Circumstances are a little different Write Now, and we acknowledge that it can be difficult navigating time management, workload management and motivation in a blended learning environment with such a large focus on independent, asynchronous study. University may seem more overwhelming than usual, and that is ok.
To help you combat overwhelm, and equip you for study and assessment, we have collected a broad range of study support resources and helpful tips.
An Introduction from SU President Exeter Cara Chittenden:
"This year has seen a change in the way university students are learning, notably with a greater emphasis on self-led learning. Lecturers have provided a wealth of resources to help you learn and to try to make sure you’ve got the same quality of education, but something that can’t be linked on a module page is motivation, especially when you’re spending a lot of your time learning in a bedroom, away from your course mates, with notifications popping up on your phone that detail the current struggles of the world.
Throughout the autumn term, we received feedback that students are struggling with time-management, focus and motivation. We know that these things are going to be even more difficult in light of the fact that at least the first few weeks of Term 2 are going to be delivered fully online for the majority of students, and many won’t be returning to their term time accommodation where they’re used to studying.
Therefore, I wanted to revive the Write Now campaign and collate all the resources we could to help you write, right now: whether it’s for exam revision, assignment deadlines or just day-to-day study. I’ve collated tips and tricks to help you with productivity and time-management, tips for relaxation (which is just as important), information about mitigation policies for both universities (if the circumstances are preventing you from completing assessments to your full potential) and information about welfare resources available (if the current circumstances are having a significant impact on your mental health).
I hope this will be useful. My biggest piece of advice is to keep in touch with your course mates, even setting up zoom study groups! Being able to ask your peers questions and monitor your progress against theirs can be helpful for reducing stress. But also, remember, the pandemic is having varying effects on everyone. You might not be able to work to your normal standard, and that’s ok; that’s why mitigation is in place to support you.
Alongside this campaign I have been communicating your concerns around workload management to the University of Exeter. Many departments are now trying to improve the layout of ELE pages and be clearer about what you need to do on your course. Please keep providing feedback so we can continue to communicate with both Falmouth and Exeter on what’s working well and what isn’t and provide the best student experience that we can for you in these unprecedented times.
Be productive (as much as possible), be kind to yourself and stay safe!"
Revision and Study Tips from Cara:
Make a Schedule - and make sure to put in a lunch break!
Make a To-Do List and put each little task on it – you'll feel so productive once you start ticking stuff off! There are many digital services that can make your list-making look jazzy, such as trello
Prioritise your tasks – what is essential and what is complementary? What is due the soonest?
Reward yourself when you complete a task - maybe you could have a packet of sweets (or a healthy alternative, of course) and you get to eat some each time you tick something off your To-Do list!
Take regular breaks – you should take a 5 minute break for every 30 minutes work
Use a whiteboard or colourful post it notes to jot down notes/reminders or practice what you’ve learnt!
Play some calming classical music in the background whilst you work.
Tidy your study space – a tidy environment is a tidy mind!
Get outside – go for a daily walk/run to get fresh air and clear your mind.
Set up an online study group – use Microsoft Teams to study with your friends/coursemates. Even if you’re studying in silence it’s helpful to have other people there working at the same time to keep you motivated!
Teach someone else – Try teaching a friend or family member what you’ve just revised to consolidate your knowledge!
Eat healthily – it's hard to concentrate when your body doesn’t have the write fuel!
Use apps like Flora/Forest to make sure you don’t get distracted by your phone whilst trying to study! They have an apple and google play compatible version.
Book an office hour or send an email to your lecturer/personal tutor to show them your work and get guidance!
Draw mindmaps to connect the dots between what you’ve learnt!
At the end of the day note down what you’ve learnt or achieved - breed positivity!
FX Plus StudyHub
For more tips and resources, check out the FX Plus StudyHub, which includes bookable drop-in sessions, study guides on key topics such as referencing and time management, research tips, technology and digital skills guidance, language classes and support, accessibility and inclusion advice and support and study guides for Postgraduate Research and Masters students.
Fika and Uni Wellbeing
If you are an Exeter student, you have access to the Fika App.
Fika is a remotely accessible mental fitness platform, empowering organisations, education institutions and individuals with guided mental skills development courses with proven benefits on mental wellbeing and performance, to help you to: Feel resilient and able to bounce back; Be confident to step-up and take control; Communicate clearly and listen actively; Think creatively and solve problems; Take criticism and use it constructively; Adapt to changing circumstances; Create healthy, lasting relationships; Be focused and driven to succeed and Stay strong and clear-headed in a crisis.
The Uni Wellbeing App is available for all students at Falmouth University and the University of Exeter's Cornwall Campuses. It is an official University of Exeter (Cornwall) and Falmouth University app, that helps you, as students, develop wellbeing and resilience to help you thrive and succeed.
Mitigation policies in place to support you if a you need to extend or defer a deadline.
Falmouth and Exeter have individual mitigation policies and processes. If you feel like you need support with this process, don't hesitate to seek advice with our Advice service. They're super approachable and always more than happy to help in any way they can.
You can get personal advice from the Students’ Union’s Advice Service on whether you have grounds for mitigation, and, if so, advice to assist you with the process. You can also get advice on Academic Appeals, Academic Misconduct and other academic support available to you. Book an appointment with one of our advisors here. Alternatively, email your enquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org
Talk to ROS, or to your Student Reps directly
ROS (Rep Online System) is a simple system for all Students and Reps, where you can anonymously submit feedback about anything (and we mean anything) to do with your university experience, including your accommodation and the way in which your work is assessed. Student Reps are vital in making sure the student voice is heard at every level of the University decision making process! Giving your feedback to Course Reps is the most effective way of making positive changes to your learning experience for you and your peers.
Your feedback goes straight to the people who need to know, so action can be taken quickly.