Learning Resources

Below are a series of articles, tools and links to help you maximize your academic capabilities. These include materials generated by Learning Consultants at the ARC, as well as non-Duke experts. Using the menu below, you may filter this material to view information on the following topics:


Memory & Review

May 30, 2017

This paper reviews the basic principals of review.

How does short-term memory work in relation to long-term memory? Are short-term daily memories somehow transferred to long-term storage while we sleep?

May 30, 2017

Alison Preston, an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin's Center for Learning and Memory, recalls and offers an answer for this question. A short-term memory's conversion to long-term memory requires the passage of time, which allows it to become resistant to... read more »

Semester Calendar Tool — Spring 2017

May 30, 2017

A Spring Semester 2017 downloadable calendar for you to use.

Typical ADHD Behaviors: “OMG, So That’s Why I Do That?!”

May 29, 2017

“The ADHD world is curvilinear. Past, present, and future are never separate and distinct. Everything is now.” And that can complicate everyday life, work, and relationships. Here, Dr. William Dodson explains the neurological workings of the ADHD mind.... read more »

Advice for Students: How to Talk to Professors

May 26, 2017

A while back, I recommended that students get to know their professors. I realize, though, that many students are intimidated or put off by their professors. This is... read more »

26 Time Management Tricks I Wish I'd Known at 20

May 08, 2017

Most people learn time management the hard way: by trial and error. Étienne Garbugli, a Montreal-based product and marketing consultant and the author of "... read more »

How long is short-term memory? Shorter than you might think.

Apr 13, 2017

When I (or any cognitive psychologist) refer to “short-term memory”, we’re talking about memory that lasts for 15-30 seconds. Not minutes, not a day, not a few weeks. Just 15-30 seconds. This differs quite drastically from the way people commonly use the term “short-term memory”. Have you... read more »

Speed Reading is Bullshit

Jan 23, 2017

Speed Reading is Bullshit Reading is important. That goes without saying. However, we’re also busy. And when we’re busy we take short cuts. While we want to read better — that is to read for... read more »

Learning to Learn

Jan 01, 2017

Supporting a student with dyslexia should be no different from supporting any student.  Ideally, parents and teachers would nurture each young person as someone with a unique way of thinking, learning, and interacting with the world.  Since students with dyslexia face additional challenges in the... read more »

How Extended Time on Tests Helped Improve More Than Just Test Scores

Jan 01, 2017

This nightmare might sound familiar to you: You walk into an exam. You sit down. You stare at the sheets of paper in front of you as you listen to people scribble answers to questions that you yourself have no idea how to answer. You can hear the clock ticking away. When it seems like an... read more »

I Write With My Voice: How Dictation Helps Me Handle College Writing

Nov 28, 2016

Writing isn’t easy. Thinking of what you want to write, how to say it, and then getting the words down on paper can be difficult for everyone at times. Because of my ... read more »

How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists

May 09, 2016

From vaccinations to climate change, getting science wrong has very real consequences. But journal articles, a primary way science is communicated in academia, are a different format to newspaper articles or blogs and require a level of skill and undoubtedly a greater amount of patience. Here... read more »

The Story of My ADHD Evaluation in College

Mar 15, 2016

My attention issues finally caught up with me in my third year of college. I’d failed Human Anatomy for the second time and was struggling to deal with that. My bedroom looked like a tornado had hit it. And to make matters worse, I was constantly arguing with my parents. I’d reached the point where... read more »

Understanding Dyslexia and the Reading Brain in Kids

Oct 01, 2015

At a recent talk for special education teachers at the Los Angeles Unified School District, child development professor Maryanne Wolf urged educators to say the word dyslexia out loud. “Don’t ever succumb to the idea that it’s going to develop out of something, or that it’s a disease,” she recalled... read more »

17 Illustrations That Are Incredibly Real For Anyone With ADD

Aug 18, 2015

No, you're not just ~distracted AF~. 1. ADD is more complicated than most people think.   Caroline Kee / Via BuzzFeed   Caroline Kee / Via BuzzFeed For starters, it's not always called ADD. In fact, it's now more often classified as... read more »

What Is Our Attention Really Worth?

Aug 03, 2015

Pay attention! We hear this command a lot, often from parents and teachers. People want to remind us to focus on what we’re doing. But I’ve been thinking about a more literal meaning: paying with our attention. Attention is a currency. We... read more »

Self-Advocacy: 5 Tips from a Student

May 30, 2015

Approaching a teacher and telling him or her that you have a hard time reading or spelling can be terrifying. Asking the teacher to give you things that other students don’t get, such as extra time, is daunting. If I could go back and change one thing about my educational experience it would be my... read more »

In A Digital Chapter, Paper Notebooks Are As Relevant As Ever

May 27, 2015

I confess. I'm a notebook nut. I own dozens and dozens of them. Everything from cheap reporter's notebooks to hand-crafted Italian leather beauties. I wondered: Am I an analog dinosaur, or are there others out there like me? The first stop in my investigation was, frankly, discouraging. At first... read more »

Lost in a Sea of Yellow: Teaching Students a Better Way to Highlight

May 06, 2015

A lot of students are in love with their highlighters, especially those bright, fluorescent-colored ones. They use them to highlight course materials, sometimes underlining whole pages of text. When I first saw a text so fluorescent that it all but glowed, I wondered why in the world somebody would... read more »

The Procrastination Matrix

Mar 24, 2015

Back in high school, if you had asked me if I was a procrastinator, I would have said yes. High school students are given all these lectures about “pacing yourself” on longer projects, and I proudly paced myself less than almost anyone I knew. I never missed a deadline, but I only did anything the... read more »