Learning Fundamentals for University Students

Learning Fundamentals for University Students is a series of modules designed to equip entering first-year students with transferrable academic skills and increase their understanding of expectations to help them thrive during their time in University.

By the end of this module, students will be able to:

  • Identify and apply learning skills that will be necessary to thrive in a University environment.
  • Evaluate their current strengths related to learning in an academic setting.
  • Understand where and how to access supports to develop the learning skills they need to succeed in University.

By the end of this module, students will be able to:

  • Identify lecture approaches and styles through cross-discipline online lecture examples.
  • Analyze effective strategies for learning through lectures that fit with and complement their strengths (i.e. Development of listening skills, critical thinking).
  • Understand and apply effective note taking strategies through practical activities.
  • Evaluate skills they can develop to increase effectiveness of learning from lectures (i.e. How to improve note taking abilities).

By the end of this module, students will be able to:

  • Understand the value of reading strategies that enable ‘deep-learning.’
  • Identify and apply effective reading strategies relevant to their academic discipline(s).
  • Analyze effective approaches that can be applied to various types of reading material (e.g. material with more or less structure).

By the end of this module, students will be able to:

  • Understand what ‘independent learning’ means in a University setting.
  • Identify and apply use of independent learning skills in their own academic work.
  • Evaluate strategies and available support systems to maximize effectiveness of independent learning.

By the end of this module, students will be able to:

  • Identify and apply tools to determine when they should seek support to foster development of learning skills.
  • Understand when in the academic cycle help can be most effective.
  • Identify learning resources available to them in a University setting.

About the Authors—Learning Skills Team

The Student Development Centre’s Learning Skills Services provide information and support to help Western Students achieve academic success. With a diversity of academic backgrounds, as well as training in education, teaching, and counselling, Learning Skills Counsellors work with students to promote effective and efficient learning. Learning Skills Services are available to all students at Western University—undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.

The content of these modules was developed by Ryan Mackay, Erin House, and Justin Kicks.