Information For Staff

Who We Are

301 is a centre for excellence in student skills training, support and development at the University of Sheffield. Part of Student Services, located at 301 Glossop Road, we provide academic skills workshops, 1:1 study skills appointments and a maths and statistics help service (MASH) in our bespoke teaching and study space.

301 Workshop Program 2015-6

301 runs a programme of 1-1.5 hour academic skills workshops tailored to suit students at all levels of study and from all disciplines. Workshops are available on a sign-up basis throughout the teaching period with sessions taking place on weekday evenings and Wednesday afternoons to fit in around students’ timetabled classes. Workshops can be attended on a one-off basis, or as part of a skills spine (examples overleaf), with attendance at four workshops required to qualify for the 301 Academic Skills Certificate, which can be included on students’ HEAR and counted towards the Sheffield Graduate Award.

Collaboration with Departments

301 has worked with 15 departments across all five faculties in 2014-5 to deliver bespoke in-curricular workshops. We welcome requests from academic departments to provide one-off or multiple workshops to students within a module or course of study. Previous models of departmental collaboration include:

  • One-off workshop embedded within a core module
  • Multiple workshops embedded within a core module
  • Repeat sessions of workshops to accommodate large cohorts of students
  • Extra-curricular workshop(s) offered to a whole or part of a cohort
  • We are also happy to share our workshop resources and provide training to tutors within academic departments to support in-house delivery of skills development sessions.

Study Skills

Independent Study Working in Groups
Speed Reading Reading for Memory
Note-Taking in Lectures Mind Mapping
Performing in Seminars Reflective Practice
Beating Procrastination

Writing Skills

Academic Writing: Overview Academic Writing: Dissertations            
Academic Writing: Style Editing and Proofreading
Academic Writing Paragraphs, Flow and Connectivity Searching for Researching
Academic Writing: Essay Planning and Structure

Assessment Skills

Exam Revision Planning Presentation Skills
Exam Technique: Essay-Based Exams Poster Presentations
Exam Technique: Short Answer/MCQ Critical Thinking I
Making the Most of Feedback Critical Thinking II

Please note that there are several ways to ensure that 301 can provide the most effective possible contribution to student learning in departments:

  • A lead-in time of at least three months to enable us to schedule and design appropriate sessions.
  • At least one face-to-face meeting with a tutor/module leader to help us ensure that we align the session with the learning outcomes and structure of the module/course.
  • Access to learning and teaching resources including module/course handbooks, past exam/essay questions to enable us to tailor sessions to student needs.
  • Where appropriate, advice on the use of discipline-specific texts/examples to use as the basis for activities within sessions.
  • Workshops tend to be most effective where attendance is compulsory and timing and content are aligned with module assessments. Therefore we ask that tutors promote sessions to their students and explain the importance of attendance in the wider context of the module/degree programme.
  • Contribute to the evaluation of the workshop by circulating an online evaluation form and providing feedback on the impact of the session on student learning within the module.

While we will endeavour to meet all requests for collaboration, please bear in mind that our resource is finite, and so sessions will be organised on a first-come-first-served basis. Get in touch as early as possible in the planning stages of modules to ensure a suitable lead-in time.

Further Information

301 depends on the support of academic departments to raise awareness of our services among students and staff and to provide referrals to our workshops and 1:1s via Personal and Academic Tutors and module tutors. Further information about our services is available via the 301 homepage.

For general enquiries, or to express an interest in collaborating with 301, please contact Oli Johnson, 301 Academic Skills Development Adviser: o.johnson@sheffield.ac.uk, 0114 2221350.

Case Studies

Politics POL113

All L1 UGs in the Department of Politics are required to take a core module, POL 113 Introduction to Political Analysis. This forms part of the Political Analysis skills spine, which entails compulsory modules at L1-3; and for each module students are assessed through a variety of means including essays, portfolios, group projects and presentations. For many students, such forms of assessment are an entirely new experience, and more generally the transition to university style learning - lectures and seminars - is unfamiliar.

To support both the procedural and assessed elements of the students' learning, the Department of Politics enlisted the support of 301, who delivered two rounds of workshops. The first - Communication Skills - was intended to develop the students' capacity to communicate in a range of scenarios and to complement an essay writing workshop run by the Department. The second - Working in Groups - was directly intended to facilitate their first piece of group coursework.

This is the first year that we have sought the formal support of 301, and to ensure that all students attended the workshop, the Department agreed that the sessions would be compulsory. Attendance, on the whole, was good and informal student feedback has been positive.

I found the experience of working with 301 to be extremely positive. The 301 team understood the Department's need to deliver two workshops that supported our students' learning. It is invaluable to TuoS to have a resource such as 301, and I would encourage all Departments to explore ways of working with 301 to support their students' learning experience. (Dr Felicity Matthews, Politics)

Geography GEO163

301 worked with the Department of Geography to provide tailored sessions on Group Working and Presentation Skills for module GEO163 – Information and Communication Skills for Geographers. Sessions were based on the 301 core workshop programme but tailored to make them relevant to both the discipline and the module assessment. This was achieved through discussion with lecturer Steve Wise, and use of the module outline documents.

Workshops were delivered to five groups of 40 students, to accommodate everyone on the module. In coordination with the department, the sessions were delivered in the same week as a lecture introducing the group work and presentation elements of the module and the assessment.

Feedback was extremely positive with 93% of students stating that they felt more confident in group work and presentations as a result of the sessions and 90% indicating that they would recommend the session to other students studying this module in the future. Areas that students highlighted as being of specific benefit were:

  • how to deal with difficult situations in a group
  • better understanding different roles within a group
  • improving presentation structure through effective planning
  • time management.