Skills Hub

Getting started





Ruth:  Hi, I'm Ruth Bowles, an Academic Skills Consultant here at Sussex. I'm going to tell you about Skills Hub and I'll be talking to 2 Sussex students, Georgia and and Marley and they are going to show you what they found most helpful on Skills Hub. So, first of all what is Skills Hub? Well, it's an online resource focusing on the skills you need for your academic development while studying at university and as you can see it covers many topics and we regularly update it and add new features. You'll find expert advice and tips from students that you can try out and see what works for you. So now let's hear from our 2 students to find out their recommendations. First of all, Georgia, where do you suggest students start on Skills Hub? 


Georgia: The Getting started section of skills hub is in the name, it's a great place to start and has a lot of information about the things you may think everyone knows already and might be afraid to ask about. It can make you feel more confident knowing these things in your first few weeks.  Here, you can find information about the ways you are going to be taught and what will be expected of you.  There is also advice about how to get the most from your learning with useful suggestions, such as using Active Learning strategies. One really handy feature is the university Jargon glossary which outline some terms you'll probably come across in your degree, explaining job roles of people in the university, types of degrees, terms relating to being assessed or degree weighting, as well as common university related acronym definitions. 


Ruth: Thanks Georgia. What about you Marley, do you have anything to add? 


Marley: As a student who's finished 2nd year now and is going into their placement year, I have benefited from using various sections of skills hub. There are so many resources available to support you regardless of your school of study. The search bar on the first page is so useful for any content you may need to access; it allows you to search terms and a range of resources related to your chosen content will appear. It's really straightforward, and quick to use, so you can get the most out of your time studying. Something I wish I had taken note of earlier on in my university journey is the ‘getting started' section. Coming to university is daunting for some and it is quite a dramatic change from post 16 studies. This section of the page has 2 extremely useful links: getting the most from your learning and student stories.  Getting the most from your learning is important, in my opinion, as it provides basic but useful ideas for students who want to maximise their university experience in terms of achieving the best grade possible and tells you in simple terms how to do that. Additionally, the student stories are in a range of different degree subjects. Hearing student voices and relating to them is, I believe, important in making you feel comfortable at university, as well as, getting tips on how to make the most out of your degree and the resources available. 


Ruth: That's great, thanks. And what have you found most useful? What about you Georgia, which sections did you find you kept returning to? 


Georgia: The most consistently used skills hub page for me has been the referencing page. I've now completed three years at university and I still refer to it for every assignment. You can find more general information about what referencing is and why it is so important. There is a guide to how to do it and quizzes on referencing and plagiarism to test your knowledge and ensure you fully understand. I found the most helpful section is the referencing styles section. You simply click the chosen referencing style, for my course, it is Harvard or Chicago but check with your school which one they prefer you use, and it breaks down the correct referencing style. As you can see, it covers everything you might need to reference from books and journals, even down to things like tweets. If you're still struggling, I recommend speaking to your academic advisor whose contact details can be found on Sussex Direct or  one of the Student Mentors for your course or try using some of the referencing management tools which can also be found on skills hub. There is also a section on academic integrity and misconduct, with really clear advice.  


Ruth: Ok, great, and Marley which sections were most useful for you? 


Marley: For me personally, my writing skills have developed a lot during my second year, when I began to properly use Skills Hub. On the Writing and Assessment section, I found information on planning, drafting and editing, as well information on example essays. As I am studying Business and Management, I have essay assignments, reports and reflective writing and this section had been extremely useful. Here, you can see the example essays and even if there isn't one from your school, they provide you with a template for how to structure your answer, meet the question demands and generally write well, in an academic style. This is very helpful when you are writing your first assignment. Here we have planning, drafting and editing. This is something I wish I had focused on in more detail as it can help with the flow of your assignment or essay and as a result, I believe, increase your grade. Because of this, I feel that it is ideal to spend some time in this section understanding the different types of essay structures and how to improve your writing. Also, drafting and editing your work is essential, in my view, for getting the best grade possible and writing as well as you can. I suggest having a little play around and see what's available, and also watching some of the great videos is really helpful. 


Ruth: Thanks for highlighting those sections. I think that many students will also be referring to these topics on Skills Hub very regularly. Is there anything else you found helpful? 


Marley: Yeah, something else I found helpful was the presenting and participating section of Skills Hub. l have used this when I've had assessments that involved a presentation. In addition, I have been able to use the advice from this section in my extracurricular activities, as I am often asked to give presentations. On the section about presenting and participating in class, there's a presentation section that has the following: preparing for a presentation, handouts, group presentations and delivering a presentation. I strongly feel that being prepared in any aspect of life is a great skill to focus on and particularly at university. It is much better to be prepared, rather than leaving things to the last minute. Clicking on this section allows you to see how to rehearse, what points to include and how to research for information, as well as much more. For me, these tips have supplied me with useful knowledge which have improved the quality of my presentations and helped me feel more confident. Throughout our lives, most of us will have to give presentations, regardless of our field or work, so this element of Skills Hub provides you with skills that you can use now and later on in life.  I recommend spending some time on the presenting and participating in class section - and if you want a quick summary just follow the Dos and Don'ts tips available on this section. I am certain it will boost your chances of receiving your desired grade and enable you to be better prepared 


Ruth: That's useful. Students are often concerned about presentations and there's lots of guidance on how to improve technique and become more confident. What about you Georgia, anything to add? 


Georgia: There's also a link on the Writing and Assessment page under 1-2-1 support to a Canvas site with information for international students who want to develop their English for academic study, and the Digital Skills section has information about how to effectively search which is vital to doing research for assignments, with so many results available it's important you know how to find what you're looking for. It also offers guidance on how to evaluate your sources, academic, online and in news.   It also has information and videos on how to create a poster, podcasts a website and much more so there are lots of great resources to develop your digital skills while studying here at Sussex.  


Ruth: Thank you Georgia and Marley for sharing your experiences of using Skills Hub, that was very helpful. As we've mentioned you might begin with the Getting Started section or just focus on one skill that you would like to develop and then after a few weeks or months, you can move on to another topic.  We don't expect you to have all these academic skills before you arrive at university, you have plenty of time to learn and improve and you can keep revisiting Skills Hub, developing your Skills each term. So have a look at Skills Hub for yourself - we hope you find it useful! 


Welcome to Skills Hub!

This resource will help you to develop the skills which are essential for academic study. You will find a range of resources, including expert advice and suggestions from successful Sussex students. Developing your academic skills will help you to fully engage with, and excel, in your studies. Remember you are not expected to have all these skills already - you will develop them throughout your time at Sussex.

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