Most Student Learning Commons workshops, including workshop recordings viewed online, are eligible for inclusion on your Co-Curricular Record. To receive Co-Curricular credits, fill out the CCR Reflection Form.
Note: Students cannot receive Co-Curricular (CCR) credits for a workshop if the workshop is already being used to receive academic credit in a course.
Academic Writing Refresher
Organizing an Expository Essay
Organizing an Expository Essay (20 minutes)
Originally recorded for a World Literature 101w course, this 20 minute webinar explains the goals of the expository essay genre and the structure of an expository essay. It then provide strategies for both outlining and reverse outlining.
Top 5 Things to Know About Academic Writing
Top 5 Things to Know About Academic Writing (September 12, 2020, 55 minutes)
This recording of a live webinar reviews the top 5 things to know about academic writing. You’ll take away some answers, including where to find more help when you need it!
Writing Without Procrastination
Writing Without Procrastination (44 minutes)
This recorded webinar takes a time management approach to the writing process. It is intended to help you break your writing up into steps and get started. It will also introduce useful writing tools such as the assignment calculator and the pomodoro technique.
Parts of an Essay
A short Student Learning Commons workshop designed to introduce you to the parts of an essay that university professors often expect. It explains common pitfalls and ways to approach writing introductions, paragraphs, and conclusions.
Argumentation and Analysis
Let's Get Critical: Summary v. Analytical Writing (February 20, 2021, 22 minutes)
Have you been asked to write a critical analysis but aren't sure how to approach it? Each discipline has its own requirements, but some common strategies can help. This workshop begins with suggestions for effective reading and summarizing, then covers a range of analytical questions and general techniques to help you transition from summary to critical analysis.
Argumentative Essays: Templates to Strengthen your Writing (31 minutes)
Effective argumentation is a core requirement of many writing assignments across the disciplines. Yet students are often unsure how to write a clear and compelling academic argument. It isn’t the same as arguing with your partner or your parents! In this recorded webinar session, learn the particular rules governing academic argument as well as tips for developing and defending a solid argument in your written assignments.
Compare and Contrast
Compare and Contrast (9 minutes)
This screencast provides some introductory information about the compare and contrast genre of academic essay. In also provides some tips for reading across texts in order to compare and contrast them. Finally, it discusses two approaches to structuring a compare and contrast paper. Note: This brief screencast is not currently eligible for CCR credit.
Critical Argumentation & Critical Writing
Critical Argumentation & Critical Writing (30 minutes)
Originally recorded for SA 100w, this 30 minute webinar begins by asking you to consider the verbs in your writing assignment in order to determine how to most effectively approach your writing. It also introduces the difference between summaries and critical writing (it is therefore effectively watched after the webinar above about ethical source integration). It introduces students to ways to read and write critically, including examples to support your understanding. Note: This webinar is not currently eligible for CCR credit.
Multimodal Writing (37 minutes)
This recorded webinar will introduce you to a number of different writing modes including blogging, podcasting, and webcasting. The session focuses on the principles that are unique to writing for each of these modalities, as well as on the aspects of writing that apply across the board.
Writing a Research Paper
Writing an Op Ed
Writing in the Sciences
Writing in the Sciences (16 minutes)
Writing in the sciences is different from writing in other disciplines. Scientific writing is intended to be concise, specific, and descriptive. This workshop explores the expectations in scientific writing, the components of a lab report, and the language and writing style used.
Writing for Public Audiences - Short Faculty Interviews
SFU Library asked Faculty members about their tips and tricks for writing for public audiences. Here is what they shared:
Dr. Mark Jaccard - School of Resource and Environmental Management
Dr. Yabome Gilpin-Jackson - author, consultant, adjunct professor at Beedie School of Business, and first Vice-President People, Equity, Inclusion at SFU
Dr. Hannah McGregor - Publishing
Dr. Lynne Quarmby - Molecular Biology and Biochemistry
Ethical Source Incorporation
Ethical Source Incorporation - Video 1 (3 minutes)
This three minute video will introduce you to the most important considerations to help you ethically incorporate sources into your paper. You can read the script for this video here.
Ethical Source Incorporation - Video 2 (20 minutes)
Want to delve deeper? This 20 minute video provides more in-depth explanations about ethical source incorporation, including some examples. You can read the script for the longer video here.
Hot Tips for Revising
Hot Tips for Revising (19 mins)
Congratulations--you've drafted your paper! What's next? This workshop overviews a technique of revising higher-order concerns, then looking at the finer details of your piece. You'll also learn more about common errors that can trip up even strong writers.
Outlining and Reverse Outlining
Outlining and Reverse Outlining (15 minutes)
This brief screencast (approx. 15 minutes) introduces an approach to outlining and reverse outlining to help you clarify your ideas, guide your research, structure your paper, and revise your drafts. Note: This brief screencast is not currently eligible for CCR credit.
De-Cluttering Your Prose
De-Cluttering Your Prose (24 minutes)
"Too wordy. Redundant. Be concise." If you've ever received these kinds of comments on your papers--or if you just want to take your style to the next level--this recorded webinar is for you! Learn techniques you can use right away to help you pare your prose and write with greater clarity, succinctness, and power. Who knows, you may just find that your writing starts to bring you more joy as a result!
This introductory video is intended to support you to become a generous and effective peer reviewer - and to receive peer reviews that are more generous and effective, too! Remember that you don't have to write alone and nearly all writers comment on the ways that their drafts have been improved by feedback offered by others. Happy peer reviewing!
Learning & Study Strategies
Time Management and Self-Management
Don't Panic! Be Proactive
Don't Panic! Be Proactive (March 17, 2022, 60 minutes with captioning)
Many of us say we "work best under pressure." But last-minute work impacts the completeness and quality of your work, the level of your stress, and your likelihood of engaging in intentional or unintentional academic dishonesty. Attend this workshop to start being proactive instead. Learn strategies to help you start projects early, allot sufficient time to study for exams, and give yourself time for critical and creative thinking.
Finding Time to Study
Finding Time to Study (May 14, 2020, 47 minutes)
Does it seem that you can never find enough time to study? Or despite your best intentions, something always distracts you from studying? Watch this recorded workshop to build skills to help you live by your priorities, and discover tools to help you focus on the task at hand.
Managing Procrastination (March 17, 2022, 47 minutes)
Procrastination is something that most students do, and the trick is to keep the extent of it manageable. This workshop will help you understand the cycle of procrastination, what procrastination is and isn't, and then offer you strategies to get moving and productive
How to Manage Procrastination in Online Courses
How to Manage Procrastination in Online Courses (October 6, 2020, 36 minutes)
Procrastination is something that most students do. Today our learning environments are online, with stress, isolation and a lack of structure common. We are all struggling to stay productive! Join us in breaking the isolation and talking about how to manage procrastination even under the most adverse circumstances. This workshop will help you understand the cycle of procrastination, what procrastination is, and isn't and then offer you strategies on how you can get moving and productive again.
Note: The webinar references several URLs and videos. These links are not active in the webinar, but are listed below for your further exploration:
- Health and self-care:
- SFU resources:
- Study skills, time management, goals:
Time Management for Graduate Students
Time Management for Graduate Students (August 13, 2020, 84 minutes)
Most grad students are busy people, with many competing priorities. This workshop will take you through some prioritization exercises and discuss scheduling, how to manage your thesis or other large project, and how to deal with perfectionism and procrastination, all in the context of the new work from home reality.
Time Management in 6 Steps
Time Management in 6 Steps (January 18, 2021, 65 minutes)
In this session situated in the context of remote learning and the COVID pandemic, you will learn more about the six steps to effective time management: Reflect, Prioritize, Plan ahead with systems, Manage large projects, (Mostly) Stick to your plans, and Sleep.
Learning and Studying
Critical Reading and Thinking
Critical Reading and Thinking (September 28, 2020, 45 minutes)
When students develop their individual capacity for critical thinking and reading, they are less likely to feel the pressure to engage in cheating or academic dishonesty. Professors and TAs often talk about the need to think critically but few actually explain what critical thinking is or how to do it. We will define critical thinking and how you can train yourself to ask meaningful and relevant questions that promote critical thinking when you're reading.
Getting the Most from your Lectures
Part 1: Types of Classes and Attendance (5:25) - Lectures are a relatively low effort way of keeping up with classes. Yet many students question their usefulness and even stop attending. This 4-part screencast will help you maximize the effectiveness of attending your university lectures. Part 1 focuses on why lecture attendance is more important than some students might think.
Part 2: Before the Lecture (6:19) - This 4-part screencast will help you maximize the effectiveness attending your university lectures. Part 2 focuses on what you can do in advance to help you grasp as much as you can during the lecture.
Part 3: During the Lecture (8:57) - This 4-part screencast will help you maximize the effectiveness attending your university lectures. Part 3 focuses on strategies to help you fully engage with, and record, the material.
Part 4: After the Lecture (11:11) - This 4-part screencast will help you maximize the effectiveness attending your university lectures. Part 4 focuses on making sure that you retain and can apply the material learned in lecture.
Giving Effective Online Presentations
Giving Effective Online Presentations (October 1, 2020, 60 minutes)
Are you giving an online presentation this term? Strong presentations are made up of 3 components - content, visuals and delivery. Learn strategies to make your content stand out, your visuals resonate, and your delivery impress.
How I Raised my GPA
How I Raised my GPA (October 5, 2020, 70 minutes)
In this excellent panel discussion, 3 students and one recent graduate shared their stories of how they overcame a GPA that was lower than what they would have liked. Topics covered included choice of major and courses, time management, useful resources, academic writing, self-care, study strategies, sources of help, and strategies for the current remote situation. This is well worth watching, even if you watched the recording of the same title from June 3, 2020, as all panelists were different and different strategies were suggested.
How I Raised my GPA (June 3, 2020, 62 minutes)
3 students, from the Faculties of Science and Arts, and the Beedie School of Business, discuss adjustments they made along the way to improve their grades at SFU. Topics discussed include course selection and load, note-taking, time and task management, useful apps, sources of help, and more. One student was previously in the Back on Track Program and is now graduating in June 2020! Even if you watched this workshop in other terms, it might be useful to watch this one, because of different students making different suggestions.
Improve Your Concentration & Reading Effectiveness
Improve Your Concentration & Reading Effectiveness (September 25, 2020, 60 minutes)
Do you drift off while reading and find that you don’t retain much? Or do you get distracted easily in lectures or while trying to study? Watch this webinar to learn how you can read effectively and improve your concentration.
Improve your Reading Effectiveness
Improve your Reading Effectiveness (May 2022, 1 hour and 13 minutes!). - Do you feel that you are not getting enough benefit from the time you invest in your readings? This workshop will cover how to effectively learn from various types of readings (textbook, journal article, online source) with a variety of academic purposes in mind (test prep, paper writing, discussion).
Note-Taking from Reading and Lectures
Note-Taking from Reading and Lectures (September 13, 2021, 71 minutes)
Many students experience challenges with note-taking such as keeping up with their lectures and selecting main ideas to write down from their readings. Effective note-taking serves many purposes, is a skill that can be learned, and is built through practice. Join us to level up your note-taking when reading and in lectures (in-person, remote, or recorded).
Reading for Writing, Presentations, and Discussions
Reading for Writing, Presentations, and Discussions (27 minutes)
To prepare for a paper, presentation or class discussion, you need to strike a good balance between using your sources with academic integrity, and expressing your own perspective based on those sources. Reading strategies, therefore, need to be very different than when you are reading to prepare for a test. Watch this workshop to learn how to read effectively with this purpose in mind.
Note: The webinar references several URLs. These links are not active in the webinar, but are listed below for your further exploration.
Study Strategies that Work!
Study Strategies that Work! (May 22, 2020, 45 minutes)
Do you want to optimize the time you devote to studying? Watch this webinar to learn which study strategies are most strongly supported by research and how to maximize your time and focus while studying.
Successful and Ethical Exam Writing
Successful and Ethical Exam Writing (Sept. 30, 2021, 64 minutes with captioning)
Do you have in-person or remote exams this term? Open book or closed book? Attend this workshop to learn evidence-based exam preparation strategies that will help you succeed on any test this post-pandemic term decides to throw at you. We will also address various test formats and types of questions, as well as the basics of alleviating anxiety around exams, while raising your awareness of academic integrity considerations.
Top 5 Academic Success Strategies for Online Success
Top 5 Academic Success Strategies for Online Success (September 14, 2020, 33 minutes)
From time management to better note-taking to reading more effectively! These easy to apply study strategies will give you the tools and confidence you need to succeed academically in our courses, whether online or in the classroom!
Note: The webinar references several videos.
The links are not active in the video, but are listed below. Please pause the video when directed, and click on the applicable video link.
- Time Management: Semester-at-a-Glance
Have you ever missed an assignment due date, or the date of a quiz? Watch this short video to learn how to use a "Semester-at-a-glance" wall calendar to help you get the 'big picture' of the semester, and help you ensure you never again miss an assignment due date, or the date of a quiz.
- How to take notes (journal article; login required)
- The Curve of Forgetting
- Academic Success Strategies videos
- Academic Success Kits in Canvas
- Do you want to learn how to succeed in your online courses? This workshop is for you! In 50-minutes we will cover the basics of effective time management, reading, studying and online learning. It will be a great investment in your time, and will give you the confidence you need to succeed academically online.
Types of Courses or Assignments
How I Succeeded in Online Courses
How I Succeeded in Online Courses (January 14, 2021, 47 minutes)
Five successful students from various disciplines talk about how they succeeded in their online courses. Common themes were time management and establishing a routine, as well as the various online tools and apps they use to help them stay organized and focused. Even if you have watched the same webinar from other terms, this one is likely to be useful because of different students making different suggestions.
How I Succeeded in Online Courses (September 21, 2020, 64 minutes)
Six successful students from various disciplines talk about how they succeeded in their remote or Distance Education courses. Common themes were time management and establishing a routine. One student shared information about several productivity-related apps. Even if you have watched the same webinar from other terms, this one is likely to be useful because of different students making different suggestions.
How to Succeed in Quantitative Courses
How to Succeed in Quantitative Courses (January 22, 2021, 56 minutes)
Are university-level quantitative courses harder than you thought? Watch this workshop, developed by a college math instructor, to learn how to gain the deep understanding needed to solve even the trickiest exam problem.
Giving Effective Online Presentations - Part 1 of 2 (June 18, 2020, 13 minutes)
This video is the first of two videos on giving effective online presentations. Here you will learn how to prepare your presentation, including creating content and visuals.
Giving Effective Online Presentations - Part 2 of 2 (June 18, 2020, 15 minutes)
This video is the second of two videos on giving effective online presentations. Here you will learn how to effectively give your presentation, including overcoming anxiety and building confidence.
Presentation Skills (March 25, 2020, 24 minutes)
This presentation talks about the physicality of doing a presentation...pace, breathing, gestures/hand movement, whether to sit or stand, and more. It is a great compliment to the other series of Presentation Skills videos. Originally presented to the CMNS 432 class, the skills taught are applicable to any presentation
Success Strategies for Online Courses during COVID-19
4-part screencast: Success Strategies for Online Courses During COVID-19 (49 minutes total)
You must watch and reflect on all parts of this screencast to earn CCR credit. Just use one CCR reflection form (above) to reflect on all 4 parts together:
Working Effectively in Online Groups
Working Effectively in Online Groups (October 9, 2020, 32 minutes)
Do you dread group projects? Learn how to create a positive team experience remotely by planning ahead, leveraging the strengths of each group member, setting ground rules, and learning how to deal productively with conflict.
Recorded workshops with the word “Online” in the title still contain many strategies that are applicable to on-campus learning.
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More workshop recordings to come...
We will be offering additional workshops throughout the term and posting the recordings here. If you want to participate check out our upcoming workshops.