Helping Students to Become Effective Learners: Early Evidence on Embedding Learning Skills Instruction in Content Coursework


  • Scott Gaier Gaier Taylor University
  • Jenna Kramer RAND Corporation
  • John M. Braxton Vanderbilt University



student learning, deep learning, study skills, college students, embedded instruction, student success, transition to college


The current research is part of an ongoing research project—Creating a Culture of Learners—which aims to help institutions equip students to become better learners. An exploratory, pre-post design was used to examine changes in student learning when embedding learning strategies within a content course required for all new students at a liberal arts institution in the Midwest. Dependent t-tests were conducted to evaluate change between the pre- and post-tests. Two years of data are included. Results indicate statistically significant gains with moderate effect size. Our findings suggest that embedding learning strategies is a promising strategy for improving student learning. We also include suggestions for learning strategies as a part of the regular classroom instruction and curriculum.