Skills Hub

Teaching and learning at Sussex

Teaching formats

Students learn in a variety of ways and, as a result, certain teaching methods are more suitable to help you achieve particular learning outcomes. Learning outcomes are what you should be able to know/understand/do if you successfully complete the module. You will come across a range of teaching styles and approaches during your course. The seven most common teaching and learning methods are:

  1. Lectures
  2. Seminars
  3. Workshops
  4. Laboratory practicals 
  5. Fieldwork
  6. Group work
  7. Independent study


During your second and third years, there will normally be greater emphasis on seminars and project work. In the final year, you will usually carry out an in-depth, independent study of a particular topic. This allows you to develop a specialist interest or expertise to complement a broader understanding of your chosen subject.

Blended Learning 

For September 2020 we are planning a blended learning approach where your education will be a mix of classroom-based and online learning. Online teaching methods may include these 10 elements:

  1. Online lecture
  2. Online seminar
  3. Online workshop
  4. Online laboratory practical
  5. Virtual fieldwork
  6. Pre-recorded content
  7. Online collaboration
  8. Online interactive
  9. Simulation
  10. Research task 
You can read descriptions of all of the teaching methods listed above on the University's page, equivalent teaching methods for online delivery.
 
Find out what equipment and technology you will need for learning online.

Aron

Second-year of the Foundation Year plus MEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering

View Aron's student perspective

Transcript

On my course most of the time we sit in lecture theatres and we have a few hours reserved each week where we do group activities or we go and do practical work together - and basically put the theory of what we have learned that week in to action.

Charlie

Second-year Maths

View Charlie's student perspective

Transcript

In a week of study at University I have lectures and workshops as well as a tutorial with my Academic Advisor so in total that is 17 hours of contact time a week.

Getting the most from teaching

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes are what you should know/ understand/ be able to do if you successfully complete the module. All modules at Sussex have stated learning outcomes.

Make sure you read the learning outcomes for your modules and for your entire degree course. As you progress, you will find that the learning outcomes for each module will require you to demonstrate a greater depth of knowledge.

All modules are assessed to check whether you have met the learning outcomes. Each assessment has assessment criteria which describe the standard achieved. You need to read these criteria so that you understand what you need to demonstrate to gain the best grades (see Assessment and grades at university). 

Attendance / participation

University is about you taking control of your learning, so it is essential to attend all the sessions for each module. Whether your teaching is online or on campus, attending the teaching sessions will provide you with the necessary information to do well in assessed work.

Many teaching sessions, such as seminars, rely on there being enough people to take part in the discussion. You will probably be asked to prepare for some sessions, such as reading a piece of text, completing a set of problem sheets or preparing a seminar presentation. Doing this work will enable you to get the most out of the session.

If you have personal issues that are making it difficult for you to complete work or attend classes, find out who to contact if you're struggling.    

Independent learning

The majority of your learning will take place outside of teaching sessions through independent study. Much of your learning at Sussex is your responsibility.

To progress well, you'll need to use the available learning resources, participate in discussions and practical or group work, and work for assignments and assessments.

In your first year in particular, your tutors should provide guidance on how to study effectively outside of formal teaching time. Your development as a learner is a continual process. As the demands of study change throughout your time at Sussex, you will need to reflect on how you approach particular tasks. Use the tips and advice from other students on Skills Hub to help you develop your academic skills.

Student support 

You may be able to get extra help for your teaching, exams and assessments if you have a disability. These are known as reasonable adjustments, aimed at minimising barriers to your studies. Reasonable adjustments can also be arranged for temporary conditions such as a broken limb or pregnancy. Find out if you are eligible and what help you can get on the Student Hub pages: How to access disability support and reasonable adjustments.

Find out about assistive technology for students and guidance on how to change settings on your computer, and to software that you may wish to use for online learning.

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