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How to Prepare Students for Independent Learning
Students in their final year at school have a lot of things on their minds. They have the stress of exams along with choosing their university for next year. As a teacher, it can be difficult to help them through this last part of their schooling, but they will need to understand what will be expected of them when they become independent learners.
There are some things you can do to help them with the transition, so it runs as smoothly as possible.
If the students have siblings at university, then they might have some idea about what that will be expected to do. However, the reality can be different, so it is a good idea to give them some pointers.
Teaching at university level is a different experience to that of high school, and one they might not be used to learning from. Explain to them that what will happen during lectures, and how the assessments will be structured.
It is good to give them an idea of the week to week learning requirements so that they are not overwhelmed when the time comes.
It is understandable that students will have concerns before they go to higher education. Trying to get them to understand that this is normal is the key factor. When they arrive, they will be exposed to a whole new way of learning, they will be given a reading list and may find the early lectures intimidating.
It is important to tell them that no-one is expecting them to understand or be proficient in the subjects from the beginning. Like any new experiences, there is a learning curve that they will have to go through until they get up to speed.
There are often some learning communities set up outside the university where students can mix with other students and share ideas and learn together. Reading and study groups are a great way to study with others, as studying alone can make one feel isolated, and it helps to have others you can ask questions and debate ideas.
Outside of the learning communities, it is important for students to understand that it is ok to seek help if they need it. Understanding where to get help is also crucial.
Part of university life is going to formal occasions on campus, it can be a new experience for some students, so it is good to advise them of the process and how they can prepare for these events.
There may also be other events and functions that they will be responsible for helping to organize. It could include arranging the seating or using an invitation maker software such as Adobe Spark to create invitations for all the guests.
It is often these other events where students can get a sense of independence and experience the difference in the structure at the university to school learning. With good preparation, your students can go onto their next level of learning fully prepared and able to make the best of their opportunities.