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John Michael Domino

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A Plan For Academic Success - Previewing
By John Michael Domino
Friday, October 30, 2009

Rated "G" by the Author.

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It is great to eat a submarine sandwich prepared with hot and fresh bread. This process prepares and makes way for the meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes that we will enjoy in our sandwich. Placing fresh ingredients on an old stale slice of bread does not sound very appealing. The same is true when preparing for class. Take a few minutes and check the syllabus and/or study guide for the day’s lesson. Scan through the main objectives and look up some of the information to be presented either in the textbook or on the internet. This is called previewing the information.

With proper previewing you should go to class feeling more confident knowing more information about the day’s lesson than ever before. Previewing also increases motivation because students who preview usually feel more connected (plugged-in) and they can better identify with the lesson contents. Many students have commented that they really enjoy this technique. Previewing is preparing for the days challenges. So be prepared and preview!






-        Increases self-confidence – When playing a sport like soccer or baseball on new turf it really helps to warm up before the game. This way the team becomes familiar with the territory and this increases their self-confidence. It is the same way with previewing before a class. Previewing before class naturally increases self-confidence.


-        Increases motivation – When we preview we naturally enjoy learning more. After previewing you will feel more confident and motivated because you can engage and participate in the lesson. This motivation is enough to turn those difficult subjects into a challenging and more enjoyable experience! 


-        Stimulates learning - .One of the first steps in learning is identification. For example, once you know the definition of a word you naturally become more stimulated to learn more about the subject.


-        Increases memory – If more time and effort is spent learning something then it is usually easier to recall.  For example, if you previewed medical terms and then discussed them in class your chances of recalling them are much greater than if you were exposed to the terminology for the first time.


-        Increases wellness – With previewing, many students are much happier about being in class. They feel better about themselves because they are an integral part of the group. It gives one a sense of belonging. Once you get in the habit of previewing you will probably not want to be unprepared ever again!


-        Class participation points – Most instructors provide a set amount of points for class participation. That’s why it pays to be prepared and know the material being presented. This can make a significant difference on a final grade.

Exerpts from the book "Mentoring To-Go"

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