I am in charge in my institution of a class where students prepare math interviews to enter university. Part of the time is devoted to the review of the topics of PreCalculus and Calculus the students studied the previous. This time is mostly filled with problem solving: standard practice problems and examination problems, together with problems tailored for interviews.
To help students review, I prepared many summaries (called "cheat sheet") of various topics. I feel unsatisfied with these cheat sheets. First of all, because it is time-consuming. Secondly, because I believe they should be made by students. My rationale is that
- actively making cheatsheets and summaries help students to memorize them.
- The other reason is that, by making a summary, students show they understand the bigger picture of a topic, how things are related and what are the key points on a topic.
I will have soon have some time that I planned to have students make their own cheatsheet on a given topic. Since it will be my first time doing it, I am concerned about
How should I organize such an activity?
I am interested in people's experience on the question.
For the sake of the question, you can consider it will be three times one hour spread in a week. The students are senior high-school students (12th grade, so about 18 years old). I would qualify their average organizational skills are low (with a high standard deviation): the best of them will use highlighters to... highlight important information in their textbook, together with additional comments in their margin. Seldom have I seen them writing summaries (while it is customary of senior high school students in my own country, France). This happens in Asia (but I don't think it really matters).
Note: I am open to answers that challenge the premise of the question and explain why cheatsheets/summaries made by students are a bad idea.