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date: 20 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Students are expected to know how to learn but rarely are taught the learning strategies needed for academic success. There is a long history of learning strategy research that has uncovered many effective and independent strategies students can use to facilitate learning and boost achievement. Unfortunately, researchers have been less successful in devising and promoting integrated and uncomplicated study systems students can employ. A prescriptive strategy system, SOAR, combines four simple and empirically proven strategies that can be readily employed by students for various academic tasks. SOAR is an acronym for the system’s four integrated components: Select, Organize, Associate, and Regulate. Briefly, select refers to selecting and noting key lesson ideas. Organize refers to representing selected information using graphic organizers such as matrices and illustrations. Associate refers to connecting selected ideas to one another and to previous knowledge. Regulate refers to monitoring and assessing one’s own learning.

SOAR is based on information-processing theory and is supported by research. Five empirical studies have investigated SOAR strategies compared to students’ preferred strategies or to another strategy system (SQ3R) and found SOAR to be more effective for aiding learning and comparative writing. Specific means for how to employ each SOAR strategy are described such as recording longhand notes and revising them for select, creating appropriate graphic organizers for organize, generating examples and using mnemonics for associate, and using distributed retrieval and error analysis for regulation. Although research on SOAR is just emerging as of 2019, it appears an effective and simple means for directing students in how to learn and study.

Keywords: SOAR, note taking, graphic organizers, association, self-regulation

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