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Independent Learning

A significant aspect of independent learning involves the development of learning new skills and strategies or building on ones you already have. Develop@Derby provides lots of information to help you to improve your skillset.

Select the tabs to see how you can study independently!

We recommend that you access Blackboard as soon as you can as this is where you will find your academic timetable. See our guide on Blackboard here.

Each term write down any deadlines, coursework submissions, exam dates, presentations, and meetings. This will help you plan your time effectively.

Remember to add in your personal commitments like paid work, hobbies and social events to your paper diaries, wall planners, mobile phone apps or online calendars.

We think our Time Management workshop is an excellent place to seek out top tips for managing your time. See our Time Management Guide below or book onto one of our Independent Learning workshops.

It can be a good idea to create a filing system. You could, for example, have one physical and one online folder for each unit and use it to keep your day-to-day work such as lecture notes, seminar work, handouts, journal articles. Try to date everything as you receive or create it.

You could have a 'current work' online file and use it to store whatever you are currently working on. Go through it at the end of the week and transfer work you have completed into your ‘completed work’ file.

Keep a copy of your weekly timetable and your work planner somewhere you will see them every day.

Use low energy times to undertake routine clerical activities such as writing up notes, consolidating and filing. You can then use high energy time for focussed study.

Learning to prioritise your work is important.

Consider listing all the tasks you need to do and then break the larger tasks into smaller steps. Think about how much time each task may take you and then put the tasks in priority order. Once you have a plan, you can set about tackling the task.

Try to always study in the same comfortable place such as in your room, or area of the library. This will provide you with routine and consistency away from distraction. Consider when you study best and build your study time around this.

Sometimes you may want your own quiet study time but sometimes it can be helpful to study with a friend whom you can share ideas with and can keep each other motivated.

You will have lots of opportunities at university to develop as an individual. We think it is a great idea to create portfolio to record your experiences and reflections. This will help you to improve on what you have achieved, and plan for what you would like to do to make it better in the future.

You can use your portfolio to record your academic marks and transferable skills. This portfolio will help you build your CV and improve your employability. Take a look at the Your Future, Start Now section in the Develop at Derby hub for excellent suggestions on making sure you make time to plan for your career throughout your student journey.

We recommend working through the skills categories on Develop@Derby to enhance and build your skill set to help work towards creating a portfolio of skills.