Study Smarter Not Harder: Study Skills for Students

(Grades 4-12) / Flex Course

PDI Course Number: 89T03 / UCSD Course Number: EDUC41443


Course Description

Are your students in need of study skills training to help them become more successful students and test takers? This online course is designed to provide teachers in grades 4-12 with the necessary tools to help students improve their study skills, not by working harder, but by working smarter. Throughout the course, teachers will gain valuable insights into helping their students set and track S.M.A.R.T. goals as they work to become active participants in the learning process. Teachers will be taken through the problem-solving process as they learn how to help their students apply their metacognitive skills so that they become more adept at studying. Teachers will learn specific techniques to help students stay organized (including space, time, and process). Teachers will be introduced to multiple techniques, ideas, and resources to help students learn how to ask questions, dissect different types of text, and understand text structures and features, all of which are geared toward helping them develop their study skills. Teachers will take a deep dive into specific study strategies for reading and vocabulary, and they will explore a variety of additional study techniques that can be applied to any content area across grades 4-12. Teachers will also learn several tips and tricks for helping their students master the art of taking tests, making them prepared and confident once test day arrives. By the end of this course, teachers will feel more confident and successful in their quest to prepare their students for the future by working smarter, not harder. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units (50 hours of training) from UC San Diego Extension. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"I found this class to be filled with practical, useable information. I was able to learn and apply strategies to help my students study more effectively even before I was through with the course." - Kevin Iapichino-Dorr

Enrollment Options

Course Only

$127 with the discount

Course with Credit from UCSD Extension

$323 with the discount

This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units or 5 quarter units of graduate-level credit from UC San Diego.

You have up to one year from the date you are enrolled to complete a flex course.



Required Resource Book

This course has a modestly-priced required resource book (available in both new and used versions) that can be purchased through Amazon using the following link. Note that you can begin and participate in your course before the book arrives.

If you are registering for multiple courses, use the following link to access the book list for all PDI courses with direct purchase links through Amazon. PDI Course Resource Book List



UCSD Course Number: EDUC41443
Unit One
  • Every Leaner is Different
  • Helping Students Become Active Learners
  • Understanding the Problem Solving Process
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1
Unit Two
  • Laying a Solid Foundation for Learning
  • Identifying and Setting S.M.A.R.T Goals
  • Tracking Progress and Monitoring Goals
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2
Unit Three
  • Organize Your Space
  • Organize Your Process
  • Organize Your Time
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3
Unit Four
  • The Art of Asking Questions
  • Dissecting Types of Text
  • Understanding Text Structures and Features
  • Test #4
Unit Five
  • Study Strategies for Reading
  • Study Strategies for Vocabulary
  • Additional Study Techniques
  • Test #5
Unit Six
  • Mastering Test Taking: Tips and Tricks
  • Test Day: How to Be Prepared
  • Developing Lifelong Study Habits
  • Assignment #4: Create a study guide and sample test
  • Assignment #5: Reading/Learning Log (Based on required resource book)


Click here to request a copy of the detailed syllabus

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