It’s a fair bet that for most students – and teachers come to that – “revision” isn’t something that features highly on their list of “things to do” when it comes to studying.
It’s just the tedious stuff they need to do between finishing a course and starting exams because most of what they thought they’d learnt over the preceding two years of an a-level course has mysteriously gone AWOL.
And it’s something they need to find. Sharpish.
Encouraging students to see revision as integral to their studies – as something they do from the very start of their course – isn’t easy, for a variety of reasons with which you probably have an over-easy familiarity. But that isn’t to say you can’t encourage a more proactive approach to revision in a couple of ways:
- by providing students with “revision tasks” throughout the course.
- by helping students to structure their revision to keep it focused and relevant.
While this isn’t something that just happens overnight – it takes a great deal of thought and planning – it is possible to get your students into the swing (or mindset if you prefer to overcomplicate things) of “constantly revising” throughout a course by providing them with tools that encourage this behaviour.
One example of this is provided by The Sociology Guy in the form of “structured revision tasks” – one-hour revision sessions built around the Assessment Objectives (AOs) common to each of the four English and Welsh A-level Exam Boards.
Each Revision Workout consists of 4, 15 minute, exercises based around the AOs of Knowledge and Understanding, Application, Analysis and Evaluation. To save me the trouble of explaining how this all works, just have a look at one of the example Workouts and you’ll see how this all fits together.
On the upside, Revision Workouts are the kinds of highly-structured homework tasks that can be set for students from the very start of the course to encourage them to carry out three key memory tasks (Review, Relate and Retrieve if you need to ask).
On the downside there are currently only 3 pre-made Workouts available, covering:
- Quantitative and Qualitative Methods
- Positivism and Interpretivism
- Education and Research Methods
However, what these do is give you a very good idea about how to create Revision Workouts of your own based on the simple principles demonstrated in the Workouts.
I’d suggest this is a task a small group of teachers could easily get together to share, but we all know that’s never going to happen.
And while I certainly have neither the time nor inclination to do it for you, I have at least created a blank Workout you can use to make your own revision materials. I’ve also made this available in 3 formats: a picture, a Word document and a .pdf document.
Finally, although the example Workouts provided by The Sociology Guy are for Sociology (the name’s a bit of a giveaway), the blank Workouts can be used for just about any subject that has Assessment Objectives…