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BEING AN INDEPENDENT LEARNER. Making the most of studying at university. Why do you think that studying at university might be different to studying at school or college?. Take a few minutes to think about this and discuss it with the person next to you…. 3 Keys to Independent Learning.

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BEING AN INDEPENDENT LEARNER

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Being an independent learner l.jpg

BEING AN INDEPENDENT LEARNER

Making the most of studying at university


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Why do you think that studying at university might be different to studying at school or college?

  • Take a few minutes to think about this and discuss it with the person next to you…


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3 Keys to Independent Learning

  • You must possess high levels of personal motivation & work to sustain this

  • You will need good time management skills

  • You will be able to reflect upon, and adapt effectively, aspects of your learning


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Typical Features of ‘Dependent’ Learners

  • You predominantly respond to the pressures of the system through deadlines, penalties & marks.

  • The content and resources you utilise are determined by your tutors.

  • You follow your tutors’ instructions to letter and don’t go much beyond it. You find it sufficient.

  • You find little opportunity in your studies to go beyond tutors’ instructions, and you may not be encouraged to do it either.


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Typical Features of ‘Independent’ Learners

  • You respond to the external pressures, but you are also seeking personal satisfaction and what to learn as much as you can.

  • Although your tutors have given guidance on resources you need, you happily seek out your own resources.

  • You are keen to develop personal strategies for learning.

  • You are keen to reflect on what and how you learn.


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The ‘time management grid’


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Reflecting on your learning…

  • Try to be actively engaged with your studies and always seek to improve your results

  • Identify your strengths: Think how you can use them to your best advantage, but also how you can make them even stronger

  • Identify your weaknesses: Actively explore ways to address these and turn them into strengths


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Remember!

‘If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got!’


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The importance of Feedback

  • Feedback is very important for your academic and intellectual development

  • Scholarship in universities proceeds by what is often termed the ‘critical method’

  • Feedback can take many forms, including face-to-face, written (on your work or perhaps by email), group / plenary feedback


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Receiving and using feedback

  • Remember that all of us in universities receive feedback on a regular basis, whether students or staff

  • Be open to feedback, even though it may sometimes be given less sensitively than it should; don’t be defensive or closed to the idea of feedback, and look for the useful comments, positive or negative


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Receiving and using feedback

  • Don’t feel that you necessarily have to accept all the feedback comments you receive, but don’t simply reject the feedback out of hand

  • Actively reflect upon the feedback and develop practical ways to adapt your learning in light of it. Put these changes into practice thereafter

  • Do approach tutors & seek clarification if you are unclear about aspects of their feedback


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Key points to remember…

  • Take responsibility for your learning and try to be an ‘independent learner’, but don’t hesitate to seek help and support if you need it

  • Reflect on your learning and be willing to adapt where you identify weaknesses in your approach to learning or your skills

  • Use things like feedback effectively


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