Building better study skills for the homestretch

- November 20, 2020

Dalhousie offers several supports to help students build good study skills. (Nick Pearce photo)
Dalhousie offers several supports to help students build good study skills. (Nick Pearce photo)

With just a few weeks left in the fall semester, many students recognize now is the time to buckle down and finish strong. If you are a student, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed, but the good news is you are not alone. Whether you are doing well academically and want to do better, or are experiencing academic difficulty, Dalhousie offers several supports to help you build good study skills and habits so you can reach your academic potential.

As in years past, the Bissett Student Success Centre in Halifax and the Student Success Centre on the Agricultural Campus in Truro have been working hard to provide academic support resources for all students — only this year from a distance. Services are being delivered in several ways (over the phone, virtual meetings and workshops, etc.) to ensure students can receive quality support from the safety and comfort of their homes.

Study support and tutoring for students

Students have access to various academic and online resources to support their learning at Dalhousie. Studying for Success, a program run through the Bissett Centre, helps students in all areas of study skills and through tutoring services.

Students seeking assistance in understanding course content and assignments, or in preparing for specific exams, are able to request a tutor online in their field of study for virtual appointments.

“We’ve had a great uptake in our tutoring services for course-specific support," says Jessica Chubb, coordinator of the Studying for Success program. "Students are finding that tutors are a wonderful supplementary tool to help them through their studies."

Workshops (exam prep, hello!) and personal coaching for students

Chubb says students are also invited to attend virtual workshops, which are offered in small groups and cover content relevant to academic performance. Workshops this fall run until Dec. 4 and cover a range of topics from effective reading strategies to specific exam preparation sessions on short answer/essay exams, multiple-choice strategies, and more.

For more individualized support in developing their study and time-management skills, students can book personal coaching sessions. Coaches are all graduate students at Dal and offer unique perspectives from a range of different academic specialty areas. Coaches are available until Dec. 11.

“This term, we’ve noticed many students experiencing challenges with online learning, most specifically with finding and keeping motivation, staying focused on their studies, avoiding procrastination, and developing a routine,” she says. “Therefore, we’re seeing students attending our virtual workshops and coaching sessions in an effort to improve those skills.”

Step-by-step guides

Studying for Success also offers a collection of ready made online handouts. These primers are designed to provide practical step-by-step support to students across a range of topics.

If time management is an issue, you'll find handouts on self-assessment, making your schedule work, remedies for procrastination and creating a weekly schedule. If it's presentations you need help with, you'll find summaries on speaking skills. Other topics range from goal setting and getting focused to note-taking and preparing for exams. Find out more about the guides.

Accessibility and accommodations

Students approaching the end of term who feel they need accommodations to help reduce barriers to learning and help with exams are encouraged to reach out to the Accessibility Office (here for the Ag Campus in Truro). Given the paperwork required in submitting an accommodation request, students should reach out with any requests as soon as possible. Documents for exam-related accommodations are due one week before exams at the latest.

Dal Mobile study groups

Now more than ever, technology is playing a major role in shaping our university experience. The Dal Mobile App brings campus to your fingertips and lets you easily connect with the Dal community.

Whether you are a new or upper year student, there are numerous benefits of using Dal Mobile. One major benefit is the ability to join study groups promoted via the app’s “Campus Wall.”

This is a great way to fill knowledge gaps, meet new people, and stay motivated throughout the semester. You can find it on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.


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