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:
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!)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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.
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.
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.
Brief Top Tips:
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!
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:
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.
Please explore the tabs below for further information on these key aspects of your learning experience:
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.
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.
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:
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.
|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:
Below are some other services that you might find helpful if you need any further support or advice: