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Lecturers’ views on independent study

Here are some views of university lecturers on the process of independent study and revision.
Independent study is one of the key backbones of undergraduate work at university level. I think undergraduate students need to become independent learners and good problem solvers. I think independent study is hugely important. The information that we as lecturers provide the students really should only be a starting point. Independent study is probably one of the most difficult things for students when they first arrive at university doing art subjects because they’ve gone from having 25 hours a week contact time to suddenly having six or seven.
The lecturers and the teaching sessions we provide the directions, we provide the material and the environment, but then the students have to sit down, bang their head against the wall, and understand the material, come up with new ideas, and make their own little contribution. I think the students that focus on identifying what kinds of questions we’ve been asking and what ways of thinking we’ve been trying to explore tend to have good revisioning practises. Students who just read over their notes without reflecting on what those notes were about and whether 12 weeks on they agree with what they wrote in week one, their revision practises aren’t as effective. Revision is an ongoing process.
It starts from the moment that you begin your university course. Students rarely if ever do well in examinations if they’re revised at that last minute. I liken it more to a sprint that can only be undertaken after a good period of training beforehand. What we offer is a way of a transition so that we help students become independent learners in their first year of study. And this then enables them to become fully independent lifelong learners after they leave us. Essentially, an undergraduate degree is a transition from dependence to independence.

Here are some views of university lecturers on the process of independent study and revision.

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