Skills support menu for academic departments 2022/23

The Academic Skills Centre can offer support for taught students in the following areas:

This menu is also available as a Word document (79KB)

Section A: Learning at university

A1: Strategies for Effective Learning (Suitable for Welcome)

Students will be able to:

  • Gain confidence with some essential learning skills, including time management, notetaking and communication
  • Discuss and reflect on their own study strategies and areas for development
  • Understand the importance of independent, reflective and collaborative learning
  • Use some digital tools and apps to enhance learning

Available as: Workshop, Panopto recording

We also offer a session on Time Management and Digital Tools (C1) 

A2: Returning to Education (Suitable for Welcome)

A version of Strategies for Effective Learning particularly aimed at mature students or those returning to education after a break. Students will be able to:

  • Better understand what’s expected of them at university
  • Explore strategies for studying alongside other commitments
  • Get to grips with some essential learning skills
  • Use some digital tools and apps to enhance learning

Available as: Workshop, Panopto recording

A3: Reading and Notetaking Strategies

Students will be able to:

  • Apply strategies for reading effectively and critically
  • Make active and useful notes while reading
  • Consider a range of digital note-taking tools

Available as: Workshop 

A4: Critical Thinking

Students will be able to:

  • Identify, construct and evaluate arguments and their components
  • Detect inconsistencies and common mistakes in own & others' reasoning
  • Apply techniques for systematically solving problems

Available as: Workshop, Canvas resource 

A5: How to Critique an Academic Article  

Students will be able to:

  • Understand what is involved in critiquing an article
  • Understand the role of different sections of an article
  • Develop a thoughtful, questioning approach to reading
  • Identify, summarise, and evaluate the ideas and information presented
  • Write in a critical and concise way

Available as: Workshop

A6: Critical Analysis in the Sciences

This session is suitable for students undertaking degrees with a scientific component.

Students will be able to:

  • Think and read critically
  • Critique scientific papers in more depth
  • Demonstrate critical analysis in writing

Available as: Workshop

A7: Presentation Skills

This session can be adapted to cover different delivery types e.g. in- person, recorded or online presentations. It can also be paired with C14: Innovative Presentation Tools.

Students will be able to:

  • Understand what goes into an effective presentation
  • Deliver a presentation with more confidence
  • Structure a presentation to grab and hold attention
  • Include effective and accessible visuals.

Available as: Workshop, Canvas resource

A8: Working Collaboratively

This session can also be paired with C4: Collaboration and Sharing Tools

Students will be able to:

  • Plan group roles and set clear aims for team projects or assignments
  • Work and communicate effectively and productively in a team
  • Deal with difficult situations when working with others
  • Explore a range of digital collaboration tools 

Available as: Workshop, Canvas resource

A9: Exams and Revision

This session can be tailored to suit different types of exams e.g. essay based, MCQs, online or in-person.

Students will be able to:

  • Understand what the type of exam involves and how to prepare for it
  • Reflect on their own approaches to revision
  • Apply different strategies to revision
  • Know what to expect on the day of the exam

Available as: Workshop, Canvas resource

A10: Using Feedback to Improve Grades

This session can be tailored to cover generic feedback.

Students will be able to:

  • Better understand the language of feedback
  • Apply feedback to their next assignment
  • Devise an action plan of areas for improvement and development

Available as: Workshop, Canvas resource

Section B: Research Skills

B1: Using Library Resources for Learning (Suitable for Welcome)

Students will be able to:

  • Access information on the full range of resources, services and study support provided by the library
  • Use Resource Lists and FindIt@Bham
  • Know where to ask for advice and support with their studies

Available as: Workshop or Q&A, Panopto video, Canvas resource

B2: Finding, Using and Evaluating Information.

This session can be adapted to suit different levels and different projects e.g. for dissertations. The session can also have a focus on primary resources or advanced literature searching techniques if applicable.

Students will be able to:

  • Access and use key resources for their discipline, including journals, databases and other relevant sources of information
  • Plan and implement an effective literature search
  • Use techniques for searching effectively online 
  • Evaluate the available literature in terms of quality and relevance

Available as: Workshop or Q&A, Canvas resource

B3: Good Academic Practice: Referencing

Students will be able to:

  • Apply the concept and principles of referencing
  • Paraphrase and quote effectively in their work
  • Get started with referencing software

Available as: Workshop or Q&A, Canvas resource

To find out more about support for research students and staff, please visit the Library Services Research Support pages

The Cadbury Research Library can also work with Schools to help students engage with their resources virtually. To find out more, please visit the Special Collections page

Section C: Digital skills

The digital student

C1: Time Management and Digital tools

Students will be able to:

  • Understand the concepts of time management and prioritisation
  • Reflect on their time management skills 
  • Consider strategies, techniques and tools for making the most of their study time 
  • Have a better awareness of some time management tools including Office365, OneNote and FocusKeeper 

Available as: Workshop

C2: Developing a Positive Online and Social Media Presence

Students will be able to:

  • Understand what a Digital Footprint is
  • Understand the negative consequences of a Digital Footprint and how to limit them
  • Understand how to develop a positive digital footprint

Available as: Workshop, Canvas resource, Panopto recording

C3: Online Safety

Students will be able to:

  • Learn how to protect yourself, your computers and mobiles devices against fraud, identity theft, viruses etc
  • Keep your computer safe by updating software
  • Safely use networks and the internet

Available as: Canvas resource, LinkedIn Learning collection

C4: Collaboration & Sharing Tools

This can also be paired with C8: Working Collaboratively. Students will be able to:

  • Use OneNote & Microsoft365 to share and collaborate on a document
  • Create, organise and share digital notebooks using OneNote

Available as: Workshop, Canvas resource, LinkedIn Learning collection

C5: Collaboration Tools in Canvas

Students will be able to:

  • Use Discussion forums for asynchronous collaboration
  • Use Collaborations and Google Docs for real-time collaboration
  • Use Conferences for online meetings and presentations

Available as: Canvas resource, Panopto recording 

C6: Using Webinars and Online Meetings

Students will be able to:

  • Select the most appropriate tool for online meetings
  • Use Zoom, MS Teams and Canvas Conferences
  • Plan and host an online meeting 

Available as: Canvas resource

C7: Microsoft Teams

Students will be able to:

  • Plan and host an online meeting
  • Collaborate on files
  • Schedule and track tasks

Available as: LinkedIn Learning collection

C8: Introduction to Mind Mapping using MindGenius

Students will be able to:

  • Create, build and work with mind maps
  • Capture unstructured ideas with mind maps
  • Use colour and images to highlight information

Available as: Canvas resource

C9: Introduction to PebblePad

Students will be able to:

  • Create an e-portfolio in PebblePad
  • Add images, video and hyperlinks to their portfolio
  • Share a portfolio with others to enable collaboration

Available as: Canvas resource

Office tools

C10: MS Office 365

Students will be able to:

  • Use Office 365 apps, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Publisher, Teams & Sway
  • Use the apps for team collaboration
  • Use OneDrive to store files in the cloud

Available as: Workshop, LinkedIn Learning collection

C11: Creating Accessible Office Documents

Students will be able to:

  • Create documents that are accessible to all, e.g. with assistive technologies such as screen readers
  • Check Word, PowerPoint and PDFs from Word or PPT documents for accessibility issues
  • Use the MS Office Accessibility Checker

Available as: Canvas resource, LinkedIn Learning collection, Panopto recording 

C12: Creating Long Documents in Word

Students will be able to:

  • Structure a document using styles
  • Create an automated table of contents
  • Create sections utilising different headers and footers

Available as: Workshop, Canvas resource, Panopto recording, LinkedIn Learning collection

C13: MS Excel

Students will be able to:

  • Generate basic formulae and charts
  • Use formulae and functions in a worksheet
  • Create and use pivot tables

Available as: Workshop, Canvas resource, Panopto recording, LinkedIn Learning collection

C14: Using MS OneNote for Note Taking

Students will be able to:

  • Create and organise digital notebooks using OneNote
  • Share digital notebooks
  • Search across notebooks

Available as: Canvas resource, Panopto recording, LinkedIn Learning collection

C15: Using MS Forms for Surveys

Students will be able to:

  • Create surveys, quizzes and polls using a variety of question types
  • Share forms with others
  • Handle responses to forms

Available as: Canvas resource

C16: MS Word

Students will be able to:

  • Format documents and work with pages
  • Use tables to display numbers, text and graphics
  • Manage long documents using Word’s automated features

Available as: Canvas resource

C17: MS PowerPoint

Students will be able to:

  • Create and present slideshows
  • Insert multimedia into presentations
  • Use animation functions to enhance presentations

Available as: Canvas resource

C18: MS Access

Students will be able to:

  • Understand Tables, Queries, Forms and Reports
  • Understand the principles of database design
  • Build a database in MS Access

Available as: Canvas resource

Multimedia

C19: Designing, Creating and Writing a Digital Academic Poster

Students will be able to:

  • Plan a balanced layout of their poster
  • Use appropriate text and images to enhance the poster
  • Identify and effectively summarise key information for the poster
  • Write in a clear, concise way suitable for the audience

Available as: Workshop, Canvas resource, Panopto recording

C20: Innovative Presentation Tools

This session can also be paired with A7: Presentation Skills.

Students will be able to:

  • Create a presentation using a range of digital tools
  • Incorporate multimedia, such as video, audio, images and animation
  • Use automated features to aid design and presentation

Available as: Canvas resource, LinkedIn Learning collection

C21: Image Editing Tools

Students will be able to:

  • Select an appropriate tool to edit images
  • Use simple tools such as PowerPoint, Paint, Pixlr and Canva
  • Use tools such as Photoshop, GIMP and Paint.NET for image editing techniques

Available as: Canvas resource, LinkedIn Learning Resource

C22: Presenting your Idea for a Mobile App

Students will be able to:

  • Wireframe a plan for a mobile app
  • Generate screen mock-ups for a prototype
  • Create a prototype app with working navigation

Available as: Workshop, Canvas resource, Panopto recording, LinkedIn Learning collection

C23: Introduction to Video Editing

Students will be able to:

  • Understand the use of the timeline in video editing
  • Understand common editing techniques
  • Be familiar with a range of video editing tools

Available as: Workshop, Canvas resource, Panopto recording

C24: Animated Explainer Videos

Students will be able to:

  • Learn how to structure an explainer video
  • Identify good examples of explainer videos
  • Create an explainer video with a range of online tools

Available as: Canvas resource

C25: Creating a Website Using Web Builders

Students will be able to:

  • Select an appropriate software tool
  • Use good design principles
  • Make the website accessible

Available as: Workshop, Canvas resource, Panopto recording, LinkedIn Learning collection

C26: Creating a Blog

Students will be able to:

  • Understand how to write a blog and how to enhance it to entice readers
  • Share the blog with others and cross-connect to other online content
  • Select an appropriate digital tool to create and publish the blog

Available as: Workshop, Panopto recording, LinkedIn Learning collection

C27: Create a Podcast and Editing Audio

Students will be able to:

  • Record and produce a podcast
  • Edit audio using Audacity

Available as: LinkedIn Learning collection

C28: Creating Digital Promotional Materials

Students will be able to:

  • Use online tools to create a range of digital promotional materials, e.g. posters, social media posts, logos
  • Understand good design principles for digital promotional materials
  • Ensure digital designs are accessible for all

Available as: Workshop, Canvas resource, LinkedIn Learning Collection

Statistical Software 

C29: Use SPSS to Manage and Analyse Data

Students will be able to:

  • Engage with the user interface
  • Input raw data
  • Set up variables

Available as: Panopto recording, Canvas resource, LinkedIn Learning collection

C30: Using NVivo to Manage and Analyse Data

Students will be able to:

  • Engage with the user interface
  • Import raw data
  • Set up variables

Available as: Workshop, Canvas resource, Panopto recording, LinkedIn Learning collection

If your students require digital skills support for topics not listed above, and the skills link to an assessment or programme learning outcome, please let us know on the booking form. We will happily discuss how we may be able to support. 

Section D: Writing skills

D1: Introduction to Academic Writing

Students will be able to:

  • Plan an assignment or piece of writing
  • Organise their ideas and arguments
  • Use introductions and conclusions effectively
  • Manage transitions and create a sense of ‘flow’ within a piece of work
  • Convey meaning as clearly and concisely as possible
  • Edit and proofread their own work

Available as: Workshop, Canvas resource

D2: Writing your Dissertation

It is also possible to request the Literature Review element only. 

Students will be able to:

  • Plan timescales for tackling a dissertation
  • Define what the different sections of their dissertation should achieve
  • Understand the purpose of a literature review
  • Read critically and organise their literature
  • Structure and write up the review
  • Write an effective discussion section
  • Manage transitions and create a sense of ‘flow’ within a long piece of work
  • Edit and proofread a long piece of work

Available as: Workshop, Canvas resource

D3: Reflective Writing

Students will be able to:

  • Understand the purpose of reflective writing
  • Develop and apply reflective practice
  • Write reflectively, and understand how this may be different from standard academic writing
  • Use reflective models to structure the piece of writing
  • Link theory and practice in reflective writing

Available as: Workshop, Canvas resource

D4: Scientific Writing (including Lab Reports)

Students will be able to:

  • Structure a piece of scientific writing effectively
  • Write more critically in a scientific context
  • Write in a concise scientific style
  • Paraphrase scientific ideas
  • Write a scientific report, or lab report, according to typical conventions

Available as: Workshop, Canvas resource 

D5: Writing a Research Paper or Journal Article

This may be suitable for students writing a research paper or journal article instead of a dissertation project.

Students will be able to:

  • Understand the role of different sections of the paper/article, with a particular focus on literature reviews and the discussion section
  • Write critically ensuring an engagement with relevant research
  • Convey meaning as clearly and concisely as possible
  • Identify some effective approaches to editing and proofreading work

Available as: Workshop

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