Check out our online media collection on learning and writing strategies


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Online media collection from Student Learning Commons
To help with your COVID-19 transitions online, the Student Learning Commons has brought together a collection of media resources, recommended and created by the SLC, all in one place.

 View them anywhere at home: in the living room, in your bedroom, or even on-the-go from one room to the other!

Study strategies & academic success

Success Strategies for Online Courses During COVID-19 - 4 part series

Success Strategies for Online Courses During COVID-19: Part 1 - Challenges in this context 
Part 1 of this series, produced in early May, 2020, discusses the multi-layered challenges of trying to learn during a crisis, living in a mostly online environment, and specific challenges of asynchronous courses.  The other parts of the series provide ideas for how to deal with these challenges.

Success Strategies for Online Courses During COVID-19: Part 2 - Time Management
This Part focuses on strategies to manage the lack of structure and tendency to procrastinate in this mostly online, COVID-anxious time.

Success Strategies for Online Courses During COVID-19: Part 3 - Communication
This Part focuses on effective and respectful communication with instructors, while participating in online discussion forums, and while working on online group projects.

Success Strategies for Online Courses During COVID-19:Part 4 - Learning Effectively
This Part addresses how to learn effectively from online lectures, read online sources effectively, and create an optimal study environment given this non-optimal situation.

NOTE:  Students who watch all 4 parts of Success Strategies for Online Courses During COVID-19 can apply for Co-Curricular Record Credit (CCR).

Academic Success: The Curve of Forgetting
Ever wondered why you can't remember material from previous classes and notes? Watch this short (2:20) Student Learning Commons video to find out why regular review is SO important, and how you can improve your memory, and your grades. 

Exam Preparation: Preparing and Exam Prep Inventory
Preparing an exam prep inventory will help you to plan your study time and ensure that you are covering all of the important topics as you prepare for an exam.

Exam Preparation: Five Key Strategies
By approaching studying with a plan, you can study more efficiently and effectively. In this video, we’ll cover five key strategies for exam preparation.

Time Management: Creating a Master Weekly Schedule 
Creating a template for a typical week in the current semester is a useful time management strategy for students. This Student Learning Commons video (4:54) will walk you through a process that shows you how to easily identify specific blocks of study time that fit with your other time commitments.

Time Management: Semester-at-a-Glance Wall Calendar
Have you ever missed an assignment due date, or the date of a quiz? Watch this short (2:13) Student Learning Commons 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.

Time Management: Where Does Your Time Go?
Do you never seem to have enough time to study? Or find that you spend all day Sunday doing homework? Whether you are new to studying at university, or are just looking for tips to improve your study effectiveness, this short Student Learning Commons video (2:20) will give help you determine where all your time is going, so that you can take better control of the time that you have each week.

Time and self-management: Sleep

Sleep and the Night Owl (Somnolence+ for SFU)
Are you a night owl? Does it seem like your sleep is out of step with the world around you? Here are some tips to help you manage as a student.

Even a Grad Student Needs Sleep (Somnolence+ for SFU)
Sleep and being a grad student do not always seem to be compatible, especially during those overwhelmingly busy days! Yet, sleep is absolutely essential. Tips and recommendations on better sleep can be found right here.

Why Sleep? (Somnolence+ For SFU)
Why do you need sleep? How does it affect your health and academic success?

Presentation Skills 

TED-talk Inspired Presentations 
This 15 minute presentation covers considerations related to audience, message, the presenter, and "tech bits." It was created using Prezi by SLC Graduate Writing Facilitator, Dr. Poh Tan. 

Presentation Skills 
Originally presented to the CMNS 432 class, the skills taught are applicable to any presentation, with a particular focus on presentations done remotely. 

Giving Effective Online Presentations 
This is a recording from a live SLC workshop offered in 2020. It describes how to achieve strong presentations in the online environment. 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.

Academic writing strategies

How to Build a Thesis Statement
How do you plan and draft a debatable, significant thesis statement? These 4 short videos guide you through the process of planning and drafting a strong thesis statement, which is required in many undergraduate academic papers

Compare and Contrast (9 minute screencast)
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. 

Outlining and Reverse Outlining (15 minute screencast)
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.

Ethical Source Integration. Two videos:

  • 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
  • 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

Critical Argumentation & Critical Writing
Originally recorded for SA 100w, this 30 minute webinar begins by asking students to consider the verbs in their writing assignment in order to determine how to most effectively approach their 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 their understanding. 

Write-a-mins: micro writing lessons and prompts for inspiration 

Think of these two minute videos as vitamins for your writing practice. These short bursts of explanation and inspiration are intended to keep you writing!