Learning at Lincoln & Tutorials

Garry Wilson –  Dean of LALT/ Principal Lecturer – School of Psychology – College of Social Science – Staff Profile 

One of the biggest causes of anxiety reported to me by my new students and those students I talk with at Open Days revolves around the transition to university. All change, even good change can be is stressful, and for students arriving at university, the different style of learning (independent rather than didactic; postgraduate rather than undergraduate) is often accompanied by profound changes in lifestyle (possibly leaving home for the first time; moving to a new city or country; moving from work back to full-time study). In many cases, it is the unknown that causes this anxiety.

To try and smooth these transitions, the Digital Student Life Team (working closely with colleagues in the Library and students and academic staff) have pulled together existing and new resources to create Learning at Lincoln, a site designed to be accessible, relevant and informative to new students at the University of Lincoln. In addition to featuring student-friendly, practical advice, the site features a number of academic resources that are especially useful to new students and to tutors.

As a tutor, I find that one of my primary and ongoing goals is to encourage independent learning in students (this was part of my manifesto at last year’s hustings (please allow me to shamelessly plug the Independent Learning Showcase 19/11/2018). One of the most effective ways that I have found to encourage this as a tutor is to run my individual tutorial meetings as progress meetings. Students reflect on their performance in the previous year and identify areas of strength and areas in need of work and develop a SMART action plan for the semester ahead.

The Learning at Lincoln site has a number of useful resources that colleagues can incorporate into group and/or individual tutorials and within School-specific Getting Started sites on Blackboard. I will incorporate these resources into my students’ individual progress meetings and group tutorials involving skills audits (identifying which skills they excel at and those they feel they need to develop). I am now in a position to direct students to a range of resources that they can access outside of scheduled teaching to improve their learning. I also encourage my students to add a description of their action planning and self-directed learning to their CVs as evidence of their motivation, ability to work without close supervision and to identify and satisfy goals.

Please do make use of the resources available. If you or your students wish to feedback what you find particularly useful or what you would like to be added to the site, then please contact the Digital Student Life team via wordpress@lincoln.ac.uk.

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