College can be the best time of your life, but it can also be the most stressful. Between the homework, the presentations, the all-nighters and the much needed cry therapy sessions, it sometimes feels like you’ll never be able to get through it all.
Algonquin’s Student Support Services recently launched their Essential Study Skills website, a portal that offers various tips and resources that could help students maintain a stress-free semester.
According to Associate Director Jeff Agate, there are many professionals at Student Support Services who help students with core academic skills like note-taking, time management, stress management, test-taking and presentation skills.
“Why not put something online that will connect students with this information without them having to come in for an appointment?” said Agate.
A collaboration between Counselling Services, the Centre for Students with Disabilities, Health Services and the library, this portal offers advice to students through a variety of animated videos, tutorials, software demos, tips and digital interactive activities. Students can also connect with Google Calendar and LiveAC Calendar to create a semester plan.
A year ago, Agate began collecting various experts in these areas on campus. They formed working groups to create an easily accessible resource for Algonquin students that is catered to them.
“I know they can easily do a quick Google search,” said Agate. “But it got to the point where there was so much information out there that it was too hard to separate what’s good and what’s not.”
It will be useful for students to have access to information provided by experts right here on campus who have had decades of first-hand experience working with students, Agate said.
Lorri McLeod, a learning strategist at the Centre for Students with Disabilities, is one of these experts. She, along with three others, contributed many ideas to the time management and test preparation modules.
“Many of our students are online learners,” McLeod said. “You can use this from all over North America. You can revisit as often as you’d like, 24 hours a day.”
According to Anabella Arcaya, who works at the library, the portal has had over 2,500 views so far. Studying and test-taking have been the most popular modules. Arcaya, along with Christine St. Denis, were responsible for putting the website together. St. Denis voiced many of the videos provided.
“We were trying to make it as easy as possible for people to find everything,” St. Denis explained. “There are so many different types of learners we tried to cater to, and we really wanted to avoid clutter.”
Student feedback is valuable. Student Support Services will continue improving the site and adding modules according to what students need, and they think the portal will get a lot of traffic from students who wish to improve their study skills.
“One of my professors told me you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink,” said McLeod with a grin. “But you can make him thirsty.”