Anyone who has read my previous blogs will know that I think the free ‘Skills & Student Development’ workshops, on offer to Warwick students, are a great idea. In my first year I attended the following workshops: Critical Thinking, Speed Reading, Delivering Effective Presentations, and an Introduction to Academic Writing. All of which I found useful. This year, I decided to enrol on a few more workshops: Getting Started with Skills Development, Taking Notes Effectively, Understanding your Personality Type (MBTI), Active Listening Skills, and the Academic Writing Day. The workshops usually last for a couple of hours; however, the Academic Writing Day is a full day (10-4pm). I have found the workshops both interesting and informative. Also, some of the workshops can be used towards the Warwick Skills Portfolio Award (WSPA).  

WSPA – I have written about the WSPA in a previous blog, but just to give you a little info – the WSPA helps you to develop skills which are useful in your personal life, your student life and your working life. You need to attend a minimum of 3 workshops. You reflect on each workshop and set yourself action points. Then, you work towards each of your action points, reflecting on your progress. Finally, you write a reflective piece about your overall learning and achievements. For more information on the WSPA, please click on the following link: https://warwick.ac.uk/services/skills/awards/wspa/ 

Getting Started with Skills Development – To complete the WSPA, you first need to either attend this workshop or complete the ‘Getting Started’ Moodle course. I completed this workshop to start the WSPA. This workshop explores reflection and the importance of reflective practice. It looks at SMART objectives and helps you get started with action planning. I found the reflective practice useful for the WSPA. Taking Notes Effectively – this workshop helps you to develop your note-taking skills. It looks at different types of note-taking, such as Cornell notes, mind maps, and linear notes. It covers note-taking strategies (choosing what to write; 3-step method to note-taking) and the tutor offers useful tips and ideas to improve your note-taking skills. 

Understanding your Personality Type (MBTI) – This workshop introduces the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI assesses your personality type, by assessing your preferences. The MBTI gives you an insight into the different personality types and the characteristics associated with each type. This insight can help you to understand and value different personalities. Also, by assessing your own personality type you gain an understanding of how others might see you, and the areas that you might want to improve on.  

Active Listening Skills – this workshop helps you to develop your listening skills. Listening is an important skill in all areas of your life, both personally and professionally. This workshop covers verbal and non-verbal active listening skills, and barriers to effective listening. Additionally, the workshop involves a number of group activities and discussions, to help practice the new skills that you will learn and to help develop them further.   

Academic Writing Day – This day covers all major aspects of academic writing and addresses some of the challenges posed by essay/assignment writing. Academic writing is such a huge part of university life, it’s understandable that this event is very popular (I couldn’t even sign up for this event during my first year, as it was always fully booked!). And, after attending this event, I would certainly recommend it. I found the day enlightening. The tutor was very knowledgeable, and you are given the opportunity to ask questions throughout. It was really informative. 

Warwick Skills & Development offer students several free workshops each term. Usually, more workshops are offered in term 1; however, there are still lots of workshops on offer in terms 2 and 3. For more information on the Skills and Student Development workshops available, please click on the following link: https://warwick.ac.uk/services/skills/