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Brain Bites – Instructor Resources

January 14, 2018

Hello RRC Instructors!

The ASC’s Brain Bites workshop series aims to bring the latest research in learning and memory to RRC through providing interactive activities in class and at lunch.

Most of the skills covered are based on research shared through

Below are ASC slides, handouts and other resources for you to use in your classroom. Each Workshop Plan plan lists the Academic Coach who created the workshop. Feel free to reach out to ask about how to best deliver the workshop, or to invite the Coach into your classroom to work with your class.

ASC Brain Bites Resources: these workshops are approximately 50 minutes in length and include at least one activity to practice the target skill. One workshop will be posted each week during the month of January and February. 

Retrieval Practice – slides  

Retrieval Practice – workshop plan 

Retrieval Practice – handout  

Elaboration – slides 

Elaboration – workshop plan

Dual Coding – slides

Dual Coding – workshop plan

Interleaving – slides

Learning Scientist Resources: these slides can be delivered in about 10  minutes of class time. They are ideal if you have limited time to raise awareness about these research-based learning skills. Please refer students to the Brain Bites workshop series for a chance to actively apply the skills covered in these slides. 

Retrieval Practice – learning scientists slides

Elaboration – learning scientists slides

Dual Coding- learning scientist slides

Interleaving – learning scientist slides

Building Comprehension

August 28, 2015

The following strategies may help increase your understanding of what you read.

1. Continually build your knowledge through reading and studying. What you already know before you read a passage will determine your ability to understand and remember new ideas, offering context through familiar vocabulary and facts.

2. Establish a purpose for reading. Once you have established this, you will know what to focus on as you read. For example, if you are looking for answers to questions, you may skim pages to find them, rather than read every word of the chapter.

3. Pre read textbooks. Before actually reading, spend some time surveying the text. Textbooks offer many features that help students become more aware of the topic. Some features students should survey are the introduction, chapter overviews and objectives, headings and subheadings, diagrams, tables and charts, summaries, and key word lists and questions at the end of each chapter.

4. Remove the barrier of self doubt. Be positive; don’t tell yourself you won’t understand.

5. Think critically as you read. Ask yourself questions to keep your interest and help with your understanding of the text. Consider how the information fits in with the other course material you’ve read or studied and how important is it to the course as a whole.

6. Try the following methods to increase your reading speed:

a) Try to read groups of words rather than word by word.
b) Avoid thinking each word to yourself as you read. This is one of the primary causes of slow reading.
c) Avoid pointing your finger to guide your reading as this will slow your pace.
d) When reading narrow columns, focus your eyes in the middle of the column and read down the page.

Make the most of your tutoring session

August 19, 2015

Students are welcome to participate in any number of group tutoring sessions and workshops. Individual tutoring can be accessed at 1 hour per week for students at Red River College while taking courses in as part of an RRC program. Here are a few tips to make the most of your tutoring session.

1)   Seek help early.  Make use of your 1 hour per week.  Tutors become very busy the week before mid-terms and final exams.

2)  Come prepared with questions.  Have questions ready to ask the tutor when you meet. Being able to identify what areas you are having difficulty with will increase the value of your time spent with a tutor.

3)  Come prepared.  Bring your textbook, calculator and any other equipment you would need to complete your work on your own.

4)  Play an active role in your session.  Ask questions when you don’t understand the material. Do your readings before attending your tutor session. The tutoring session should not just be used to complete your homework! Ask the tutor for real life examples to help you understand concepts and how to complete your work. Even ask how a similar question might be asked on an exam.

5)  Get the extrasWE LEARN BY DOING!  Often tutors can offer another approach to understanding a complex idea, and what questions might help you to reach that understanding.  Tutors can often explain how course material fits into your program of study. Understanding what part of the overall picture your course material fits into will help you remember and recall the information for tests and exams.

6) Make your tutoring session effective.  Stay on topic and don’t be distracted by things you cannot change. Courses can be challenging and the material difficult, but it is your responsibility as a student to do the best you can despite any concerns you may have with the textbook, instructor or course delivery.

Remember: Tutoring sessions are upon your request. Notify the tutor early if you need to cancel the session. Sessions missed without notice may count as your 1 hour that week.

Quick Study Tips:

1)  Review your class material at least once a week.

2)  Be an active learner, ask questions during class.

3)  Find a quiet place to study away from distractions.

4)  Complete assigned readings before they are discussed in class.

5)  Organize a study group with 3 or 4 students to share ideas and understanding.  The group is a great resource for test preparation and explanation of complex concepts.

6)  Practice good time management techniques.

7)  Have a study buddy who you can share notes with should one of you be absent and discuss concepts you may be unclear with.

8)  If possible, review the last class’s notes before attending the next lecture.

9)  Use flash cards to memorize terms, definitions and formulas.

10) Attend study skill workshops and/or course content group sessions offered at the College.

Academic Success Centre December Newsletter

December 4, 2012

Amp Up Your Reading During Winter Break

It’ll be 1 Week – Let’s Position Ourselves for a Continued Successful New Term

The start of a new semester + 1 week of Winter Holiday time = Maximum & Quality Reading Time

Top 10 Best of Strategies to position yourself for continued academic success. View reading as a method of processing info, concepts and main ideas, rather than a receptive act of reading each word

1.  Define a purpose for reading & a strategy to compliment that purpose  Tip:  Check out this Reading Handout at the ASC Website Building Comprehension

2.  Focus your reading attention by answering questions or by searching for key words and phrases

3.  Take frequent, brief, power breaks to relax.  Read for 25 minutes; take a 5 minute breaks.  Grab a drink of water, a light snack, a walk around the block or 4 deep breaths and a stretch or 2

4.  Introduce yourself to a chapter:  Get to know the chapter outline, introduction, illustrations, diagrams and summary

5.  Highlight text only after you say or rephrase it and then write it in your own words or recreate it through images/diagrams in margins or index cards  Tip:  Highlight no more than 1/5 of your text book

6. Create a mental image about the info you read.  Double it up by creating index cards or mind maps to ‘concrete’ this image

7.  Summarize out loud the main ideas.  Schedule 3 to 5 minutes for every 25 minutes you study

8.  Turn the bold titles of the chapter into questions.  Answer by writing notes in the margin.  Tip:  Focus on main ideas, then on facts.

9.  Create short quizzes or practice questions to test your understanding of the material.  Tip:  The chapter review questions are a great start

10.  Increase your reading rate by reading newspaper articles quickly to answer the W5 questions

December Newsletter – Tutoring for all RRC Students

December 3, 2012

Accessing the Academic Success Centre’s peer tutoring can make all the difference in achieving success

Meet a dedicated math and physics staff tutor:  Soujin Yoo

Soujin Yoo is a welcome addition to our Team of Staff Tutors. Soujin appreciates the direct interaction that one-on-one tutoring lends itself to.  She knows immediately if students are learning in the moment or not, thus enabling her to meet their needs in that second.   This synchronous interaction is good for both students and tutors.

During each tutoring session, Soujin always assesses areas where students are strong and where they may need additional tutoring. She intuitively reads students well. She provides many level-specific examples for the student to practice from.

Something you may not know about Soujin is that she appreciates and regularly practices meditation.  Mediation allows her to deal calmly, and in a grounded manner, with life challenges.  Mediation helps in all areas of life.

If Soujin isn’t at the ASC, you may find her making balloon animals at the Forks:)

Tutoring For All RRC Students

Students may have up to 12 hours/semester of free tutoring.  Students with English as a Second Language needs may have 8 hours additional tutoring with a language specific focus.

All program-specific and study skills tutoring services are delivered at no cost to College students and are subject to availability.

Tutors provide help with the specific content students may find challenging and help them focus and prioritize your time. Tutors are most often peers or recent program graduates and are able to share the study strategies that helped them do well.

Visit us at D-110   at D-110 Notre Dame Campus or P-210 Exchange District Campus to connect with a tutor today.

Checking off the First Tutoring Session

November 13, 2012

With so much to remember upon meeting a tutee for the first time, it might be handy to have a ‘check-list’ by your side:

A few items to carry with you to your first tutoring session

  1. Learning Agreement (can be accessed on the ASC homepage:
  2. Your preferred contact information (i.e., a card with your RRC email address)
  3. A goal sheet or learning guide/student support guide template
  4. A calendar & your schedule
  5. Study Skills Handouts, ASC Website
  6. Wise Guys Math Stickers

A few items to gather from your first tutoring session

  1. 1.       Course syllabus (photocopy student’s syllabus)
  2. 2.       Course outline (photocopy)
  3. Student’s schedule/time table
  4. Student’s contact information

Steps for a Stellar First Session

  • Get to know your tutee;  have a good interaction with your student
  • Invite the tutee to share their objectives/goals for the next session
  •  Schedule a day, time & location for next session


  1. Record your tutoring hours and submit to Ron by the 22nd of the month