Learning Strategies Workshops

SMU students often find that they need focused attention on one or more specific academic skills—and the A-LEC is here to provide help in the form of workshops on a wide variety of college-level study techniques. In 45-60 minute sessions, students receive instruction in specific concepts and discover strategies for applying these principles to their own work. Whether you’re just entering the university or confronting the challenges of an advanced curriculum, you can benefit from sessions on Time Management, Test Preparation, Note Taking, and more. When you claim the skills to make your academic experience more efficient and effective, you improve your entire university experience.


Workshops will be held in person and via Zoom. Reservations are required for workshops. Click on the workshop schedule to review workshop days/times and register for workshops.

Descriptions of the workshops offered in Fall 2021 are below. 

APPS for ACADEMIC SUCCESS
Transform your technology into strategies for success in and out of the classroom. With an overview of SMU provided software, favorite study apps from other students, and free online resources, you'll learn how to use your apps for academic success.  

CONCENTRATION and TEXTBOOK READING
Have you ever read a chapter in a textbook and struggled to recall what you read? Attend this workshop to learn SQ4R, a six-step reading and studying method that will not only help you read faster, but will also help you focus and retain more of the information. You will also learn methods to stay alert in class and while studying.

CREATING PRESENTATIONS IN ADBOE SPARK
Find out how to use Adobe Spark to create graphics and video for social media. In this 90-minute course, you will see how Spark can help you to quickly create social content by simply picking a photo, adding text, and applying design filters using this online tool. We will even create a short video that can be shared on Facebook or Instagram. See how easy it is to add photos, video clips, icons, or your own voice to create engaging videos. 

EXCEL: BASICS AND INTERMEDIATE
In this workshop, we will begin with a review of basic formulas and order of operations. We’ll also explore more advanced features such as learning how to concatenate text,
using IF logic, working with VLOOKUP, creating pivot tables, and formatting and filtering data.

HOW to STUDY 
Effective studying doesn't just happen! Whether you didn't have to study much in high school or want to incorporate new study techniques, this workshop is right for you. Sign up for our How to Study workshop to learn tips for academic success before, during and after class. Your study space, how you take notes, and resources you utilize matter. Learn strategies for note-taking, textbook reading, memorization and more!

MEMORIZATION STRATEGIES 
Do courses which demand memorization discourage and defeat you? Come learn about methods to improve retention and recall.

MICROSOFT OFFICE INFO SESSION and DEEP DIVE
The Office of Information Technology offers Microsoft Office certifications to all students free-of-charge.  Whether you are about to take an exam that is required for class or want to beef up your resume to move forward in your professional career, this session is for you. In this workshop we will cover why certification matters, how to access study materials, how to avoid the biggest mistake most students make when preparing for their exam, best practices for navigating your exam to ensure success, and Microsoft tips to ace the Associate and Expert exams. 

MOTIVATION and GOAL-SETTING
College life is a journey with many opportunities and obstacles, and each one requires a choice. Attend this self-reflective and interactive workshop to learn about motivation and how to make choices based on your desired outcomes and experiences.

NOTE-TAKING and ORGANIZATION
Do you have a professor whose lectures are rapid, detailed and the main source for test questions? This workshop will focus on the art of note-taking, reviewing, and organization. Attend this workshop if you have ever answered “yes” to the following questions: Have you ever wandered what to take notes on during a lecture? Do you find it hard to write and pay attention to the lecture at the same time? Do you have notes for the same class in multiple notebooks? Have you ever been unable to find all your notes when it’s test time? Students will learn valuable techniques for effective note-taking for various types of courses as well as how to stay organized.

PLAN A SUCCESSFUL FINISH
Do your final exam grades always destroy your GPA? Does a cumulative final inspire terror? Are you concerned about how you will get everything done in a relatively short amount of time? Come to one of these sessions during the last month of the semester to apply time management and test preparation strategies. Dealing with both your remaining assignments and a thorough review in each course, you will leave with a tentative written finals plan covering each task and each day through the end of finals. You plan your work, then work your plan.
"My final exam grades always pulled my course grades down, and I was always sick by the end of finals week from lack of sleep. After developing and following a plan to study, I felt organized and confident -- and my GPA was much higher."

STRESS MANAGEMENT and TEST ANXIETY
If your test grades seem to be determined more by your high level of anxiety than by your understanding of the material, you can profit by reducing your test anxiety. You’ll learn to improve test preparation and test taking skills, to substitute positive self-talk for the negative thinking that often occurs during tests, and to train yourself in deep muscle relaxation to deal with the physical component of anxiety and stress.

TEST PREPARATION
Does testing make you nervous? The secret to being successful on an exam is to know how to prepare. Attend the test prep workshop to learn effective methods for preparing for essay and objective tests.

TIME MANAGEMENT
There are 24 hours in a day, and 168 hours in a week. How are you managing your time? In this workshop, you will learn how to effectively schedule your time to maximize your success. You will learn to use various tools such as a semester calendar, weekly schedules and a prioritized daily to do list.

TRANSFER STUDENTS: YOUR TRANSITION TO SMU
Welcome to SMU! Learn the secrets of success at SMU and escape the transfer shock. Come and share in the discussion of frequently asked questions and concerns from transfer students such as… “SMU is different from my previous school”, “How will I make friends as a transfer student?”, “My classes are challenging; where can I go to get help?” Learn about the many resources available to you including tutors, the writing center, and learning strategies workshops to upgrade your skills and make the most of your SMU experience.