Study skills for students with disabilities

girl writing notesThe Specialist Study Skills tutors are also currently working from home and providing online support to our Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA) eligible students. The allowance covers some of the extra costs you have because of a mental health problem, long term illness or any other disability, including specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia and dyspraxia. The tutors have adapted to remote working and continue to provide tutoring very similar to how things were but with a few differences.

If you have been allocated ‘Specialist Study Skills’ funding you will have been allocated a tutor to work with. If you haven’t heard from us and you think you might be eligible, please email us at disability@marjon.ac.uk and we’ll help you.

What do Specialist Study Skills tutors do?

We work with you on strategies for planning, organising, and reviewing your work as well as helping you to break down questions and develop your future assignments based on feedback you’ve received.  The Specialist Study Skills tutors, like many staff at Marjon, are still working with students every day so that support is on hand for those students who need it.

Here are some frequently asked questions about ways of working with the Specialist Study Skills tutors during the lockdown…

What technology do we use for remote sessions?

We use Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp or Skype to video call.  We can share and work on documents on screen, making it interactive and practical.

What working environment do you need for online sessions?

It’s really important to find your own space and/or time. If you’re sharing rooms or tables, negotiate a time when it’s ‘yours’. Pack away your books and laptop at the end of your study period so work/rest times are clearly separated.

How do I keep motivated?

Take breaks to keep your mind fresh and ensure you take your daily exercise – those endorphins will help trigger and maintain a positive feeling! Try and keep distractions at a minimum whilst you’re studying. Give your day structure because having a routine will help you accomplish more and help maintain a healthy balance of work, rest and play.

How can I get the most out of online lectures?

Do your reading beforehand and make the most of interactive opportunities. Giving feedback, making comments and contributing to online discussions will make you feel part of the learning process. Use Panopto or Sonocent to listen to or read through the lectures at a later time.

How can I get the most out of online reading?

Plan your reading, ask yourself what you already know and what you want to find out. What is your reason for reading? Get a general gist of the text by looking at headings, sections and images. Whilst reading, keep asking yourself questions to ensure you stay focused and on topic.  To further develop your understanding read key parts of the text and make notes or images about what you have read (see the Cornell method of making notes).

When is the best time to have an online study skills session?

You will negotiate a time/day to suit both you and your tutor. Sessions usually last up to an hour but your tutor will keep track of time during the session.

How often do I have sessions?

They could be weekly or fortnightly.  It depends on your workload and preferences. Your tutor will book your next session with you before the video call ends.

What admin is required and how will this happen?

Your tutor will complete a timesheet for sessions and will forward you the timesheet and ask you to confirm your acceptance by email. Any session notes can be shared during or after the session. You may be asked to complete a review session as part of your ongoing support, again you will be asked to confirm your acceptance by email.

How can I get hold of my tutor?

You can email us on info@marjon.ac.uk or you can chat to us via Microsoft Teams.  In some cases, you can also contact us via WhatsApp. You can also email disability.support@marjon.ac.uk or contact the Inclusion Co-ordinator Lyn Tout on ltout@marjon.ac.uk regarding your tutoring support.

If you feel that you cannot keep up with your current deadlines, please do speak to us! We can discuss strategies for organising your workload and will support you with enquiring about extending deadlines where relevant. Having a single contact at university might be the most helpful approach. We can facilitate a three way conversation between your lecturers, your Specialist Study Skills Tutor and yourself to help you to plan how you might best approach your studies. You’ve got this.

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