A study guide is a teaching aid designed to help students develop reading skillsneeded to enhance their comprehension of the material is the textbook. Studyguides can be very helpful to students who have low comprehension skills. Astudy guide will ensure that the student will focus their attention on what isimportant for them to learn. The study guide has to be relevant to the test thatwill be given.
Many teachers will assign a specific reading for the class andmany of the students may not adhere to the teacher’s request. A study guide willreinforce the reading material. A study guide that is prepared without theanswers will force a student to do the reading. A study investigated the use ofstudy guides as instructional tools and compared the effectiveness of studyguides with and without analogies. Seventy-four undergraduate students in threeupper division education classes studied three passages about three obscurereligions (Manichaeism, Jainism, and the Druze religion) with and without theaid of two types of studyguides. One study guide analogized the religions toChristianity, and one did not employ analogies. Both study guides were writtenin multiple-choice, short answer, and essay format.
Within each class, studentswere randomly divided into three groups for comparison, and each subject wasgiven all three passages to study in different sequences, studying one passageper treatment condition. Results revealed a significant interaction between textand treatment, but with a small effect size. Results also revealed: (1) that theManichaeism text produced scores significantly different from the combination ofDruze and Jainism scores across all three treatments; (2) that the Manichaeismstudy guide treatments produced scores significantly different from those of theother two treatments; and (3) that the Druze analogical study guide treatmentproduced scores significantly different from those of the other treatments, butthat the Jainism analogical study guide treatment was not significantlydifferent from the other two treatments. A study explored whether the use of astudy guide would improve students’ comprehension of content area material. Twogroups of students in an eighth grade social studies class were involved:students in the control group received the usual instruction–the chapter wasread orally and discussed in class–while students in the experimental samplewere given a study guide, skimmed the material silently, and worked on theexercises in groups of two or three. A posttest on history revealed nostatistically significant differences between the scores of the two groups. However, since both time and the amount of material were limited and since noinformation is available regarding the reliability of the method used, theresults of this study can be applied only to these two samples.
Reading in thecontent areas from grades four through twelve requires the integration of newknowledge with what is already known,that involves sophisticated skills. Contentarea teachers must be aware of, model, and teach those reading and study skillsthat help students to better comprehend their reading assignments. Somestrategies that have been used successfully to train students to acquireinformation on their own include the use of prediction guides, advanceorganizers, graphic organizers, study guides, and glossing. In most of thestudies that I read, the use of a study guide improved most of the test scores.
Study guides are a useful tool that can be used in any content area to enhance astudents learning. The idea behind study guides is that students can use them asmodels of how to plan their own scheme of work. They are meant to primarily tobe an initiation to self-direction. A survey was administered to 10th-graderegular biology students to diagnose the cause for low achievement on chaptertests. Survey results verified teacher suspicion that students did not readtextbook assignments when designated as homework and, as a consequence, thisdeficiency contributed to low achievement scores.
A treatment included requiringadditional homework in the form of a teacher-prepared Reading Study Guide (RSG)that accompanied each chapter and had to be completed while students read theassignments. To complete the individualized RSG, students were unable to skimthe material but, instead, had to read the assignments thoroughly. Uponcompletion of the RSG, a pretest was administered and learning activitiesrelative to the chapter objectives were presented, followed by a posttest. Clozetest results indicated improvement in student ability levels.
Posttest scoresincreased significantly and the overall grade average on the RSG surpassedexpectations. During treatment, cloze test results disclosed that studentability levels were not equivalent to reading stanine levels. Overall resultsprovided evidence