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Universities are out to prove the ROI of social media

Universities are out to prove the ROI of social media | SteveB's Social Learning Scoop | Scoop.it
In many respects colleges are out in the lead of social media usage and are starting to see measurable results.


Via Angela Maiers ‏@AngelaMaiers

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SteveB's Social Learning Scoop
Getting the Scoop on social learning
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SteveB's Social Learning Scoop

Wecome to my Social Learning Scoop.

 

It contains a generic mix of articles, gathered through twitter, the blogs I follow and suggestions from the Scoop.it curation tool, that catch my attention as interesting to me and possibly other people.

 

You can use the filter option just above this introduction to search for a particular topic within the numerous articles collated here.

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A Framework For Learning In Digital Networks

A Framework For Learning In Digital Networks | SteveB's Social Learning Scoop | Scoop.it

"Collaborative problem-solving is a nuanced process that folds overlapping concepts and competencies together–social interaction and knowledge building. This applies to formal training through eLearning or adaptive platforms, or informal participation in social networks (e.g., twitter)."


Via EDTC@UTB
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David Hain's curator insight, July 5, 1:18 AM

A bit conceptual, but useful frameworks for social learning fans!

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Google Certified Teacher and Trainer Hangout

In this UsingTechnologyBetter Show, we talk about about what is new in the world of Google. Below you will find the recording of the video and the show notes. If you would like to receive an email invite to our next UsingTechnologyBetter Show click HERE.   Video Recording:   Video High... http://elearningfeeds.com/google-certified-teacher-and-trainer-hangout/


Via Christopher Pappas
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How To Curate Content Without Breaking the Rules or Risking of Being Penalized

How To Curate Content Without Breaking the Rules or Risking of Being Penalized | SteveB's Social Learning Scoop | Scoop.it
Google has introduced its new algorithm, Panda 4.0, in an effort to reward high quality, original content in the search engine's rankings. But, this doesn't mean marketers should stop curating

Via Robin Good, Lynnette Van Dyke
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TeresaSiluar's curator insight, July 6, 1:21 AM

Artículo en Curata,  curado por Robin Good, sobre cómo realizar una buena content curation sin incurrir en ilegalidades.

Tom George's curator insight, July 8, 2:01 AM

Great tips and thanks Robin Good for the find and share.

Stewart-Marshall's curator insight, July 9, 5:52 AM

Frankly I'm sick of jumping through Google hoops that keep moving. But the tips given here are mostly the same as you would give for good, honest blog writing anyway - and that's the key. Forget Google (yes please) and just write about other people's stuff as you would hope they would write about yours :-)

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Personal Learning Networks, CoPs Connectivism: Creatively Explained

Personal Learning Networks, CoPs Connectivism: Creatively Explained | SteveB's Social Learning Scoop | Scoop.it
As part of a graduate course in Social Network Learning, I ask students to create a non-linguistical representation.  Here is the description of this assignment: The intent of this module is to ass...

Via Susan Bainbridge
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Joyce Valenza's curator insight, July 4, 6:30 AM

Inspiration from Jackie Gerstein.  Will share with my Social Media class.

Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, July 4, 9:41 AM

Communities of Practice are organic and creative processes. Several years ago the term came into education as if School managers could structure them and order them.

Helen Teague's curator insight, July 5, 12:05 PM

Dynamic assignment that makes essential connections!

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The Rise Of The “Social Professional” Networks | TechCrunch

The Rise Of The “Social Professional” Networks | TechCrunch | SteveB's Social Learning Scoop | Scoop.it
Back in the mid-2000s, many espoused a theory that there would emerge social networks for different types of people. It sounds a little preposterous now in..
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Complete List of Google Search Ranking Factors

Complete List of Google Search Ranking Factors | SteveB's Social Learning Scoop | Scoop.it
Visit the post for more.

Via Carlos Pinheiro
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How the Conference Backchannel Adds Value

How the Conference Backchannel Adds Value | SteveB's Social Learning Scoop | Scoop.it
I'm fairly new to using Twitter for professional development having been actively experimenting with it since March 2014.  One of the ways that Twitter is used is for real-time conversation during ...
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35 Twitter Plugins That Do Everything You May Think Of - BloggerJet

35 Twitter Plugins That Do Everything You May Think Of - BloggerJet | SteveB's Social Learning Scoop | Scoop.it

Do you think you know all of the best twitter plugins out there? Think again.


Via Cendrine Marrouat - www.socialmediaslant.com
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Cendrine Marrouat - www.socialmediaslant.com's curator insight, June 27, 10:20 PM


A huge list of Twitter plugins for WordPress!

massimo scalzo's curator insight, June 29, 11:57 PM

Please, just have a look!

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How Much Data Is Generated On Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Tinder & WhatsApp Every Minute? | AllTwitter

How Much Data Is Generated On Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Tinder & WhatsApp Every Minute? | AllTwitter | SteveB's Social Learning Scoop | Scoop.it

Ecco la cosa: internet non dorme mai.

 

Il che significa che i dati non dorme mai, e internet ama assicurarsi di utilizzare un sacco di esso. Quanto costa? In ogni minuto, 277.000 tweet sono pubblicati su Twitter, 216.000 foto vengono inviate a Instagram e 8333 video vengono condivisi su Vine.

 

E siamo solo all'inizio. In quel medesimo periodo di 60 secondi, 347.222 foto vengono inviate su WhatsApp, 416.667 colpi sono fatte su Esca e 3472 le immagini sono riposte su Pinterest.

 

E se si pensa che è impressionante, Google riceve 4 milioni di query di ricerca, gli utenti di Facebook condividono 2.460.000 pezzi di contenuto e 204 milioni di messaggi di posta elettronica vengono inviati ogni minuto del giorno.

 

Questo visiva DOMO guarda la quantità di dati generata ogni minuto attraverso la rete ....


Via Jeff Domansky, Marco Favero
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Moons Lucien's curator insight, July 4, 12:18 AM

Imagine the impact  on your business!! connecting your #print production to one of these web platforms? Millions of #prints :-))

to connect the value for the consumer to your #print #Rebootmoments workshop has develop 4 tools very easy to implement with your innovation marketing team,  that helps connecting these web technology with print. The June workshop in Stuttgard  Germany the  6 #printing companies  participating did exactly that: Innovate their business model with a #gamification solution and a #clickpaper

BI Media Specialists's curator insight, July 4, 6:01 AM

Wow! This is mind boggling. 

Victor Juarez's curator insight, July 7, 3:47 PM

¿Quién dice que las RRSS no tienen alcance?

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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Infographics (But Were Afraid to ... - mediabistro.com

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Infographics (But Were Afraid to ... - mediabistro.com | SteveB's Social Learning Scoop | Scoop.it
mediabistro.com
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Infographics (But Were Afraid to ...
mediabistro.com
daniel zeevi Ready to respond to requests of “Show me the data!” with more than a sad little bar graph?
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Swimming in circles

Swimming in circles | SteveB's Social Learning Scoop | Scoop.it
Here are some observations and insights that were shared on social media this past fortnight. I call these Friday’s Finds.
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Curate Your Favorite Content with the ExpressCurate WordPress Toolkit

Curate Your Favorite Content with the ExpressCurate WordPress Toolkit | SteveB's Social Learning Scoop | Scoop.it

Via Robin Good
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NLafferty's curator insight, June 28, 9:13 AM

I'be always thought Wordpress can be used as a content curation tool as blog posts can sign post students to learning resources elsewhere on the web. This plugin looks like it will make this even easier.

Sharise Cunningham's curator insight, June 28, 10:22 AM

It's always good to have an effective, easy-to-use tool, especially if you're more creatively-minded than technical.

Mike Power's curator insight, July 7, 2:37 AM

Although I don't use WP that much this looks very useful. I'll check it out on one of my WP test sites. 

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Musings of a (New) Education Insurgent | I hereby declare myself an education rebel

Musings of a (New) Education Insurgent | I hereby declare myself an education rebel | SteveB's Social Learning Scoop | Scoop.it
SHIFT PARADIGM | by Mark E. Weston The system of schooling to which I have dedicated my life seems incapable of educating all students to high levels of learning


Taking those lessons to heart, I hereby declare myself an education rebel who will no longer work to save the educational system for which I’ve long toiled.


Further, I vow to work to create, nurture, and give voice to an educational alternative that employs proven educational practices—real and individualized differentiated instruction, real and serious engagement of parents, ubiquitous access to information for all, and consistent and relevant feedback about performance—that will produce aptitude-defying-levels of learning among all students. I will work for new paradigm schools and technological tools.


I make this declaration knowing full well that being a rebel will be lots of work because lots of vested interests will work just as hard to maintain the dysfunctional status quo.


Join me in this space for regular updates about the education revolution. Your comments, suggestions, feedback and constructive criticism are welcome!




Via Gust MEES
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Gust MEES's curator insight, July 4, 3:21 AM

I will work for new paradigm schools and technological tools. I make this declaration knowing full well that being a rebel will be lots of work because lots of vested interests will work just as hard to maintain the dysfunctional status quo. Join me in this space for regular updates about the education revolution. Your comments, suggestions, feedback and constructive criticism are welcome!


Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, July 4, 9:53 AM

We should not work to save a School system which is always in need of repair and reconstructing. We should work in reconstructing rather than reorganizing deck chairs on a sinking ship.

David Hain's curator insight, July 5, 1:16 AM

Right on, brother!

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Smallpdf.com - A Free Solution to all your PDF Problems

Smallpdf.com - A Free Solution to all your PDF Problems | SteveB's Social Learning Scoop | Scoop.it
Smallpdf - the platform that makes it super easy to convert and edit all your PDF files. Solving all your PDF problems in one place - and yes, 100% free.

Via Ana Cristina Pratas
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Character Minutes's curator insight, July 5, 9:58 AM

Wow!

Xposedbydesign's curator insight, July 5, 12:03 PM

 

Convert your jpegs to PDF or the other way around. Plus you have other options and best of all it's free.

 

 

LETS BE SOCIAL:

@xposedbydesign on Twitter   

   http://facebook.com/xposedbydesign

 

 

MY T-SHIRT DESIGNS:

http://www.zazzle.com/Xposedbydesign*

 

 PINTEREST:

http://www.pinterest.com/xposedbydesign/worldly-pleasures/

 

LINKEDIN:

www.linkedin.com/in/davidrdesigns/

 

FACEBOOK:

http://facebook.com/xposedbydesign

 

EBAY TOP RATED SELLER:

http://www.ebay.com/usr/daveusave2

 

Jackie Lerch's curator insight, July 6, 5:58 AM

pdfs you can edit

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Intelligent narrator reads print news articles in multiple languages | GizMag.com

Intelligent narrator reads print news articles in multiple languages | GizMag.com | SteveB's Social Learning Scoop | Scoop.it

Researchers at the Multimedia University in Malaysia have developed an app called the Intelligent Narrator to read out news articles in real-time. Supporting multiple languages, the app can automatically identify an online newspaper's language and read out the news in the same language.


"You will hear a Chinese voice, if Chinese text is written on the news website," Dr. Wee Kuok Kwee, a Senior lecturer at the Faculty of Information Science & Technology, Multimedia University, tells Gizmag. "We can modify our app to cater to the common languages of a region."


Currently the app supports Korean, Japanese, Malay, Tamil, English and Chinese. According to Kwee, it's also possible for users to hear news based on their specific interests as the app allows category-based selection.


Integrating a text-to-speech engine and an HTML text extractor, the app is designed to provide quick access to the latest news to listeners with disabilities, the visually-impaired and people who'd prefer to listen to the news while driving or otherwise engaged.


Click headline to read more--


Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc, Luciana Viter
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The 6-Step Guide To Becoming A Better Learner - Edudemic

The 6-Step Guide To Becoming A Better Learner - Edudemic | SteveB's Social Learning Scoop | Scoop.it
“Education is what people do to you and learning is what you do for yourself,” said Joi Ito in his TED2014 talk. “You’re not going to be on top of mountain all by yourself with a #2 pencil … What we need to learn is how to learn.” Indeed, traditional education may not be for …

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa) , Luciana Viter
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W. Bradley Gooderham's curator insight, July 9, 8:00 AM

Some good tips that we can all follow over the summer.    I really like #2: READ.   Reading transports us to places and introduces us to situations that can inform our worldview in the most significant ways.

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The Future of Web and Technology [Infographic]

The Future of Web and Technology [Infographic] | SteveB's Social Learning Scoop | Scoop.it

Infografica su  Il futuro del Web e della Tecnologia  descrive sui prodotti trend e le innovazioni in rapida crescita di anno in anno. Realtà aumentata ei suoi prodotti essendo il nucleo di tecnologie avanzate in futuro. Google vetro, realtà aumentata basata gadget indossabili, stampanti 3d, il cloud computing, tecnologie didattiche, saltare movimento, un altro prodotto AR Oculus Rift, lenti a contatto AR, agente smartwatch e gadget correlati, contribuiscono al web e alla tecnologia.


Via Lauren Moss, Marco Favero
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Capital Digital's curator insight, July 4, 12:35 AM

Une bonne synthèse des innovations actuelles et futures 

Orlando Delgado's curator insight, July 4, 10:46 AM

Wearable gadgets and other trends taking off...

Triangle Software's curator insight, July 6, 4:44 AM

With so many technology innovations being developed and implemented - what do you see as the next innovation for your industry?

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ThingLink in the Classroom - One image. Tons of possibilities.

ThingLink in the Classroom - One image. Tons of possibilities. | SteveB's Social Learning Scoop | Scoop.it

Move away from the drib drab of everyday lessons, build engagement and get more interactive using this creative free web-based tool called ThingLink.


Via Dr. Joan McGettigan, Juergen Wagner, michel verstrepen
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Dr. Joan McGettigan's curator insight, June 29, 7:26 AM
Brilliant!!!!!
Herman van Schie's comment, July 2, 6:48 AM
Zie voor een handleiding van Thinglink op http://ict-idee.blogspot.nl/2012/10/130-maak-interactieve-illustraties-met.html#more
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The Ultimate Guide to Public Social Networks vs. Private Online Communities

The Ultimate Guide to Public Social Networks vs. Private Online Communities | SteveB's Social Learning Scoop | Scoop.it
Social networks, social business, social media, social strategy, and social communities.
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50 Questions To Promote Metacognition In Students

50 Questions To Help Students Think About What They Think

Via Luciana Viter
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Essential elements of digital citizenship

Essential elements of digital citizenship | SteveB's Social Learning Scoop | Scoop.it
As technology integration grows, not only in schools but in society as a whole, the concept of digital citizenship will continue to expand.

Via Skip Zalneraitis, Bonnie Bracey Sutton
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Using the Google Drive Presentation App

Google Drive has all the office tools, Word Processing, Spreadsheet, even a terrific forms tool. But the one no-one seems to pay any attention to is Presenta...

Via Baiba Svenca
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eko kooistra's curator insight, July 1, 7:06 AM

 

 10
Pablo Barrios's curator insight, July 1, 2:53 PM

Excelente vídeo con una clara explicación sobre cómo utilizar la Herramienta para Presentaciones de Google Drive. Simple y una alternativa más a lo ya tradicional.

Arlis Groves's curator insight, July 4, 1:56 PM

Why choose Google Drive's Presentation app over Power Point?  No reason, unless you are collaborating on a presentation.  Since more students are working on projects electronically and from different locations, this could be a great tool.

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The Pedagogy of Learning Design: Creating Learning Communities with Social Presence

The Pedagogy of Learning Design: Creating Learning Communities with Social Presence | SteveB's Social Learning Scoop | Scoop.it
Social presence guides the design and development of learning spaces where emotional expression, open communication, and group cohesion come into play!
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Learning Strategies

Effective study strategiesAttitudes to learning

Most people, when asked, can recount an experience that undermined their confidence in their own learning. Negative comments when we are young can have a very long-term effect upon our view of ourselves as bright, capable learners. However, self-confidence has a major impact upon our ability to perform well.

What kind of message were you given about your abilities to study when you were at school or college?

Are these messages helpful to you now?

What attitudes would be most useful to you succeeding at your studies now?


Optimum conditions for learning

We can improve the conditions for learning by being aware of some of the ways the brain works. Although we do not need to know a great deal about the brain, understanding some basics can help us to make the most of our minds. Some of the optimal conditions for learning are common sense and good for our general health. For example, the brain works well when:

  • it is rested - sleep affects our performance

  • it is hydrated - drinking water helps the electrical connections of the brain

  • it is unstressed - when it is stressed, it can focus only on 'escape', not on such matters as reading journals and writing assignments

  • it enjoys itself - it is important to look for any angle that can stimulate our interest in what we are learning. Sometimes this can take imagination if the subject itself seems boring

  • it has seen something several times - little and often works better than trying to understand something in one sitting.

For further information please see Chapters 2, 3 and 4 of The Study Skills Handbook by Stella Cottrell.

General tips

Spending long hours studying is not necessarily productive. It is possible to gain better marks by studying more effectively rather than for longer. Most of this resource looks at ways of studying in more effective ways. To study effectively, you can:

Identify what is really needed

Study assignment titles carefully. Work out exactly what is required for assignments. This saves time in re-writing assignments later. Time spent in preparation is well spent.

Work strategically

Set yourself clear goals and work towards these.

Make the material meaningful

Looking for 'the meaning' or how things work, rather than focusing on remembering information. Work with the material, looking at how it fits together and applies to different circumstances. If you develop your understanding of the subject, it will help you to take in future material more easily. This makes reading easier. It also improves your memory for the subject.

Look for links

Be active in searching out links between different aspects of the programme. Look also for links between what you are learning and the wider world. This helps to develop understanding and memory.

Work with others

Work with other students so that you share ideas and gain mutual support. You may be able to share some research tasks and clarify your lecture notes. Studying with others makes study more interesting, as you gain a different set of perspectives.

Set yourself SMART-F targets

Targets should be:

  • strategic: they assist you to achieve your goals

  • measurable: you can tell when you have completed them

  • achievable: you are likely to succeed in meeting them

  • realistic: they fit the circumstances

  • time-bound: you have a set time to meet

  • flexible: you can adapt them if the circumstances change.

Look for shortcuts

Look for reasonable short-cuts that do not compromise your studies. For example:

  • avoid unnecessary tasks such as writing notes out neatly

  • use abbreviations in your notes

  • write assignments onto a computer if possible rather than writing them out by hand and then typing them up

  • focus your notes around themes and questions rather than making long notes that you do not really need.

Use the word limit to focus your energies

Most assignments have a word limit. Use this as a guide to how much you need to read and how many examples you can include. Plan out in advance how you will divide up the words available to you. Often, you need to be very concise about each topic. This means you may not be able to include very much of what you have read if you have undertaken a great deal of reading or made very extensive notes.

Take care of yourself

Take rests when you are tired. Study takes longer and the brain is less effective when you are tired or stressed. Plan your time so that you get breaks. A change of scene stimulates the brain and helps creative thinking.

For more advice, see time management and organisational skills, and for further information please see Chapter 5 of The Study Skills Handbook by Stella Cottrell.

TopHow to get good marks

There is no magical formula for getting good marks. Each lecturer will look for different things, depending on the subject and the nature of the assignment. However, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of good marks.

Read assignment titles very carefully

These usually contain a question that the assignment must address. You will only get marks for answering that question. Other information just uses up your limited word allowance.

Find out the conventions

Each subject works to a set of conventions or 'rules'. These will apply to such matters as the methodology to use, what counts as 'evidence' and the style of writing to use. Spend time finding out what these are. Guidance may be given in the programme handbook or web pages. Otherwise, look at the language and style used in books you are recommended. You will have a clearer idea of what is expected if you look at material from a different subject and see the contrast. Some subjects prefer creative or subjective approaches; others prefer objective and logical thinking; some require both.

Structure your writing

Make sure that you follow the basic conventions for writing reports, essays or case studies. Ensure that readers can follow a clear line of reasoning and can see how every example and piece of information contributes to that line of reasoning.

For more advice, see writing skills and essay writing.

Give evidence and a few good examples

Avoid opinions and feelings unless these are backed up with evidence available from sources open to others (books, journals, internet, etc.). Choose good examples that illustrate the point rather than loading the reader with too much detail or too many examples.

Reference your work

Make references to source materials (books, journals, paintings, web-pages, etc) within your own work. Write a list of all references at the end of the work, following the conventions required by your programme.

For more advice, see referencing and plagiarism and the free audio download on plagiarism.

Proof-read

Proof your work for typing errors. Read it aloud to check that it makes sense. Listen carefully as you read it aloud. Check that the computer hasn't accidentally swallowed half of a sentence or some paragraphs you though were there.

Using feedback

Feedback is your main form of support from tutors. It is your best guide about what to do to improve your marks and your work more generally.

In the short term
  • Read all feedback carefully. Avoid the temptation to throw it away if your mark was bad or if you have finished the topic.
  • Put the feedback away for a day or two and then go through it again.
  • Make sense of what is said. Work out why your tutors gave you the feedback they did. If you really don’t understand it, make an appointment to discuss it.
  • Make a list of all the good points. It is easy to miss this. People tend to focus in on the areas for improvement and negative comments and overlook the positive feedback.
  • Identify one or two main areas for improvement. Select items that will have the most impact on your marks, or which you feel strongest about.
  • Make a clear plan for how you will make use of feedback.
In the longer term
  • Keep your feedback in one folder.
  • When you have several pieces of feedback, read through them and jot down a list of the main points that are made on each.
  • Look out for recurring themes. These are things which are either gaining or losing you marks regularly.
  • Make sure you recognise your strengths so that you do not lose these.
  • Identify one or two areas for improvement. If you do not know how to address these on your own or with a study skills book, speak to your tutor or to student support staff.

For more advice, see handy tips for assessments and for further information please see Chapters 5 and 8 of The Study Skills Handbook by Stella Cottrell.

TopLearning from lecturesThe purpose of lectures

Lectures are an opportunity to find out how one lecturer makes sense of the wealth of information and research that has been undertaken on a topic. A good lecturer will use the lecture to give you an overview of the main themes, develop your understanding of the issues, guide you on how to find out more about the subject and the reading you need to undertake. You may also gain details of relevant current issues, explanations of complex material or questions to answer that develop your own thinking and research. The aim is not usually to give you a definitive and comprehensive set of 'facts' on the subject. You are expected to supplement the lecture with reading and interpretations of your own.

Lectures that develop understanding

The finer details of the subject should be available in lecture hand-outs, web-pages or in the recommended reading. This should mean that you do not have to spend the time in the lecture making detailed notes. If you have lecturers like this, your best strategy is:

  • focus on listening to the lecture
  • note how the different themes or issues interconnect, so you gain a good overall grasp of the subject
  • make a brief note of key themes
  • note any additional references
  • read about the subject of the lecture before and after in order to pick up details. 
Information-rich lectures

Some lecturers will use the lecture to bombard you with information and expect you to take this in at speed. If so, most people will find it difficult to listen and take detailed notes, and it is unlikely that anybody will have a complete set of lecture notes. If you have lecturers like this, your best strategy is:

  1. Browse through relevant text books before the lecture. This will give you an idea of what information is in the books - and which you may not need to note in the lecture. You can come back to this after the lecture.
  2. It is hard to make sense of lectures where information content is high. Reading something about the subject in advance will help to make more sense of what is said.
  3. Listen carefully for topic headings and references so that you can chase missing information after the lecture.
  4. Resist the temptation to write everything down if you can avoid this. It is very hard to catch a complete set of lecture notes.
  5. Form a group and go through the lecture notes so you can fill in gaps. Between you, you will have most of the information you need and discussing the notes will help you to understand the subject.
Top tips for learning from lecturesBefore the lecture
  • prepare for lectures - find out what is in the books on the subject so that you are aware of what you do not need to note in the lecture
  • form an opinion about the subject of the lecture
  • set yourself questions and leave spaces to have these answered during the lecture.
During the lecture
  • listen to 'make sense' rather than to make notes
  • listen for 'signposts' about what is coming next or for summaries of key points
  • listen for answers to questions you set in advance
  • write yourself questions so you can trace answers and information after the lecture
  • make brief notes of essential points.
After the lecture
  • read your notes and fill in any gaps
  • discuss the lecture with other people
  • consider how the lecture changed or developed your opinions of the subject
  • label and file your notes.
TopGetting supportLevels of support

The amount of support available from teaching staff will vary a great deal. Usually this is much less than people are used to from school or college. There may be more help available where programme numbers are small or where the work is based mostly in a studio or laboratory. However, in general, you are expected to take the lead in:

  • identifying what you need
  • looking for ways of solving problems
  • finding out what information and support is available
  • making use of available support.
Using support from lecturers and teaching staff

Lecturers provide information and guidance in Handbooks, in their feedback on your assignments and in handouts. They expect you to consult this before coming to ask for additional help.

Lecturers may not work full time at the university. Some of these lecturers will not be available to give extra help, as they may work at other jobs when they are not teaching you.

Other lecturers will have only a small amount of time to offer to any one student. They will not be able to go through your work with you in the detail you may have received at college. In order to make best use of the short time they can offer you:

  • work through the difficulty as far as you can rather than expecting help at different stages
  • identify possible solutions and try these before seeing the tutor
  • write a list of key questions to ask
  • put these in order, with the most important first, in case you run out of time and do not get through the list
  • take your proposed solutions with you so that it is clear to the lecturer what you are trying to do
  • stick to the point when you see the tutor
  • be on time: if you are late, you will have less time with the tutor
  • tutors cannot usually run over the time allocated to you.
Support services

Universities offer a range of support services. Find out what is available and make use of these if you need them. It is better to ask for help early on if you are experiencing difficulty. It is more difficult to find a good solution if you let a difficulty run on without seeking help. Most services are confidential. The Student Union usually has support or welfare officers that can offer advice.

Set up your own support networks

It is expected that students will develop their own support networks. There are innumerable ways of doing this. For example, you could set up:

  • Support groups - these may focus on study, or bring together students from particular backgrounds such as mature students, students with disabilities, students from different ethnic backgrounds, international students, students living in a particular region on distance learning programmes, etc.
  • Discussion groups to debate themes and issues that arise in relation to the subject.
  • Reading groups to discuss themes that arise from subject texts.
  • Action sets to offer mutual guidance on short term action plans.
  • Lecture groups - these go through lecture notes to discuss themes and identify gaps in notes.

This content has been written by Stella Cottrell, author of The Study Skills Handbook

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Charles Tiayon's curator insight, June 26, 7:18 PM
Effective study strategiesAttitudes to learning

Most people, when asked, can recount an experience that undermined their confidence in their own learning. Negative comments when we are young can have a very long-term effect upon our view of ourselves as bright, capable learners. However, self-confidence has a major impact upon our ability to perform well.

What kind of message were you given about your abilities to study when you were at school or college?

Are these messages helpful to you now?

What attitudes would be most useful to you succeeding at your studies now?


Optimum conditions for learning

We can improve the conditions for learning by being aware of some of the ways the brain works. Although we do not need to know a great deal about the brain, understanding some basics can help us to make the most of our minds. Some of the optimal conditions for learning are common sense and good for our general health. For example, the brain works well when:

  • it is rested - sleep affects our performance

  • it is hydrated - drinking water helps the electrical connections of the brain

  • it is unstressed - when it is stressed, it can focus only on 'escape', not on such matters as reading journals and writing assignments

  • it enjoys itself - it is important to look for any angle that can stimulate our interest in what we are learning. Sometimes this can take imagination if the subject itself seems boring

  • it has seen something several times - little and often works better than trying to understand something in one sitting.

For further information please see Chapters 2, 3 and 4 of The Study Skills Handbook by Stella Cottrell.

General tips

Spending long hours studying is not necessarily productive. It is possible to gain better marks by studying more effectively rather than for longer. Most of this resource looks at ways of studying in more effective ways. To study effectively, you can:

Identify what is really needed

Study assignment titles carefully. Work out exactly what is required for assignments. This saves time in re-writing assignments later. Time spent in preparation is well spent.

Work strategically

Set yourself clear goals and work towards these.

Make the material meaningful

Looking for 'the meaning' or how things work, rather than focusing on remembering information. Work with the material, looking at how it fits together and applies to different circumstances. If you develop your understanding of the subject, it will help you to take in future material more easily. This makes reading easier. It also improves your memory for the subject.

Look for links

Be active in searching out links between different aspects of the programme. Look also for links between what you are learning and the wider world. This helps to develop understanding and memory.

Work with others

Work with other students so that you share ideas and gain mutual support. You may be able to share some research tasks and clarify your lecture notes. Studying with others makes study more interesting, as you gain a different set of perspectives.

Set yourself SMART-F targets

Targets should be:

  • strategic: they assist you to achieve your goals

  • measurable: you can tell when you have completed them

  • achievable: you are likely to succeed in meeting them

  • realistic: they fit the circumstances

  • time-bound: you have a set time to meet

  • flexible: you can adapt them if the circumstances change.

Look for shortcuts

Look for reasonable short-cuts that do not compromise your studies. For example:

  • avoid unnecessary tasks such as writing notes out neatly

  • use abbreviations in your notes

  • write assignments onto a computer if possible rather than writing them out by hand and then typing them up

  • focus your notes around themes and questions rather than making long notes that you do not really need.

Use the word limit to focus your energies

Most assignments have a word limit. Use this as a guide to how much you need to read and how many examples you can include. Plan out in advance how you will divide up the words available to you. Often, you need to be very concise about each topic. This means you may not be able to include very much of what you have read if you have undertaken a great deal of reading or made very extensive notes.

Take care of yourself

Take rests when you are tired. Study takes longer and the brain is less effective when you are tired or stressed. Plan your time so that you get breaks. A change of scene stimulates the brain and helps creative thinking.

For more advice, see time management and organisational skills, and for further information please see Chapter 5 of The Study Skills Handbook by Stella Cottrell.

TopHow to get good marks

There is no magical formula for getting good marks. Each lecturer will look for different things, depending on the subject and the nature of the assignment. However, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of good marks.

Read assignment titles very carefully

These usually contain a question that the assignment must address. You will only get marks for answering that question. Other information just uses up your limited word allowance.

Find out the conventions

Each subject works to a set of conventions or 'rules'. These will apply to such matters as the methodology to use, what counts as 'evidence' and the style of writing to use. Spend time finding out what these are. Guidance may be given in the programme handbook or web pages. Otherwise, look at the language and style used in books you are recommended. You will have a clearer idea of what is expected if you look at material from a different subject and see the contrast. Some subjects prefer creative or subjective approaches; others prefer objective and logical thinking; some require both.

Structure your writing

Make sure that you follow the basic conventions for writing reports, essays or case studies. Ensure that readers can follow a clear line of reasoning and can see how every example and piece of information contributes to that line of reasoning.

For more advice, see writing skills and essay writing.

Give evidence and a few good examples

Avoid opinions and feelings unless these are backed up with evidence available from sources open to others (books, journals, internet, etc.). Choose good examples that illustrate the point rather than loading the reader with too much detail or too many examples.

Reference your work

Make references to source materials (books, journals, paintings, web-pages, etc) within your own work. Write a list of all references at the end of the work, following the conventions required by your programme.

For more advice, see referencing and plagiarism and the free audio download on plagiarism.

Proof-read

Proof your work for typing errors. Read it aloud to check that it makes sense. Listen carefully as you read it aloud. Check that the computer hasn't accidentally swallowed half of a sentence or some paragraphs you though were there.

Using feedback

Feedback is your main form of support from tutors. It is your best guide about what to do to improve your marks and your work more generally.

In the short term
  • Read all feedback carefully. Avoid the temptation to throw it away if your mark was bad or if you have finished the topic.
  • Put the feedback away for a day or two and then go through it again.
  • Make sense of what is said. Work out why your tutors gave you the feedback they did. If you really don’t understand it, make an appointment to discuss it.
  • Make a list of all the good points. It is easy to miss this. People tend to focus in on the areas for improvement and negative comments and overlook the positive feedback.
  • Identify one or two main areas for improvement. Select items that will have the most impact on your marks, or which you feel strongest about.
  • Make a clear plan for how you will make use of feedback.
In the longer term
  • Keep your feedback in one folder.
  • When you have several pieces of feedback, read through them and jot down a list of the main points that are made on each.
  • Look out for recurring themes. These are things which are either gaining or losing you marks regularly.
  • Make sure you recognise your strengths so that you do not lose these.
  • Identify one or two areas for improvement. If you do not know how to address these on your own or with a study skills book, speak to your tutor or to student support staff.

For more advice, see handy tips for assessments and for further information please see Chapters 5 and 8 of The Study Skills Handbook by Stella Cottrell.

TopLearning from lecturesThe purpose of lectures

Lectures are an opportunity to find out how one lecturer makes sense of the wealth of information and research that has been undertaken on a topic. A good lecturer will use the lecture to give you an overview of the main themes, develop your understanding of the issues, guide you on how to find out more about the subject and the reading you need to undertake. You may also gain details of relevant current issues, explanations of complex material or questions to answer that develop your own thinking and research. The aim is not usually to give you a definitive and comprehensive set of 'facts' on the subject. You are expected to supplement the lecture with reading and interpretations of your own.

Lectures that develop understanding

The finer details of the subject should be available in lecture hand-outs, web-pages or in the recommended reading. This should mean that you do not have to spend the time in the lecture making detailed notes. If you have lecturers like this, your best strategy is:

  • focus on listening to the lecture
  • note how the different themes or issues interconnect, so you gain a good overall grasp of the subject
  • make a brief note of key themes
  • note any additional references
  • read about the subject of the lecture before and after in order to pick up details. 
Information-rich lectures

Some lecturers will use the lecture to bombard you with information and expect you to take this in at speed. If so, most people will find it difficult to listen and take detailed notes, and it is unlikely that anybody will have a complete set of lecture notes. If you have lecturers like this, your best strategy is:

  1. Browse through relevant text books before the lecture. This will give you an idea of what information is in the books - and which you may not need to note in the lecture. You can come back to this after the lecture.
  2. It is hard to make sense of lectures where information content is high. Reading something about the subject in advance will help to make more sense of what is said.
  3. Listen carefully for topic headings and references so that you can chase missing information after the lecture.
  4. Resist the temptation to write everything down if you can avoid this. It is very hard to catch a complete set of lecture notes.
  5. Form a group and go through the lecture notes so you can fill in gaps. Between you, you will have most of the information you need and discussing the notes will help you to understand the subject.
Top tips for learning from lecturesBefore the lecture
  • prepare for lectures - find out what is in the books on the subject so that you are aware of what you do not need to note in the lecture
  • form an opinion about the subject of the lecture
  • set yourself questions and leave spaces to have these answered during the lecture.
During the lecture
  • listen to 'make sense' rather than to make notes
  • listen for 'signposts' about what is coming next or for summaries of key points
  • listen for answers to questions you set in advance
  • write yourself questions so you can trace answers and information after the lecture
  • make brief notes of essential points.
After the lecture
  • read your notes and fill in any gaps
  • discuss the lecture with other people
  • consider how the lecture changed or developed your opinions of the subject
  • label and file your notes.
TopGetting supportLevels of support

The amount of support available from teaching staff will vary a great deal. Usually this is much less than people are used to from school or college. There may be more help available where programme numbers are small or where the work is based mostly in a studio or laboratory. However, in general, you are expected to take the lead in:

  • identifying what you need
  • looking for ways of solving problems
  • finding out what information and support is available
  • making use of available support.
Using support from lecturers and teaching staff

Lecturers provide information and guidance in Handbooks, in their feedback on your assignments and in handouts. They expect you to consult this before coming to ask for additional help.

Lecturers may not work full time at the university. Some of these lecturers will not be available to give extra help, as they may work at other jobs when they are not teaching you.

Other lecturers will have only a small amount of time to offer to any one student. They will not be able to go through your work with you in the detail you may have received at college. In order to make best use of the short time they can offer you:

  • work through the difficulty as far as you can rather than expecting help at different stages
  • identify possible solutions and try these before seeing the tutor
  • write a list of key questions to ask
  • put these in order, with the most important first, in case you run out of time and do not get through the list
  • take your proposed solutions with you so that it is clear to the lecturer what you are trying to do
  • stick to the point when you see the tutor
  • be on time: if you are late, you will have less time with the tutor
  • tutors cannot usually run over the time allocated to you.
Support services

Universities offer a range of support services. Find out what is available and make use of these if you need them. It is better to ask for help early on if you are experiencing difficulty. It is more difficult to find a good solution if you let a difficulty run on without seeking help. Most services are confidential. The Student Union usually has support or welfare officers that can offer advice.

Set up your own support networks

It is expected that students will develop their own support networks. There are innumerable ways of doing this. For example, you could set up:

  • Support groups - these may focus on study, or bring together students from particular backgrounds such as mature students, students with disabilities, students from different ethnic backgrounds, international students, students living in a particular region on distance learning programmes, etc.
  • Discussion groups to debate themes and issues that arise in relation to the subject.
  • Reading groups to discuss themes that arise from subject texts.
  • Action sets to offer mutual guidance on short term action plans.
  • Lecture groups - these go through lecture notes to discuss themes and identify gaps in notes.

This content has been written by Stella Cottrell, author of The Study Skills Handbook

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, June 27, 10:09 AM

There are good points and many links embedded.

Rescooped by steve batchelder from Moodle and Web 2.0
Scoop.it!

Russell Stannard's webinar presentation


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