Independent Learning

The following resources are designed to help you assess and develop your students’ independent learning skills.

All our resources are available for free educational use under a Creative Commons licence. You are welcome to link to them, use them and adapt them if necessary for your students, but please acknowledge LearnHigher as authors.

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Reading in print and in digital: Strategies and choices

This material introduces students to basic strategies for reading in digital and print formats. It encourages them to consider the advantages and challenges of each one, and the different learning contexts for which they may be most appropriate.

There are 6 strategies:
• Copy and paste function
• Digital annotation tools
• Split screen and working with multiple documents
• Support reading with online tools
• Using a mixture of mediums
• Word search function

Each document is designed as a flip-card of a strategy. One side outlines what the strategy is, and then poses questions for the student/s to think about. The second side outlines the advantages and challenges in relation to shallow and deep learning. We hope this will encourage students to reflect upon the choices they make when reading, and make purposeful and informed choices.

Following this, there are 2 scenarios provided as a separate document. Students are asked to select from 3 given responses to the scenario and then reflect upon the advantages and limitations of the response/s. This should allow students to situate the strategies within a real-world scenario.

These materials could be used within a number of learning settings, including a workshop or a one-to-one appointment.

These resources were developed from an ALDinHE funded research project into how students read for their studies, focusing on digital and print mediums. The selection of strategies and guidance given is based upon focus groups conducted with students at Lancaster University.

Activity time:

Types of media:

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Creative Learning Activity Cards

Creative Learning Activity Cards are an interactive teaching and learning resource for students of creative subjects at Foundation, BA or MA level to help scaffold student academic skills. This evidence-based resource consists of 50 activity cards divided into five sections of ten cards on: • Planning• Research• Thinking• Writing• Wild Card (includes tips for overcoming writer’s block, anxiety and procrastination, and building motivation) The cards can be used as materials in both online and face-to-face facilitated seminars or workshops, as the basis for teaching in lectures or as an independent study resource for students.To print you can use PowerPoint option of choosing number of slides per page, e.g. 4 slides per A4 and cut them out. You could also choose single page and print the desired ones to full A4 so they can be used as A4 handouts. Another option could be using photo paper, e.g. 10x15cm and print them individually (select 'fill whole page' option via printer setting).

Activity time:

Types of media: Worksheet, Slides, PowerPoint File, Interactive Learning Object

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Learn Hacks

The animations are all based around the themes of productivity, curation, discovery, collaboration, impact and transferable skills. It is to highlight the many ways students can engage with technology to improve their learning experience.

Activity time: 3 minutes

Types of media: Video

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Easy Proofreading Wins with Microsoft Word

By completing these learning resources, students will be able to: Appreciate the limits and uses of Microsoft Word in aiding proofreading beyond built-in spelling and grammar checks. Use A-Z sort, Find, and Find and Replace to eliminate common proofreading errors efficiently. Find further free sources of developmental support for proofreading skills.

Activity time: 30 minutes

Types of media: Handout/s, Webpage, Helpsheet, Word Document, Quiz

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Resource Pack Supporting Student Community Projects

This pack contains resources to support student projects in the local community. It includes guidance for students about project queries
list of resources available to students to support their project work, fundraising ideas, oral history references and a contract template.

Activity time: 1 Hour

Types of media: Helpsheet, Word Document

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Learning Contract

This resource includes guidance notes for developing a learning contract for self-directed study, together with a template for a Learning Contract. The resource is tailored for adult students and is designed to be worked through on a one-to-one basis with a tutor.

Activity time: 45 Minutes

Types of media: Handout/s, Word Document

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Learning Agreement

This resource features introductory notes and sample template for a learning agreement and supports students to identify activities within their work which could demonstrate their achievement of the learning outcomes. The resource is designed to be used with part-time adult educators, graduate teaching assistants and those who support learning in HE to form a framework for the development of a portfolio for assessment.

Activity time: 45 Minutes

Types of media: Handout/s, Helpsheet, Word Document

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Developing an Action Plan for Independent Learning

Worksheet to support students to outline an structured action plan for their studies. This resource provides a template to encourage students to be effective independent learners, able to identify: what they want to learn; the best ways for them to learn what they want to learn; and how to demonstrate learning.

Activity time: 30 Minutes

Types of media: Handout/s, Helpsheet, Word Document

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Work-based Learning Contracts

This resource provides customisable templates for learning contracts together with a commentary on their use in a community work and youth work context.

Activity time: 45 minutes

Types of media: Handout/s, Helpsheet, Word Document

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Critical Reflection Forms

30 minutes

Activity time: 30 Minutes

Types of media: Handout/s, Word Document, Quiz

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Induction booklet – template and examples

This resource offers a customisable template for a booklet to support students through the induction process. An exemplar booklet is also available from a student intake at the University of Manchester. A set of notes are provided detailing the background, aims and objectives, design and student evaluation of the booklet.

Activity time: 5 hours

Types of media: Handout/s, Helpsheet, Word Document

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