study long and hard and still fail. Second, students who use effective strategies will get the most learning out of their study time and will be more likely to succeed.

Video 1: Beliefs That Make You Fail…Or Succeed
Chew examines common mistaken beliefs students often possess that undermine their learning. The video tries to correct those misconceptions with accurate beliefs about learning.  View Video 1

Video 2: What Students Should Understand About How People Learn
Chew introduces a simple but powerful theory of memory, Levels of Processing, that explains why some strategies are more beneficial than others for learning. Application of the Levels of Processing model when selecting study strategies can help students improve their study. View Video 2

Video 3: Cognitive Principles for Optimizing Learning
Chew operationalizes the concept of level of processing into four principles that students can use to develop effective study strategies. View Video 3

Video 4: Putting the Principles for Optimizing Learning into Practice
Chew applies the principles of deep processing to common study situations. Chew describes the conditions in which the student’s method for taking notes in class or highlighting text while reading corresponds to either shallow or deep processing, with predictable consequences for quality of learning. View Video 4

Video 5: I Blew the Exam, Now What?
Chew addresses what students should and should not do when they earn a bad grade on an exam. View Video 5

The first four videos are based on a presentation Stephen Chew makes to freshmen at Samford, which he described in a publication of the Association for Psychological Science Observer (2010).

Chew, S. L. (2010). Improving student performance by challenging student misconceptions about learning. Observer, 3 (4).
Available at the following URL:

Updated: 10-01-14 tjf