The university has further developed an online learning resource called Study Success at Sussex (S3) to equip students with the skills to assist their academic study.

Featuring advice on areas relating to study skills, with the help of videos and interactive resources, the service provides a comprehensive guide to the protocols of undergraduate study.

“Many students think of study skills advice as remedial help”, said project co-ordinator Clare Hardman, “but that’s not the aim of the site – there’s something in it for everyone.”

Established two years ago, the initiative was partly a response to research that found the first year to be pivotal in shaping overall approaches to learning. It therefore aimed to prepare students for university study through encouraging  work habits that are conducive to future success.

The 2005 ‘Sort Us Out’ campaign of the Students’ Union was also instrumental in the birth of S3, communicating the difficulty that many students experienced in their transition to university.

The University of Sussex said that they “believe that the S3 initiative has been an innovative and effective approach to helping our students make a good transition from studying at school to studying at university.

“We will continue to develop and update the resources on the site in response to feedback and ideas from our students.

We want it to grow and develop as students’ needs and the opportunities provided by technology develop.”

Hardman added that “this year we’ve been promoting the site to students in new ways with Facebook and through our S3 student representatives.

As this is a small project it has been great to have help from Sussex students to get the message out. S3 students reps are second or third years who can offer advice from the student perspective and chat with students in their own schools.”

Aisha Moreea, a second year sociology and cultural studies student and an  S3 student representative, explained that her commitments involved discussing the website in front of first year sociology students. Aisha said that her efforts so far have “received positive feedback and have been successful so far.”

In fact, S3 is very popular and is present in Google Analytics ‘top content’ pages for Sussex. It is at present 9 out of 32,104 pages.

The S3 website provides extensive information on study skills including note-making guidance, effective reading strategies, advice on giving presentations, guides on writing essays and dissertations, tips for revising for exams, information about referencing and how to avoid plagiarism.

The website also has videos, interactive activities and real examples of students’ work here at Sussex.

Despite its first-year focus, the project is growing into a general learning tool for students across the university.

Its organisers plan to offer additional help for postgraduates and international students, whilst constantly improving on existing content.

They are always looking for volunteers to contribute to what has always been a co-operative project.

Anyone interested in getting involved should get in touch through their Facebook group or their official website at www.sussex.ac.uk/s3.

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