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Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning Improving Academic Performance

Strategies to Improve Academic Performance

The A Game: Nine Steps to Better Grades by Ken Sufka offers students nine tips for better learning and academic success. While the book is written for students, instructors may glean information useful in teaching, structuring a course, and giving advice to struggling students.

Evidence-Based Strategies to Promote Student Learning and Academic Success“, Presentation to WSU faculty and advisors, Ken Sufka, August 2014


Each tip in the book is based on years of research. Below is a list of references related to The A Game tips.

TopicAuthor (Date)ResourceType
Class attendanceCrede; Roch; Kieszczynka (2010)Class Attendance in College: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Relationship of Class Attendance with Grades and Student CharacteristicsPDF
Concept mapsBerry; Chew (2008)Improving Learning Through Interventions of Student-Generated Questions and Concept MapsPDF
Concept mapsNesbit; Adesope (2006)Learning with Concept and Knowledge Maps: A Meta-AnalysisPDF
Concept mapsNovak; Canas (2008)The Theory Underlying Concept Maps and How to Construct and Use ThemPDF
DistractionGingerich; Lineweaver (2014)OMG! Texting in Class = U Fail 🙁 Empirical Evidence That Text Messaging During Class Disrupts ComprehensionPDF
MetacognitionKruger; Dunning (2009)Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One's Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-AssessmentsPDF
Reflective learningDietz-Uhler; Lanter (2009)Using the Four-Questions Technique to Enhance LearningPDF
Seating locationBenedict; Hoag (2004)Seating Location in Large Lectures: Are Seating Preferences or Location Related to Course Performance?PDF
Seating locationMarshall; Losonczy-Marshall (2010)Classroom Ecology: Relations Between Seating Location, Performance, and AttendancePDF
Self-testing/retrievalChan; McDermott; Roediger (2006)Retrieval-Induced Facilitation: Initially Nontested Material Can Benefit From Prior Testing of Related MaterialPDF
Self-testing/retrievalKarpicke; Roediger (2008)The Critical Importance of Retrieval for LearningPDF
Self-testing/retrievalKarpicke; Blunt (2011)Retrieval Practice Produces More Learning than Elaborative Studying with Concept MappingPDF
Spaced practiceDonovan; Radosevich (1999)A Meta-Analytic Review of the Distribution of Practice Effect: Now You See It, Now You Don'tPDF
Study skillsDunlosky; Rawson; Marsh; Nathan; Willingham (2013)Improving Students' Learning With Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions From Cognitive and Educational PsychologyPDF
Test anxietyRamirez; Beilock (2011)Writing About Testing Worries Boosts Exam Performance in the ClassroomPDF