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2: The Independent Learner


The exercises in Section 2 will help students prepare for personal and academic changes that result from the transition into to higher education from school or college.

These transitions include:

  • Moving from a relatively small institution to one much larger, both in terms of its physical size, and the numbers of students studying there;
  • Moving from a situation where students are known by their tutors, to one where their tutors are less accessible;
  • Moving from learning that provides a significant amount of tutorial support, to one where students are expected to become more independent;
  • Moving from a situation where fellow students are largely drawn from the local area, to one where the student population is drawn from all parts of the world;
  • Moving into learning environment where they will be expected to work in new ways.

Units in the section:

Unit 1: Understanding HE

Presents basic information about the way HE courses are structured and will help students to understand some of the academic jargon they will encounter.

Unit 2: (a) What is a student? and (b) What tutors expect of you.

The exercises in this unit invite students to think about the learning ‘roles’ they will play, and what their tutors expect of them in written work.

Unit 3: Do it in style

This unit will help students connect Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences to a range of techniques for more effective learning in higher education.

Unit 4: Help!

This unit describes the range of student support services typically found in most HE institutions, and presents four student case studies for discussion.

Units 1, 2 and 4 are likely to offer tutors sufficient material for a single taught session of 50-60 minutes for each unit, although unit 3 is likely to take a little longer, and it is suggested this unit is spread over 1.5 hours to allow for students to score their questionnaires and for the follow-up discussion.

Guidance Notes for Tutors