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Learning at University

The following resources are designed to help you assess and develop your students' understanding of learning at university.

All our resources are available for free educational use under a Creative Commons licence. You are welcome to link to them, use them and adapt them if necessary for your students, but please acknowledge Learnhigher as authors.

ACADEMIC WRITING FOR EXAMS PODCAST

This resource features a podcast which focuses upon academic writing technique. The podcast particularly concerns lecturer feedback regarding the importance of focusing on the essay title given.

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ASSESSMENT INTRODUCTION WORKSHOP

This resource details key assessment pointers, including basic assessment principles and the implications of current design.

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ASSESSMENT: STEP-BY-STEP

This resource offers guidance for students on achieving the best possible marks in assessments. Tips include understanding the question or brief, practicality, an awareness of assessment criteria, planning and previous feedback.

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ASSIGNMENT PARAPHRASE

Based on the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) approach, this resource prompts students to consider the assignment question and discuss the ways in which they would answer it prior to beginning writing. A full understanding of the assignment title or question is crucial to obtain the best possible mark.

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BRAINSTORMING IDEAS FOR YOUR ASSESSMENT

This resource offers the 'mindmapping' or 'spider-diagram' technique as an initial assignment planning method. This method also prompts the student to consider the research process, and deadlines by which reading and note-taking should be completed.

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CHECKING YOUR ASSIGNMENTS’ REFERENCES

This resource highlights the importance of referencing to the overall assignment quality. The resource directs students to proof-read their work and identify correct use of referencing in the main body of the essay, as well as in the reference list itself.

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CRITICAL REFLECTION FORMS

This resource offers templates to support students in developing strategies for critical reflection on a work-based learning programme at the University of Manchester. These can all be adapted to suit your own purposes. The templates cover five areas: 1) Expectations from a module; 2) Reflections on a module; 3) Critical Reading Record; 4) Critical Reflection on a Session; and 5) Reflection on Learning Portfolio.

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DEALING WITH DISTRACTIONS

This resource offers guidance for students on identifying their distractions, considering the consequences of specific tasks when prioritising them, as well as strategy ideas for tackling distractions.

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DEALING WITH DISTRACTIONS

This is a resource includes tips and an idea for a peer-group activity which aims to help students find solutions for any work distractions.

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DEVELOPING AN ACTION PLAN FOR INDEPENDENT LEARNING

Worksheet to support students to outline an structured action plan for their studies. This resource provides a template to encourage students to be effective independent learners, able to identify: what they want to learn; the best ways for them to learn what they want to learn; and how to demonstrate learning.

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DRAW TO LEARN

A workshop designed to show how drawing and visually representing objects or themes can help to support learning and increase creativity. Includes links to the theory behind creative/visual practices.

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ESSAY WRITING PACK

A downloadable workbook for students which can be tailored to different essay questions. The workbook structures enables the essay to be structured in an orderly way, allowing for the process to be learned as the assignment is completed.

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FREE WRITING

A resource which would be particularly useful for staff teaching on a creative writing programme. Includes two structured writing exercises and information on free writing.

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GETTING ORGANISED

This resource contains organisational guidance for students to help them stay on top of their work-load, further their time management skills and consequently reduce stress levels. This includes the importance of an appropriate working space, the use of a filing system and a general awareness of course information.

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GETTING YOURSELF INFORMED

This is a resource includes tips and an idea for an activity which encourages independent learning through effective time management and organisational skills.

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INDUCTION BOOKLET – TEMPLATE AND EXAMPLES

This resource offers a customisable template for a booklet to support students through the induction process. An exemplar booklet is also available from a student intake at the University of Manchester. A set of notes are provided detailing the background, aims and objectives, design and student evaluation of the booklet.

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INSTRUCTION WORDS IN ESSAY QUESTIONS

This resource prompts students to initially consider what the assignment question is asking directly, by identifying key phrases. Although variant upon subject, the resource identifies general definitions for key words commonly utilised within essay questions.

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LEARNING AGREEMENT

This resource features introductory notes and sample template for a learning agreement and supports students to identify activities within their work which could demonstrate their achievement of the learning outcomes. The resource is designed to be used with part-time adult educators, graduate teaching assistants and those who support learning in HE to form a framework for the development of a portfolio for assessment.

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LEARNING CONTRACT

This resource includes guidance notes for developing a learning contract for self-directed study, together with a template for a Learning Contract. The resource is tailored for adult students and is designed to be worked through on a one-to-one basis with a tutor.

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LEARNING FROM YOUR ASSESSMENT FEEDBACK

Highlighting the importance of assessment feedback, this resource offers advice on how students may make the most out of any comments received. Guidance includes reading feedback as soon as it is received, keeping a learning journal and forming action plans.

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MAKING MORE HOURS IN THE DAY

This resource contains guidance for students on managing their time effectively. This includes pointers on developing study practices, prioritising tasks and actively putting personal study first.

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MATHS INSTRUCTION WORDS

This resource identifies the key terms used in Mathematics assignments, defining them in a way in which assists student understanding of assignment titles and questions.

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MEMORY AND EXAMS

A series of PowerPoint slides on memory and revision techniques. It also includes suggestions for activities following on from the presentation.

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OVERCOMING PROCRASTINATION

This resource details specific strategies for students facing common difficulties with their work, which may lead to procrastination. This includes how to cope with multiple tasks, poor concentration, how to structure essays and turn feedback into constructive criticism and prioritise study over other commitments.

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PLANNING TIMETABLES AND SCHEDULES

This resource details guidance for students on how to compose weekly, termly and project timetables. The resource provides further tools, with a particular focus on being realistic whilst flexible with any time available.

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RESOURCE PACK SUPPORTING STUDENT COMMUNITY PROJECTS

This pack contains resources to support student projects in the local community. It includes guidance for students about project queries
list of resources available to students to support their project work, fundraising ideas, oral history references and a contract template.

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REVISION TECHNIQUES PODCAST

This resource, a podcast, offers advice on revision techniques and dealing with examination stress. This includes varying peer-to-peer tips, as well as lecturer guidance.

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SIX STEPS TO SUCCESS

A presentation outlining a whole new approach to successful study. The six steps are:

S = Study Techniques and practices
O = Overview
C = Creativity
C = Communicate effectively
E = Emotions
R = Review, review, review

Also includes a booklet for students' reference, and some suggested activities to follow the presentation.

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THE 5 STEP PLAN

This resource for students details five key steps for taking control of your workload. This includes listing tasks to complete, breaking down big tasks into smaller steps, organising tasks under headings ('now', 'sooner' or 'later), taking one task at a time as well as prioritising and planning tasks.

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THE ASSIGNMENT SURVIVAL KIT

This interactive learning resource provides a step-by-step breakdown of the separate tasks and planning involved within the completion of an assignment. Indications of deadlines for each task, such as initially understanding the question and locating research material, are offered in order to help simplify the workload.

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TOP 10 TIPS ON ASSESSMENT FOR LEARNING

This resource provides a set of tips highlighting the importance of feedback and assessments, and how these can be best utilised in order to enhance and encourage learning.

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TOP 10 TIPS ON DETERRING PLAGIARISM

This resource includes tips on how to prevent and eradicate the appeal for plagiarism. Ideas for task and assessment design are suggested, with a particular focus on the research process.

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TOP 10 TIPS ON DIVERSIFYING ASSESSMENT

This resource provides tips with ideas for alternative types of assessment (such as case-studies, groupwork and practicals) and how this may help to engage students and develop their skillset.

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TOP 10 TIPS ON INCLUSIVE ASSESSMENT

This resource includes tips on how to ensure the needs of students with disabilities are considered when designing learning assessments. Particular points of consideration regarding common types of disability are highlighted.

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TOP 10 TIPS ON SELF, PEER AND GROUP ASSESSMENT

Self and peer assessment helps students to understand assessment criteria by their application of the criteria to their own and other students’ work. Includes tips for designing effective assessments.

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TOP 10 TIPS ON SELF-ASSESSMENT SHEETS

This resource discusses the dialogue between staff and students about written feedback. Includes tips to help develop effective feedback forms, with a particular focus on designing the sheets and how to initiate student responses.

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USING ESSAY FEEDBACK WORKSHOP

This resource includes further resources detailing the importance of feedback and how students can make the most of any feedback received, in order to improve their work.

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WHERE DOES THE TIME GO?

This page includes further resources on handling information and research as well as effective time management and allocation.

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WORK-BASED LEARNING CONTRACTS

This resource provides customisable templates for learning contracts together with a commentary on their use in a community work and youth work context.

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Popular Resources in Learning at University

Here are some of our most popular resources within this category:

What’s the difference between description and critical analysis?

(writing adapted from Moon, cited in Cottrell 1999:23) Descriptive writing Critical/analytical writing States what happened Identifies the significance States what...

Critical thinking and reflection tutorial

A comprehensive tutorial exploring the critical thinking process.

Breaking bad habits: what do you need to change?

This is a resource includes tips and an idea for a peer-group activity aimed at...

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