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Continuing Undergraduate Students


Welcome back! Here at 301, we hope you have had a well earned rest over the holidays and are ready for the upcoming semester. You are now in the middle of your course. Hopefully you are fully immersed, progressing on track and feeling confident with the material, your abilities and skills. Depending on your discipline, you might be expected to attend a lot of lectures, tutorials, seminars or labs. Alternatively, you might have little direct contact time and are expected to work by yourself and be your own tutor and self-motivator. In any case, you should allow yourself a lot of time for your work but also sufficient time to properly relax and maintain self care. Make sure to let yourself recharge, especially when you are in the thick of things. Don’t forget to look after both your physical and mental health throughout your studies; take time to exercise and socialise with friends.

You will have developed and enhanced many academic skills in your studies thus far. Along with the subject knowledge that you will gain throughout this semester, you will be advancing and honing your academic and personal skills as your studies continue to progress. Your academic skills will include ‘hard’ skills specific to your discipline (i.e. your subject knowledge) but they will also include a range of ‘soft’ skills like critical thinking and analytical writing. In all cases, the skills that you develop in your programme are life skills: these transferable skills will serve you well throughout your higher education and into your later career. Remember, this is a marathon not a sprint: success and progress will take time, patience and hard work!

This resource includes core, recommended and optional study skills resources that will keep you on track towards academic success. These concepts are most likely familiar but it is always a smart idea to refresh your knowledge so that these skills become second nature and become embedded in your academic approach. Remember, we have a lot of other resources available, like workshops and 1:1 tutorials (found at the bottom of the page), that can also be of assistance.


The learning objectives of this resource are as follows:

  • Reflect on your personal strengths
  • Develop the skills and confidence to make a positive start to the new academic year
  • Maintain pre-existing skills and understand how to build upon them
  • Set skills-related goals for the academic year and work towards them
  • Apply your academic skills to learning and assessment on your course

      


How to Use this Course

Resources are broken down into sections below. Each section contains a set of resources and activities relevant to the suggested stage of your course:

  • Core resources are those that will be relevant for everyone and should be completed
  • Recommended resources are those that should be completed if relevant
  • Optional resources are those that may be of interest

  Please use this course flexibly to dip in and out of the resources as appropriate, to help develop the skills you will need for your learning and assessments. Some resources will be useful as a refresher, while other areas may be new to you. If you wish to record your progress on the course, you can work towards the Academic Skills Certificate to gain recognition for your ongoing skills development. It should be noted that some resources will be useful as a refresher, while other areas may be new to you (and extremely useful throughout your second year!)

Pre-arrival/intro week

Returning to campus in any manner (online, blended or face-to-face) might feel somewhat unfamiliar even if you have studied here previously. For example, it might be your first time seeing tutors and peers face-to-face. These resources will help you ease back into your studies and university life while giving you support where needed. By now, you will be used to the way university works, at least in a COVID-19 world. However, you may be unsure where to get started for the next semester. Even the most experienced university students can feel disoriented coming back into study after a break, no matter how long or short. You have already gained numerous skills, knowledge and experience through your course, so remember you have a solid foundation to start from. Now it is time to take stock!

One of the best actions to take right now is a Skills Audit to help level up your skills. Taking the audit will help to identify your strengths and priorities for further development that you will need in your degree and beyond by responding to a series of short statements. It takes no longer than 5 minutes to complete and will generate a personalised action plan (even before your modules begin). The more time you have to work on your skills, the better. It is probably worthwhile to take the audit at the beginning of the semester as a starting point to set priorities and goals.

Remember: you can take the Skills Audit as many times as you like and it will save your personal skills record. Your priorities might change over the course of your degree as you develop and hone in on specific skills. You can use it as part of your ongoing skills reflection to keep track of your progress.

301 logo Resource Core/Recommended/Optional Description Time Commitment
LOGOworkshoprecording Reflecting on your Academic Progress Core

Workshop recording

 30 mins

LOGOworkshoprecordingLOGOonlineresource Putting your Feedback into Practice Recommended

Workshop recording & online resources

30 mins

Sometimes what we have already learned from an assignment, activity or piece of work is not always obvious; this is why we need to reflect on our experiences and academic practice. Being able to recall what happened and turn your insights into an action plan is not always easy and this workshop will take you step by step through that process. This workshop is even more impactful if it is done in conjunction with the Skills Audit (above). It will allow you to reflect on the following questions (and more!): Do you need to brush up on particular skills? Are there gaps in your skill set and can you identify them (i.e. skills audit)? What else can you master to give yourself the edge in the upcoming semester?

Have a look at your feedback from last year’s work. Does it point towards areas to focus on? Is there a difference between your formative and summative feedback? Our workshop recording and online resources will help you understand and get the most out of feedback with special focus on using feedback as a transferable skill.

Top Tips from our Tutor Team:

All of our resources at 301 are developed collaboratively with our experienced team of postgraduate tutors.

Watch this short video to hear their top tips for getting started on your course.

      

Survey

No matter what you are feeling about your course, remember you are not alone! Have a go at answering the following multiple choice questions and submit the form to record your responses (a copy will be emailed to you). You will be able to see how other students have responded and reflect on your own feelings.  

Please note: your responses will be anonymous.

Weeks 1-4

Think of yourself as an explorer. You have been tasked with climbing an ancient pyramid to attain your degree at Sheffield and develop a variety of skills and strategies. You started the climb during your first year and should have a solid foundation to lift yourself up to the next level, building on the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills you have developed. This transition can be made easier by reinforcing your skills and development at each step.

You may already be familiar with some concepts and therefore choose to concentrate on other skills. It would be worthwhile to check out 301 Kaltura media, where there are a selection of over 75 videos and resources to support your academic work and assessment as part of your course. Focus on where your biggest challenges are and where maximum gains can be made! If you’re still unsure, retake the 301 skills audit (in the pre-arrival/intro week tab) to diagnose specific areas for your study skills development.

It’s useful to think about what’s to come and which areas need the most focus. It is important to reflect on last year and identify where to brush up on skills. Are there other areas you really want to work on but need a good starting point? Does the next year require skills you’ve not had to use or develop yet, such as mathematics or statistics or working in a group project online? Feel free to explore the resources below at your own pace and in your own time.

301 logo Resource Core/Recommended/Optional Description Time Commitment
LOGOworkshoprecording Managing your Time and Avoiding Distractions Recommended Workshop Recording
30 mins
LOGOworkshoprecording Speed Reading Recommended Workshop Recording 20 mins
LOGOworkshoprecording Focused Reading Recommended Workshop Recording 30 mins
LOGOworkshoprecording Note Taking Recommended Workshop Recording 35 mins
LOGOonlineresource Maths and Statistics Optional

Maths Online Resources

Statistics Online Resources

N/A
LOGOinteractiveresource Maths Anxiety Optional

Interactive Digital Workshop

30 mins
LOGOinteractiveresource Group Working: Online and Face to Face Optional

Interactive Digital Workshop

General Group Work and Collaboration resources
Online Resources

30 mins
LOGOonlineresource Getting the Most Out of Seminars Optional

Online Resources

N/A
LOGOonlineresource Getting the Most out of Online Lectures Optional

Online Resources

N/A

 Smart Goals

Setting SMART goals allows you to clarify your ideas, focus your efforts, use your time and resources productively, thus increasing your chances of achieving your goals. It can also improve your ability to reach your goals by encouraging you to define the objectives and set a completion date (i.e. maintain your target when it comes to your coursework, deadlines and exam revisions).

Your SMART goals should be:

  • Specific - make your goal as simple and specific as possible
  • Measurable - determine how will you monitor your progress
  • Achievable - determine if meeting your goal is reasonable
  • Relevant - will your goals meet the desired outcomes
  • Timely - set a realistic time scale for completing the task

Like many of our resources, you can modify it to best fit your needs. Remember to work SMARTER not HARDER! For more information please consult SMART Goals Template and SMART Goals Video.

Bullseyesmaller

Skills Audit 

A skills audit is a way to gain an overview of your existing strengths and identify skills gaps for development.

It can be a helpful starting point to set priorities and goals to work on and reflect back on your progress over time.

Take a skills audit here.

Skills Audit Icon

Weeks 5 - 8

You are now in the middle of your semester. Hopefully you are fully immersed, progressing on track and feeling confident with the material, your abilities and skills. Depending on your course, you might be expected to attend a lot of lectures, tutorials, seminars or labs. Alternatively, you might have little direct contact time and are expected to work by yourself and be your own tutor and self-motivator. In any case, you should allow yourself a lot of time for your work but also sufficient time to properly relax and maintain self care. Make sure to let yourself recharge, especially when you are in the thick of things. Don’t forget to look after both your physical and mental health throughout your studies; take time to exercise and socialise with friends.

Here are some core, recommended and optional study skills resources that will keep you on track towards academic success. These concepts are most likely familiar but it is always a smart idea to refresh your knowledge so that these skills become second nature and become embedded in your academic approach. Remember, we have a lot of other resources available, like workshops and 1:1 tutorials (found at the bottom of the page), that can also be of assistance.

301 logo Resource Core/Recommended/Optional Description Time Commitment
LOGOinteractiveresource Critical Reading and Writing Core

Interactive Digital Workshop and Online Resources

30 mins
LOGOonlineresource Essay Structure and Planning Core

Online Resources

30 mins
LOGOworkshoprecording Developing an Academic Argument Core

Online Resources and Workshop Recording

30 mins
LOGOworkshoprecording Mental Wellbeing Core

Other Service

N/A
LOGOonlineresource Scientific and Lab Report Writing Recommended

Online Resources

N/A
LOGOonlineresource Referencing Recommended

Online Resources

N/A
LOGOworkshoprecording Paraphrasing and Using Academic Sources Recommended

Workshop Recording

45 mins
LOGOonlineresource Presentation Skills Optional

Workshop Recording and
Online Resources

35 mins
LOGOonlineresource Maths and Statistics online resources Optional

Maths Online Resources

Statistics Online Resources

N/A
LOGOonlineresource Presenting Online Optional

Online Resources

N/A

Survey

Please share your experiences so far. Have a go at answering the following questions and submit the form to record your responses (a copy will be emailed to you). You will then be able to see how other students have responded to these questions as well. Remember you are not alone!

Please note: your responses will be anonymous.

Weeks 9-12

At the end of the semester, there are a busy couple of months filled with deadlines and the possibility of end of term assignments and exams. Whatever your semester looks like, 301 can provide you with a wide variety of guidance and support.

Note: It is always a good idea to check any formal and informal guidance given to you by your department or module leaders regarding your assessment formals or exams. It is extremely important to know what to expect ahead of time - this will give you a big advantage in terms of revision and seeking out what 301 resources are available to you. You can also access the SSiD exam webpages, where you can find out your exam information if it has been released.

301 always has your back! We have developed an extensive range of study skills resources specifically designed to help you during the examination and assessment period. These include an exam essay planner and an exam mapping template. It is likely that you will be well-versed in a lot of these topics, having already been through a few examinations and assessment periods, but it is always a sensible idea to refresh your pre-existing knowledge, skills and strategies. Use the table below to give you an edge in obtaining the marks you want.

301 logo Resource Core/Recommended/Optional Description Time Commitment
LOGOonlineresource Preparing for Online Assessments Core Online resources 30 mins
LOGOonlineresourceLOGOworkshoprecording Exam Revision Core Online resources & Workshop Recording 45 mins
LOGOsignpost VARK Optional

VARK Questionnaire

15 mins
LOGOonlineresource Proofreading Recommended Online resources 30 mins
LOGOonlineresource Time Management Recommended Online resources 30 mins
LOGOonlineresourceLOGOworkshoprecording Exam Technique Optional

Online resources & Workshop Recording

60 mins
LOGOonlineresource Guide to Online Assessments Optional Online resources 30 mins
LOGOonlineresource Exam Worries Optional Resources

30 mins

Brief Top Tips:

  • Think positively and avoid the company of those with a negative outlook
  • Regularly glance over the material you have revised - do not cram at the last minute!
  • Learn strategies for answering different types of questions on exams
  • Find out how you learn and study using VARK (see above table). It is a questionnaire designed to help determine what type of learner you are (i.e. visual, aural, reading/writing and kinesthetic) and suggest the strategies you should be using.
  • Take care of your body and mind by taking breaks and time to relax
  • Plan out how to use your time during the exam

Next Steps

Once the semester is over, you will receive feedback and your results. After receiving those, it is a perfect time to reflect on the past semester (and even the previous year). Try to determine what parts of your course have gone well and which parts have provided the most challenges. Keep in mind that everyone struggles in different aspects of academia and that you are not alone. The measure of you as a student is how you handle the challenges and struggles. Can you identify any skills you immediately WANT and HAVE to develop?

The best starting point is to look through the feedback from all the work done throughout the semester. You will encounter feedback from others in all different aspects of life, from university and beyond, so using this as a tool is a step in the right direction.You can use this template to reflect on a piece of recent feedback by determining the most useful feedback comments and how much you agree with them (you do not have to agree with all of them!), what things you did to attract both positive and negative feedback, one main aspect to continue doing in future work and one aspect to change and then applying it to your future work.

Below there are resources to aid your reflection and help to see how much progress you have already made. We tend to focus on all the things we did poorly or need to improve on but this is also a chance to reflect on what you did well and all the new skills you have learned, as well as the pre-existing ones you have maintained and built upon. Keep up the great work and keep your momentum going!

301 logo Resource Core/Recommended/Optional Description Time Commitment
LOGOworkshoprecordingLOGOonlineresource Putting your Feedback into Practise Recommended Workshop Recording & Online Resources 30 mins
LOGOworkshoprecording Reflecting on your Academic Progress Recommended Workshop Recording 30 mins

Circle of Learning

Having worked through these resources, you will probably have begun to identify a circle of development that occurs as your skills progress. Once you learn and develop new skills, you will use them in everyday life (not just within academia), reflect upon them and then build on them further. No matter what age you are, you never stop developing/honing in on the skills you have and reflecting on your work and practice. The following may help to consolidate and gain recognition for this developmental process:

Skills Audit

You hopefully took a skills audit at the beginning of the semester, most likely at pre-arrival/intro week. It would be a good idea to consider retaking the audit now that the semester is finished. It can be extremely valuable to review and reflect back on your progress over time, while identifying priorities and goals to work on in the future. Hopefully, it will give you the right momentum to set you up for the next semester.

Skills Audit Screenshot

Academic Skills Certificate Logo

Academic Skills Certificate

If you want to gain recognition for developing your skills and reflecting on your experience (which you will be doing following this course) you can work towards the Academic Skills Certificate. It acknowledges not only your commitment to enhancing your academic skills but also your employability skills and personal development. Simply put, if you are already working towards it why not get proper recognition for all of your hard work! It is also important to celebrate their achievements (e.g. planning a nice activity for yourself).

Evaluation Survey

This marks the end of this programme. Congratulations on making it to the end! We hope that you have found it useful and we would very much value any comments or feedback (see it is used frequently in all aspects of life!) you may have. Please complete our evaluation survey to share your experiences of this resource with us, helping us to develop the programme for the future.

Please note: your responses will be anonymous.


Further information

Please explore the tabs below for further information on these key aspects of your learning experience:

MySkills Portfolio

Level Up Your Academic Skills focuses on the key academic skills that will support you in your studies, however, during your time at the University of Sheffield you will have the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills and attributes through your course, your work experience and extracurricular activities. You can reflect on and record these using mySkills, an innovative new way for you to assess, record, build and reflect on your own skills profile.

Find out more about mySkills here

This short video introduces MySkills and highlights how you may want to use it to build a portfolio of skills development and experience to use for future employment opportunities.

Online learning

Although most of your course will involve face-to-face activities such as lectures, seminars, lab classes and practicals, you are likely to experience some online elements to your course as well. Online learning allows you to access your course materials remotely and in a flexible way, developing your ability to learn independently. However, it may also be a new and unfamiliar experience that requires new skills and study strategies. These resources provide a starting point for understanding the practicalities and challenges of online learning:

Study Skills Online: Online Learning

Below are some of our suggestions for online tools that can help you to organise yourself, manage your time, and block out digital distractions for online learning. For further suggestions, see this guide to using digital learning tools.

Useful Outside Resources Description
Calendarpedia
Calendarpedia allows you to download templates, print off and display at your workstation and develop an overview of deadlines for coursework.
Trello Trello helps with organising and creating a to-do list by creating decks of cards for tasks, adding sub-tasks to set deadlines and noting what actions are done.
Evernote It syncs notes across devices, organizes folders, searches text, adds tags to notes and allows you to collaborate with others.
Website Blockers Apps or software you can install on your phone and/or computer to block out the internet, apps and games for a certain amount of time as needed. They allow you to streamline your attention to the work that matters/needs to be focused on.
Remember the Milk Free tool that is compatible with every device and it allows you to sync all your devices for easier time management. The app can help you manage your tasks easily and remind you of them - wherever you are. You can share tasks and lists with others (great for teams)
Focus Keeper This app is based on the principle of the Pomodoro Technique and can help deal with procrastination for people who feel overwhelmed by tasks.
Academic Skills for Wellbeing

Making the transition to a new level of study can be a challenging experience. It may involve moving to a completely new environment and it may involve working with a greater level of independence. Whilst this can be exciting and present lots of new opportunities, it can also be daunting and take some getting used to. The resources below explore the connection between your study skills and your wellbeing, and highlight the wellbeing support services on offer at the university:

Study Skills Online: Academic Skills for Wellbeing

Below are some other services that you might find helpful if you need any further support or advice:

Student Wellbeing Service

The Student Wellbeing Service offers single session (40-minute) appointment with the Wellbeing Advisor in your faculty.

Student Access to Mental Health Support (SAMHS)

Student Access to Mental Health Support (SAMHS) is a single point of contact for students at all levels to access psychological support.

University Health Service

You can speak to your GP at the University’s Health Service, (or the local GP practice where you are registered).

Sheffield Nightline and The Samaritans

You can also speak anonymously and confidentially for advice and support at any time to Sheffield Nightline, or The Samaritans.

If you are in crisis: SSiD

In the event of an emergency or if you are in crisis, please visit the SSiD Emergency Contacts pages.

Book a Workshop

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Academic Skills Certificate