STUDENTS FEEL CAPABLE AND CONFIDENT FOLLOWING HOW 2 WORKSHOPS

The HOW 2 workshop series, from the Student Learning team (part of the Keele Institute for Innovation in Teaching Excellence), was started in the 2017/18 academic year. The objective of these workshops was to create a personalised student learning experience through engaging students with their own programme, concepts and materials in an extracurricular, interdisciplinary, learning environment.

Janine Tyson-Baker, a 1st year Psychology student reflects:

"I had the best experience at the HOW 2 workshops. I started last September as a Psychology undergraduate. I was completely overwhelmed by this whole new study criteria and change of environment. What do I do? Where do I start? How do I structure my work? What are the lecturers looking for? I also did not know anyone on campus.

I decided to attend the HOW 2 workshop and now I feel capable, confident with my work and have found great friends. It has been an absolute lifeline. Whether you are on Foundation, an Undergraduate or a Postgraduate programme, there is something for everyone and everyone is welcome. Thanks to the team for making learning a pleasure not a chore, it's been brilliant!"

Students are able to pick and choose which sessions they attend but are also encouraged to attend all sessions within a block. Each block consists of 3 sessions over a 3 week period linking to a particular aspect of academic practice which is aligned to the students’ academic journey - such as managing their academic studies, academic reading and research or academic writing.

Each semester, there are usually several students who chose to attend all, or the majority, of sessions. As a result, students from different faculties and backgrounds have been brought together to create a sense of community surrounding the enhancement of academic practice.

Mario Garcia, an international student who is studying a Masters in History stated:

“The HOW 2 workshops have provided opportunities to meet new people, from a variety of different backgrounds - everybody has the chance to engage with the session and talk about where they came from, in a friendly, relaxed environment. I would strongly recommend any international students to attend these sessions”

The workshops provide spaces for students to explore academic practices within their disciplinary identities, materials and assignments, which supports the development of their confidence not only in academic communication but also in their subject matter.

Anood Ali, a 2nd Year Bioscience student commented:

“After attending the first workshop, I knew that this was the golden path to successful grades and building up my knowledge towards my degree. HOW 2 workshops helped me understand how to explore the questions and how to build the answer. It helped me in structuring my essays and that massively reflected on escalating my grades.

Additionally, the friendly environment that is led by experts in the academic field supported me in building up my self-esteem and strengthening my confidence to take part as a group member. I strongly recommend students to join this friendly environment”

More workshops are planned for the 2019/20 academic year.