For once, traffic was not too congested on my way to work the other day, so I was afforded the luxury of stopping by the Starbucks near the office for a caffeine lift. While waiting on my drink, I noticed a young woman studying. I was surprised to see someone focusing on academics at 7:30 in the morning, but impressed nonetheless. That is, until I glanced at the textbook and realized it was covered in brightly colored markings in its entirety. It looked as if this individual highlighted every sentence, in every paragraph, on every page. And that reminded me of a technique that I share with customers at The College Network that I’d like to reiterate here.
Highlighting doesn’t automatically connect the dots for the learner. There has to be a purpose for the highlighting otherwise you just end up with pages that look as if Rainbow Bright herself hijacked your text book. Below are some suggestions pertinent to our Comprehensive Learning Modules in regards to effective Highlighting:
- Highlight information that is difficult to comprehend at first or is surprising or brand new information. This will cue the learner to revisit the particular section during review.
- Color-code the objectives with different color highlighters or pens. When the answer to the objective appears in the chapter section, then mark, highlight, or underline the information. This also makes it easier for learners to go back and review information later.
- Highlight the main ideas (“thesis statement” or gist) of paragraph or section. This works best when learners can then reword this section in their own words.
Remember: Highlight with a purpose!