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Specialist Learning Support

Specialist Learning Support

What can a student expect from best practice?

Students who access best practice provision in specialist learning support tend to make significant improvements in their ability to study effectively.

The way of working and level of critical detail offered under the title of, "Specialist Learning Support" can vary a great deal.

Learning is not a passive process and all specialist services need student participation in developing their skills for effective study. The process should also be stimulating and informative, enhancing your motivation and easing the way through. 

  • Sessions to take place in a quiet, secure location (not in a public place). 
  • Accses to a tutor that has read the student's cognitive and needs assessment report and is well informed of the student’s study skills needs, learning style needs and influences on their learning; 
  • A tutor who can adapt to the students learning needs once they have met and worked with the student – as they could vary from the statements of the above reports

To learn new strategies for effective study and autonomous learning: eg,

  • Tutor to seek information about pending asssignments, including access student Blackboard or Unihub with them to indicating how to access details of study requirements
  • To develop motivation to plan and time-manage their coursework and exams using planning strategies;
  • To be taught reading strategies, including understanding what is required by academic assessments (eg, breaking down essay questions, or assignment briefs)
  • To be taught high-level of research skills with modelling and reinforcement until the student is competent and confident in these skills, including in the use of specialist databases relevant to their subject (OVID, EBSCO, Psy Articles, BPS search engines and databases etc.) It is expected that the tutor is aware of and understands how to use the databases for specific subject areas, which their university offers to provide students with information; or other sources of information outside the university such as specialist libraries: British library, RCN library etc; Many students are unaware they could use other libraries so it is important for the tutor to have knowledge of this in order to inform and direct students to relevant information sources.
  • To be taught grammar, syntax and punctuation rules as relevant to student needs and in accordance with coursework demands;
  • To develop confidence in applying their experience and knowledge to their academic work – to learn how links can be formulated between life experiences/practice to theory; to be supported in making connections
  • To be taught advanced academic study skills to empower them to be independent and confident at developing their own unique learning style.
  • To be supported to develop a clear understanding of different writing styles – modelling and explaination of various styles of writing; 
  • That the tutor will keep a record and return to this record to check and reinforce students’ skills and their progress where they have been applying skills;
  • To be encourage to self-expression from informal to formal and academic;
  • To develop language and terminology in the student’s specific subject area;

Students seeking suitable services can contact their university Disability Team, Access Centre or can post a message to the AfEP Forum.