The purpose of the 301 centre is to support students in developing the necessary academic skills for their studies at university. The university recognises that no student comes to the university perfectly skilled at writing, critical thinking, presenting etc. However, teaching the necessary subject knowledge for a course leaves little time for students to get real practise at essay writing or presenting until they’re being evaluated on these things. It’s easy for even very gifted students to fall through the cracks and not reach their full potential. This is of course where 301 comes in. Workshops are designed to teach specific techniques and skills for things like exam revision or mind-mapping. If they aren’t specific enough, one to one support can be given with tutors helping students with their personal academic problems.
Of course, most students don’t attend a single workshop, even though they’re absolutely free. Perhaps you’re one of these people. They do so for many reasons, I know that before I worked here I only took two. I would hypothesize that one reason is that, unless they’re obviously struggling, many think they have enough on their plate already, and are doing just fine as it is. Why bother if there is no problem to solve?
I would like to suggest that even if you’re one of these students, you should come anyway. Not just because you can hone your skills even further, pushing up your academic performance, but because of the importance of these skills beyond academia.
Let’s take some examples workshops, and see how they could apply to different job roles.
Critical Thinking and Writing
This workshop teaches you how to really engage with a text or argument. The arguments and points in texts can be difficult to understand, much less refute or critically analyse. Yet this skill is incredibly useful in most careers, even those which do not usually require reading complex texts or making arguments. This is a highly valued skill in careers where you might have to writing funding or permit applications, writing letters to clients or superiors, or even just deciding with colleagues what the next step in a plan should be.
Note Taking: Strategies, Organisation and Management
Thought your note-taking days were over once you left university? Think again. Practically every job will require you to take notes at some point. Whether you’re in a meeting on an important subject or just taking case-notes for a client or customer. Accurate, relevant note taking using established and efficient techniques taught in this workshop can make your notes extremely useful, rather than some jumbled, confusing mess. Take this workshop and you’ll save yourself a thousand headaches in the future. Your co-workers will thank you too!
Managing Your Time and Avoiding Distractions
Who doesn’t need help avoiding procrastinating! The more time spent procrastinating at work is the more stress trying to quickly complete tasks later down the line. Being able to get in the ‘zone’ and really get work done will not only make you better at your job, but improve your mental health. You’ll find this useful in your leisure time as well. Avoid the distractions of YouTube and social media to make the most out of your time off and complete some of your hobbies and passions. As well as all the chores.
Reflecting on Your Academic Progress
This workshop focuses on guided reflection on your work at university, identifying weaknesses and mistakes made as well as what went well! A reflective person is not only able to sell themselves better to potential clients and employers, but also better placed to improve themselves over time. Also beware, a lot of companies are requiring their employees to reflect regularly on their progress, so might as well get used to doing it productively now, because it will be a mainstay of your work life!
Exam Revision Planning
I know what you’re thinking, how the hell will you use revision techniques once you’ve taken your last exam! I know when I took my last one I breathed a sigh of relief. But of course, then I started applying for jobs and being given small examinations, being made to give presentations and generally being asked to demonstrate those same skills of memory, relevant and succinct answers, etc. Also, don’t forget, you might think this is the last exam of your life, but who knows where your life may go. You might have to take an additional qualification to move up the career ladder, or perhaps one day you’ll change profession and have to retrain, while having all the worries of adult life to deal with. The skills of being able to keep calm under pressure and remember useful information are good skills to have.
Look at all these skills you can get for free! What’s more, if you do enough of them you can get a study skills certificate in that area, which goes on your H.E.A.R. This means that employers can see real, paper proof that you have been trained in these skills, which in the current job market could be the difference between getting that all important interview and being passed over. For more information on exactly how the study skills certificates function. Click here.