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The Effects of Integrative Study Support on the Type and Complexity of Student Study Skills Techniques

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Emma Haagensen, Dr Ma Brenda Pancho, Dr Scott Walker, Bhavani Veasuvalingam, Judy Bien, Kayleigh ScotcherORCiD, Emily Green, Dr Kay Thwe, Elleen Yakob, Dr Paul HubbardORCiD


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Study skills support constantly evolves, with active learning leading to better outcomes. Previous one-to-one study support sessions with struggling students indicate that few are adopting effective study skills techniques, and engagement in formal study skills teaching is often low. The current project aimed to evaluate student study abilities on entry to university, and to assess whether an integrated study skills approach influences the type and complexity of study, adoption of active learning techniques, and individualisation of study methods. Year 1 MBBS students at Newcastle University’s UK and NUMed (Malaysia) campuses were given a previously validated study skills inventory (SSI) (AlFaris et al., 2018) to self-assess their existing study skills on starting the course, and again 8 months into their first year. In addition, free text questions gathered more detailed data on study skills perceptions and the impact of study support interventions. Throughout the year, students were exposed to ‘integrated study support’ consisting of: 1, standard study support tutorials, 2, a dedicated study support online tutorial, 3, teaching sessions that included explanations of why that topic was taught that way, and how students could use similar techniques in their own learning, 4, self and tutor referred one-to-one study support. Furthermore, due to the covid 19 pandemic, additional questions relating to adapting to online learning were added to the initial project questionnaire to assess impact on study techniques. The study showed that the pandemic had a significant impact on students’ assessment of their study skills, with adapting their skills to learning online a major concern for all cohorts. A sense of self-efficacy for learning was evident from the analysis. Most students modified their learning throughout the academic year, positively adapting to online and trying new and more active learning techniques. One-to-one sessions had the greatest impact on changes but barriers to included fears over the time taken to adapt to new learning techniques, and whether these will be effective. The integrated study support intervention promotes a sense of efficacy among students, resulting in better learning experiences.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Haagensen EJ, Pancho MBC, Walker S, Veasuvalingam B, Madelar Bien J, Scotcher K, Green E, Thwe K, Yakob E, Hubbard PS

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 4th Developing Excellence in Medical Education Conference (DEMEC)

Year of Conference: 2021

Online publication date: 06/12/2021

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

Publisher: DEMEC