When last we met in “Cumulative Review Part I- Time Management and the Spacing Effect,” I discussed the the significance of reviewing educational study materials at consistent and scheduled times prior to an assessment. Developing time management strategies is the initial essential step toward bolstering learning and test scores. However, once we’ve plotted our scholarly trajectory, how do we “review?”

Teachers, test preparation instructors, administrators, parents, students and the educational community at large must consider a crucial imperative to support effective cumulative review of conceptually challenging content: an individual’s learning style or VARK modalities, which arguably sounds like an epithet for a vicious fire breathing insect. Alas, the acronym stands for something far less fantastic and far more practical: Visual, Aural/ Auditory, Read/Write, Kinesthetic. In reality, most of us require a mixture of learning or retention VARK modes to remember and apply knowledge.

So how do we integrate our knowledge of learning style into potent study plans unique to every student? Let’s simplify with a concrete example, shall we?

Visual Learners (and Multiple Modalities): Notes, questions, equations and text are accommodated by diagrams and drawings, charts, color coded concepts, short films and online presentations. Visual aids are nothing new, so let’s apply them to cumulative review.

Example:  Calculus and Common Core Integrated Math focus heavily on polynomial functions.

Prezi's Polynomial RollercoasterWhy not reinforce recall and illustrate this complex subject matter by referencing Prezi’s online video presentation of a roller coaster constructed with polynomial expressions?

I wish my high school math teachers had contextualized math this well for me! Learning math for the sake  of learning math is a hard sell for many, but once we “see” its application, purpose and potential, not only are we likely to remember it, but we are also likely to use it!

Stay tuned for more to come on Cumulative Review and other educational and academic topics!