by Tala Youhana, Law student and Bristol Futures Advocate
Whilst it is now second nature for groups to arrange meetings remotely, this has hardly been common practice for long. In fact, for many, these online venues can still feel like unfamiliar territory. “Is my mic switched on? Will my Wi-Fi hold?”, you probably resonate with these if you are no stranger to using Zoom, Teams, Collaborate etc.
Nonetheless, negative connotations aside, online workshops can have numerous plus-sides that shouldn’t be overlooked, and a good way of experiencing them first-hand is by attending an online study skills workshop. So, what exactly can you expect from an online study skills workshop?
- Guidance on using Collaborate
Firstly, the hosts will often assess whether anyone is having any issues with using the platform and are always happy to help if you are! These sessions are often held via Collaborate and login instructions would be provided beforehand.
- Unpacking of the intended learning outcomes
To ensure the most productive outcomes for the session, it is common for hosts to assess what participants’ want to achieve by attending the workshop. A slide will normally appear detailing the objective intended outcomes, but feel free to contribute your targets here, as even if the workshop may not wholly deal with them, your contribution would be considered by the team for a future session!
- Lots of questions – no wrong answers
A workshop, unlike a talk or a lecture, is completed only insofar as the participants are responsive with the host- therefore, it is as much your contribution as it is the facilitator’s. Most importantly, it is an environment where you can expect no wrong answers- a safe space to exchange your personal experiences and ideas, because by doing so, it will yield optimum results for you and others in the session. These discussion-based skill-building exercises are unique because they result in a bank of resources and ideas, and it will be up to you to simply find out what works for you!
- Plenty of live engagement with the option of anonymity
The unique aspect of an online-based study skills workshop is that tools such as Mentimeter, Padlet, and polls truly shine in this environment. The ability to retain some anonymity throughout the session whilst still being fully engaged makes online study skills workshops unique in sharpening the skills you are looking for. For me, these tools really helped promote reflective and critical engagement with my study habits and routines.
- A welcoming environment
I think it’s crucial to reiterate what a friendly and welcoming environment you can expect from these workshops. They are open to all students and are designed in a way that is accessible to those who speak English as foreign language, have learning difficulties, or are still getting started on intensifying a particular skill.
You now, hopefully, have a better idea of what to expect from an online study skills workshop, but the best way to really get that insight, is probably to try it out yourself!