Study Resource List

Resources relevant to writing, mathematics and other study skills, for learners and teachers. Includes books, computer programmes, web sites, videos andaddresses.

Barnes, R. 1992/1995 Successful Study for Degrees RKP
1) What makes a good learner?
2) Having, being and study,
3) Short-cuts: a summary of study skills,
4) Higher order questions and propositions,
5) Reading academic texts,
6) Learning about essays,
7) Making use of seminars,
8) Dissertations (I): starting,
9) Dissertations (II): analysing and writing,
10) Reliability, validity and meaning.
References and Index.

Belbin, R.M. 1981
Management Teams
Oxford: Heinemann.

On the basis of a study of business management groups, R.M. Belbin argues that a variety of different personalities are needed in a group if it is to be effective. The names he gives to the group roles he describes are: Chairman, Shaper, Plant, Monitor Evaluator, Resource-Investigator, Company Worker, Team Worker and Finisher.

Adapted to Study Groups

Brooks, D. 1997
Web Teaching.
A Guide to Designing Interactive Teaching for the World Wide Web
Plenum Press

A book for people designing web based education.

Chapters include:
2) Research on Teaching; Web Issues
4) Web-Ready Materials
8) Encouraging Web-based Discussion
9) Interactive Strategies; Forms
10) Promotion of Self-Regulated Learning
11) Creating and Managing Web Sites
12) Weblets, CD-Roms
Software List

Brown, R., 1994/1995 Write Right First Time
Special Issue for Authors and Editors
MCB University Press Limited Literati Club
This is about groups of science authors meeting to help one another improve the reports they write for journals. The idea is to anticipate the comments the journal might make, so that the draft article is good enough to publish before it is sent to the journal. ("Right First Time")

Students can use the same techniques to help one another improve essay drafts.

The MCB University Press Limited Literati Club is a web site with papers and other features for people who write for the MCB Academic Journals. Follow links like "Authors' Resources" until you come to How to get Published, View articles available on-line which will help you in the quest to get published.

Clanchy, J. & Ballard, B. 1992 (New Edition)
How to Write Essays. A Practical Guide for Students.
Longman. Australia
First published 1981 as Essay Writing for Students.
1) Clearing the ground,
2) Choosing the essay topic,
3) Reading for your essay,
4) Note-taking for essay writing,
5) Analysing and planning,
6) Drafting and redrafting,
7) Editing,
8) Assessment and follow-up
9) Writing reviews and reports,
10) Exam essays.

Clifton Press Study Skills Materials,
PO Box 100, Manchester, M20 6GZ.
Clifton Press Weblink

Markets study skills books and computer software written by Roy Johnson.

Computer software

You can buy disks for your own computer from Clifton Press, or use the programs in many Universities, including the Language Centres at Middlesex University.

English Language: an introduction to basics You can use this as a self-directed tutorial, for reference, or as a HELP program whilst using a word-processor.

Helpdisk! (Version 2.3: 1998)
Helpdisk! is an essay-writing program for every essay writer from the sixth-former writing A level essays to the postgraduate writing a thesis. It is a hypertext self-instruction course suitable for all subjects in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. You can also borrow or buy a paperback called
Writing Essays which has almost the same content.

Roy Johnson's books, below, are all published by Clifton Press in A4 with card covers. They are all in Middlesex University library.

Johnson, R. 1991 (6th edition, 1996)
Writing Essays: Guidance Notes for Students.
This is arranged as short articles in alphabetical order.
Helpdisk! is an electronic program based on the 6th edition of this. "The contents are almost identical". It is easier to move from term to term in the electronic program, but the book is easier to carry around.

Johnson, R. 1993/1994
Revision and Examinations.
A 94 page guide to preparing for exams and passing them successfully. Suggests ways to cope with various types of examinations, to improve your self-confidence and overcoming nerves and anxiety.

Johnson, R. 1993
Marking Essays: Guidance Notes for Tutors
Just because it is for tutors it does not mean students cannot read it.

Johnson, R. 1994/AtoZ
The A to Z of Writing Essays. Guidance Notes for Computer-users.
This is arranged as short articles in alphabetical order. It is an expanded version, for computer users, of
Writing Essays.

Johnson, R. 1994/study (2nd edition 1996)
Study Skills.
A 100 page guide to skills like concentration and memory, time management, reading skills, producing ideas, clear thinking, and how to write more fluently.

Johnson, R. 1995
Improve your Writing Skills. [808.042 JOH]
Emphasises careful planning and editing, rather than learning grammatical rules, but gives plain English guidance on the essentials of spelling, vocabulary, and grammar. Suitable for writers at any level, it includes advice on how to produce ideas, how to write more fluently, and how to improve the structure of what you write.

Johnson, R. 1996
Electronic Writing from Wordprocessors to the Internet.[808.066005 JOH]
A user's guide to writing with computers, from the basic principles of using wordprocessors to write essays - to communication on the internet and writing web pages.

Creme, P. and Lea, M.R 1997
Writing at University. A Guide for Students.
Open University Press
[808.042 CRE]

The authors, Phyllis Creme and Mary Lea, say that
    "As you learn to write...for a particular subject you are learning how to make sense of that subject. Academic disciplines have their own ways of organising knowledge, and the ways in which people in different subject areas write about their subjects are actually part of the subject itself".
They give examples of writing related to different disciplines.

Their chapter headings are:
  1. You and university writing
  2. First thoughts on writing assignments
  3. Writing for different courses
  4. Beginning with the title
  5. Reading as part of writing
  6. Organising and shaping your writing
  7. Writing your knowledge in an academic way
  8. Putting it together
  9. Completing the assignment and preparing for next time.
Brief review by
Roy Johnson below:

This is a step-by-step guide dealing with all the common problems - from overcoming writer's block, through analysing an understanding questions, to the production of a finished work.

They offer some excellent worked examples of analysing assignments and showing what's required, and they also discuss the note-taking, mind- mapping, and various types of reading which should go into any preparation.

Cuba, L and Cocking, J. 1994/1997
How to Write About Social Sciences. The Essential Guide for Students.
[808.0663 CUB]

An American book rewritten for British students.

The first chapter is mainly about drafting and redrafting and what this involves.

The second is about wider skills that are needed such as time management and library skills.

Essay writing is discussed in chapter four. Chapter three discusses other forms of writing, like summaries, and literature reviews, and chapter five is about writing up research.

In the last chapters, quotations, referencing, plagiarism and politically correct language, are discussed, as is checking for content, clarity, conciseness, familiar expressions, jargon, spelling and grammatical errors.

Curzon, Paul 1998- Key Skills for Computing Graduates

Paul's website has now been removed. It had a number of articles, linked from an annotated contents page. The articles were originally used as the basis for his seminars. They include guidance on getting the most from your University studies and skills to help you be successful in your career on leaving University.

These are the headings, and a description of what the articles contained:

Isn't it a waste of time? Some students think that key skills are a waste of time as they believe it is technical knowledge that matters. What do employer's think?

I'm OK - they are the problem?
This is based on a paper by Peter Sayers and Bob Matthew, called 'I'm OK, you're not! - what's the problem?', presented at the 3rd Annual staff and educational developers conference, Creative Pathways to Development, in December 1998.

The paper is about helping people to solve problems by finding a more positive angle. Paul has created two grids from the paper: One showing the general principles and the other applied to the specific problem that people do not understand a lecture.

Paul thinks these grids will be particularly useful when working in
groups, if group members seem to be taking a negative attitude. You can get to the root of problems by finding (on a grid) the entry that fits the way you and others think about the problem. To problem-solve you must find a way to move from that belief to a more constructive one.

The negative beliefs are focused on the top and left of the grids, the positive beliefs on the bottom right. Examples of negative beliefs are "there is no problem", "there are no options", "I cannot make the options work ".

Coursework Deadlines University deadlines for work usually result in penalties if they are missed. To have learnt how to meet deadlines will be an important career skill when you graduate. In this paper Paul goes through some of the things you can do to avoid missing a deadline. He recommends that you:
  • make a plan that will work if things go wrong. (He lists thing that can go wrong).
  • set your own deadlines
  • make copies of the work you submit
  • use a check list to make sure you have submitted the right work

The Marshmallow Test
How can you tell whether someone is going to be successful or not in whatever career they choose? By seeing if they can defer immediate gratification in the hope of more gratification later.

Practical tips for tackling an exam
Many students do badly in exams, not because they do not know the subject, but because they do not know exam technique. Here are some simple ways that will help you do well in any exam.

An exam marking exercise
This exercise will help you evaluate your own answers and give you an idea of the sort of answers examiners expect. It will also show you that you can tell a good answer from a bad one and so improve your answers, and make constructive comments about those of your friends, helping them to improve too.

Essay Writing: constructing arguments
Writing often involves constructing an argument. This page contains exercises to help you understand what we mean by this, looks at how two essays can argue different things but both be "correct". It also involves example essays to give you an idea of the sort of thing you are expected to write.

See also the library sheets on essay writing and "writing reports" below.

Frequently made comments about student essays and reports
This section contains some of the more frequently made comments about essays and reports written by students. Read the comments before they are made about your work! They will help you improve it.

Library help sheets
The University Campus libraries stock help sheets on a variety of topics including writing bibliographies, essay writing and taking exams. As well as online versions, paper versions can be picked up from any of the campus libraries.

Group meetings, writing reports and giving presentations
This page gives some outline advice on the above areas.

Day, R. 1979
How to Write a Scientific Paper
Publisher's weblink
5th edition, 1999 (ISBN 0521658799) contains extra chapters on electronic publishing and the internet.

Discusses why most scientific papers are dull to read. Partly this is because their purpose is, first and foremost, to inform. Experiments are meant to be repeatable so absolute clarity is necessary. This means the writer must be very cautious about using metaphors, similes and similar ways of enlivening one's though and writing. Day argues, however, that the main problems are unnecessary jargon, verbosity and poor grammar.
(Review by Martin Brookes in New Scientist 10.4.1999 p.49) New Scientist weblink


The Delbert Tutorial System is an experimental project for teaching and learning on the web. It was designed by Anthony '
Skip ' Basiel.

Delbert stands for the Digital Environment Learning-Based Evaluation Response Theory.
  • Digital Environment means web based.
    Skip also calls it on-line
  • Learning-Based means that it is based on the student's actions. Skip says it is Student-centred.
  • Evaluation Response means that the teacher gives feedback on the student's actions.
Skip writes about "learning", but not "teaching". Instead of teachers or tutors he speaks of "subject experts" who know about a subject, and "instructional environment designers" who make the web environments that students use to learn.

The parent part of Delbert is about web skills.
With help from Jeff Mason, a Middlesex University philosophy tutor, Delbert gave birth to:
An on-line Philosophy Essay Writing Tool.


Click here for dictionaries and encyclopedias on the web.
"Onelook Dictionaries" searches the Internet for a word or acronym in any online dictionary or glossary.

The commonest idea of a dictionary is a book that lists words alphabetically and gives their meanings.
Such dictionaries often have six main uses:

    to check spelling
    to look up meanings
    to see how a word is used
    to find out the word's grammatical function
    to find out the word's historical origin
    to find out how a word is pronounced
Not all dictionaries allow you to do all of these things. Some specialise in doing a few of them particularly well.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary, Oxford University Press:
This is based on the Oxford English Dictionary, which is very large. The Concise Oxford is just one volume. Its advantages are that each word is defined in all the ways I list above. It shows what kind of word it is grammatically, what its historical origin was, and how to pronounce the word. All this information is included in a small space by a system of abbreviations that you need to learn in order to get the full benefit.

BBC English Dictionary: A Dictionary for the World

Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language
Recommended for full word coverage.

For simple explanations see Collins Cobuild and Collins Plain English Dictionary:

Collins Cobuild English Language Dictionary
This was created especially for students of English as a Second Language. It is based on the way English is written and spoken today. Other features are that it gives full sentence explanations, does not use jargon and symbols, and includes grammatical information.

Collins Plain English Dictionary
Designed for native English speakers, this dictionary focuses on everyday English and uses a down-to-earth style. Its definitions use full sentences, not symbols and abbreviations. The Plain English Campaign awarded it a "Crystal Mark" for clarity.

Webster's New World Dictionary
This American dictionary has a number of advantages over most United Kingdom dictionaries. For example, it includes all words, including proper names like towns, in common use.

It also provides helpful lists of
synonyms with explanations of the differences of meaning between them.

Oxford English Reference Dictionary
This new (1995/1996) Oxford Dictionary has similarities to Webster's. As well as "dictionary definitions" it contains "encyclopedic facts".

Donaldson, A.J.M. and Topping K.J. 1996
Promoting Peer Assisted Learning Amongst Students in Higher and Further Education.
SEDA (The Staff and Educational Development Association)
Paper 96.
Copyright: Centre for Paired Learning, Department of Psychology, Dundee University.
[371.394 DON]

Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) is the term used for a range of activities in which people who are learning a common subject help one another.

Types of Peer Assisted Learning include
  • Cooperative Learning (types of group work)
  • Peer Tutoring (pairs where one assumes the tutor role and the other the learning role)
  • Peer Monitoring (monitoring and providing feedback on the learning process)
  • Peer Assessment (looking at and providing feedback on work produced)
  • Paired Collaborative Writing (working together on writing
  • Mentoring and Counselling (dealing mainly with the social and emotional aspects of learning).
The book covers and defines the different forms of peer assisted learning and advises students on how to put them into operation themselves.

Unit 3 Cooperative learning.
Unit 3.1. Syndicate work.
Unit 3.2. Group project work.

Doyal, L. and Harris, R. 1986
Empiricism, Explanation and Rationality. An introduction to the philosophy of the social sciences.

An explanation of theories of science by Middlesex University tutors. Explains the philosophical problems of supporting science by empirical evidence, distinguishes between natural and social sciences, and suggests a way out of philosophical dilemmas.

Dunleavy, P. 1986
Studying for a Degree in the Humanities and the Social Sciences,
[378.1702812 DUN].

This is a
concept based book that is a little difficult, but valuable. It discusses the way that we think, and the complexity of the ideas that lie behind deceptively simple words (like "democracy") that appear in essay titles.

The chapters lead on from one another. The first chapter discusses making knowledge your own, chapter two has useful ideas about reading and note taking, chapter three is about analysing concepts and theories, and chapter four about essay writing.

Ford, J. 1975 Paradigms and Fairy Tales. An introduction to the science of meanings. Two volumes. RKP.

This manual on research methods by a Middlesex University tutor imagines theory as a fairy tale that the researcher is trying to

Each step of the adventure is mapped out and illustrated with fantasy drawings. If you liked Alice in Wonderland or Lord of the Rings, you will probably like this.

Fowler, H. W. 1968 (1st edition 1926) A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, 2nd edition, Revised by Sir Ernest Gowers. Oxford. A classic.

Free electronic books: Large quantities of free electronic books can be downloaded from the internet. Most are books published over 70 years or more ago that are no longer copyright. An easy to use catalogue of them lets you search by author or title. Click on the weblink for the link to this catalogue.

Good, M. and Smith, C. 1988
In the Know. 8
Keys to Successful Learning. BBC Books.

The keys given on the back cover, and the chapters they relate to, are:
 Define what you want out of your course and direct your learning more effectively towards your goals.
 Get the most useful kind of feedback from your tutors, family and friends.
Chapter 2: Feedback
 Organise yourself in order to make better use of your study time.
Chapter 3: Getting Organised
 Take in and remember more from your lectures, practical demonstrations, books, videos, software and other resources
Chapter 4: Finding and Choosing Resources
 Read more efficiently and accurately and take clearer notes.
Chapter 5: Reading and Note-taking
 Think more purposefully and creatively about what you have read.
Chapter 6: Thinking about thought
 Put your point across more clearly in writing
Chapter 7: Writing
 Prepare for exams and tests with confidence.

Electronic Mailing Lists

On the internet, a mailing list is either
Two examples of mailing lists are:

The Centre for Learning Development Reading Group
This does not use a mail exploder. Members send in reviews or news of books, resources or events related to learning. Paul Curzon, who runs the list, selects one of these each week to mail to members using the kind of distribution list that can be made on most mailers.

Wricom - The Writing and Computers Discussion List

This uses a mail exploder. Members send emails about writing on computers to an email address that is not a person, but a mail exploder. The mail exploder automatically distributes the email to everyone on the list.

Grammatik (English-UK) Wordperfect Grammar Checker
[Computer software].
A particularly good grammar-checker available in WordPerfect for Windows.
As well as using it as a program for checking essays and other documents, you can copy parts of its text or advice to a floppy disk and/or print them.
Jane Moran describes it as "probably the most comprehensive grammar book that I have seen".

Howe, A. 1986
How to Study. A Student's Guide to Effective Learning Skills. [378.1702812 HOW]
Chapters include Reading, Lectures, Seminars and Tutorials, Note-Taking, Writing, Problem Solving, and Writing Tasks.

`IT for All` Information Line.
(Freephone) 0800 456 567.
Or you can write to it at:
PO Box 355, Warrington, WA4 6XX.
The Government's IT for All scheme aims to give everyone access to a computer. The Information Line will send you a list of the IT for All centres near you. These may include:
 places (like libraries) that have public access to the internet, email and wordprocessing
 learning centres with tutors to help you.

Johnson, W. A. and others 2004
The Sociology Student Writer's Manual (Fourth edition)
by William A. Johnson, Jr., Richard P. Rettig, Gregory M. Scott, Stephen M. Garrison.
Pearson Prentice Hall
A useful book for English writers even though it assumes that we are all citizens of the United States of America. The word essay is not used.

Kline, M. 1953
Mathematics in Western Culture,
(Pelican 1972)

Morris Kline tells the history of mathematics and relates it to the general history of human thought and to philosophy, art, and science.

Chapters include:
1) True and False Conceptions
2) The Rule of Thumb in Mathematics
3) The Birth of the Mathematical Spirit
4) The Elements of
Chapters 21 to 24 are particularly relevant to social sciences:
21) The Science of Human Nature.
22) The Statistical Approach to the study of Man
23) Prediction and Probability
24) Our Disorderly Universe: The Statistical View of Nature

London Innovation The London Innovation
web site seeks to encourage and promote innovation and knowledge transfer. You can use the site to find out about innovation in London and developing your knowledge and skills.

One of the features of the site is the London Academic Directory, which lists the research expertise of a large number of the academics in the London region. You can search it for a particular person, research area or department....

Newby, M. 1989
Writing. A Guide for Students
Publisher's weblink
[808.042 NEW]
This book started as an idea that people have to be in the right frame of mind before they can improve a skill, so a book about writing could usefully start with attitudes.
Part 1 is about preparing to write (talking, making notes, considering who you are writing for).
Part 2 is about the writing system (spelling, punctuation, paragraphs and signposts).
Part 3 is about presenting your essay and getting feedback (style, quotations, references and bibliographies, using a word-processor, getting it back),
Part 4 is about writing in examinations.

Northedge, A. 1991
The Good Study Guide
Open University Press
[371.3028 NOR]
Chapter 1: Getting started
Chapter 2: Reading and note taking
Chapter 3: Other ways of studying
  • 3.2 Learning in groups
  • 3.3 Talks and Lectures
    Chapter 4: Working with numbers
    Chapter 5: What is good writing
    Chapter 6: How to write essays
    Chapter 7: Preparing for examinations

    Open University DDB:
    Mathematics Diagnostic and Developmental Booklet
    1977, Corrected Edition 1980.
    [A good example of
    Open Learning Materials ]

    Now out of print, but copies in Middlesex University library.
    Prepared by many people, including John Bibby, Aldwyn Cooper, Peter Cox, Jeff Evans, Fred Lockwood, Jane Stratham and Anne Jones.

    This is a book that really does enable you to teach yourself basic mathematics. It has two parts.
    • The first (Simple arithmetic and algebraic skills) lets you test yourself, identify areas of mathematics that you have forgotten or never learnt, and then learn them. The authors expect you to celebrate all your successes.
    • The second (ways of looking at data), assumes the skills of the first part and shows you how to handle large numbers (statistics) and illustrate them graphically.
    Jon Green of the Enfield Campus of Middlesex Polytechnic (now University) provided diagnostic items for the Open University self-tests. At this time, Enfield had a Learning Resource Unit which ran a Programmed Instruction Centre, with teaching machines to enable students to self diagnose their maths needs and work on those areas. Is it time to reinvent that wheel?

    The Open University Mathematics Diagnostic and Developmental Booklet has been replaced by

    Countdown to Maths
    by Lynne Graham and Dave Sargent
    Longmans and the Open University

    Open University Teaching Toolkit booklets.

    OU Toolkit 1 : Learning How to Learn

    OU Toolkit 2 : Reading and Note Taking

    OU Toolkit 3 : Writing Skills

    OU Toolkit 4 : Revision and Examinations

    OU Toolkit 5 : Students with Disabilities

    OU Toolkit 6 : Tutoring and Counselling Students in Prison

    OU Toolkit 7 : Effective Tutorials

    OU Toolkit 8 : Supporting Students with Mental Health Difficulties

    OU Toolkit 9 : Supporting 'Personal and Career Development'

    OU Toolkit 10 : Equal Opportunities
    Compiled 1996 by Diane Bailey,
    Michelle Haynes, Val McGregor and Esther Saraga
    OU Toolkit 11 : How Do I Know That I Am Doing A Good Job?
    Compiled 1997 by Pam Hewitt, Helen Lentell, Marion Phillips and Valda Stevens

    OU Toolkit 12 : Effective Use of English
    Compiled 1997

    OU Toolkit : Effective Use of Groups. Compiled by
    Michelle Haynes and others.

    O'Sullivan, T.; Rice, J.; Rogerson, R.; Saunders, C. 1996
    Successful Group Work.
    Kogan Page. [378.1795 SUC]
    A book with four parts:
      A) Time management
      B) Managing your learning
      C) Working in groups (about the theories and research behind group work, how to recognise what makes a group effective or ineffective, and understanding what happens in groups).
      D) Managing your group project.
    It is written by lecturers to help undergraduates develop skills that will be transferable to jobs when they graduate.

    pages 44 to 46 on Tutorials and seminars suggests solutions to problems in seminars - could also help self help groups.

    Roberts, A.

    Robertson, S. and Smith, D. 1987,
    Effective Studying

    Rose, G. 1982
    Deciphering Sociological Research
    This is a book about research methods that concentrates on how you should make sense and evaluate the reports of empirical studies you read.

    Professor Derek Rowntree is a specialist in open learning who works for the Open University. He has written several books apart from the two listed below.

    Rowntree, D. 1976/1988
    Learn How to Study
    [378.1702812 ROW]
    What he says about

    Rowntree, D. 1991
    Teach Yourself with Open Learning.
    [378.03 ROW]

    Sawyer, W. W. 1943
    Mathematician's Delight
    This is not just a book about mathematics -- It is a study guide to help you learn. W.W. Sawyer says his main object is to dispel the fear of mathematics. To do so, he discusses the nature of
    reasoning, and the strategy and tactics of study.

    Sawyer, W. W. 1966
    A Path to Modern Mathematics

    South Bank University Study Skills Online

    This has now been removed

    Strathclyde University Video Tapes:
    Mostly 30 minute videocassettes.

    Strathclyde Study Patterns - Unit 1: Basic Skills Examines and defines study skills.

    Strathclyde Study Patterns - Unit 2: Reading Skills. Looks at reading forms and speeds; learning to read or reading to learn? 30 minute videocassette.

    Strathclyde Study Patterns - Unit 3: Writing Skills. Looks at writing to communicate; thinking of the reader; identifying the message; clarity of expression; and writer's cramp.

    Strathclyde Study Patterns - Unit 4: Listening Skills. Looks at preparing for a lecture; active listening; concentrating and receiving the lecture

    Strathclyde Study Patterns - Unit 5: Participation Skills. Looks at preparing for tutorials and seminars

    Strathclyde Study Patterns - Unit 6: Examination Skills. Looks at effective revision planning and organising sources.

    Strathclyde Study Patterns - Unit 7: Mathematics and Science Skills. Looks at writing scientific reports; note-taking for scientific reports; numeracy skills.

    Strathclyde Study Patterns - Unit 8: Numeracy Skills. Looks at the approach to mathematics; learning from lectures; studying on your own; revising for exams.

    Strathclyde Study Patterns - Unit 9: Relaxation Skills. Examines relaxation for students.

    Strathclyde Study Patterns - Unit 10: If you are a mature student. Presented by Alex Main. Looks at problems and advantages of being a mature student.

    Strathclyde Study Patterns - Unit 11: If you are a disabled student. Presented by Alex Main. Examines the way in which disabled students can organise and structure learning. Videocassette 17 minutes.

    Terrell, I. 1996 Distant and Deep. A report on the collaborative research and development of a distant and deep learning project.

    Middlesex University School of Education Research Paper 1.
    [378.03 TER] 81 Pages.

    This is about how a module that used a pack of readings, encouraged students to have a deeper understanding of them.

    Andrew Roberts wrote the following review for the Centre for Learning Development Reading Group. Click
    here for some suggestions about writing reviews which he based on writing this one.

      "Ian Terrell's book is about using Action Research to redesign a Middlesex University module (EDU1501 "Development and Educational Experience") on distance learning principles.

      The intention of the research was not just to develop one module, but to provide guidance to help the rest of us adapt and survive in a dramatically changing education system (pp 5-9).

      Action Research is studying a social situation with a view to improving it. The research was initiated and directed by Diane Montgomery and John Whomsley from within the School of Education, and Patricia Pearce, from Library Services (p.9).

      The report is called "Distant and Deep" because the intention is to use
      reflection on what one is doing (arguably involved in using distance learning materials) to encourage deep learning.

      Deep learning is defined as "an ability in abstract conceptualisation beyond surface learning" (p.28). This is linked in to Diane Montgomery's theories and research on encouraging higher cognitive skills (pp. 26 following and p.80).

      By distance learning the researchers do not mean students working away from the University, but students in the University having a package of materials to work on themselves "at a distance from the seminar-lectures" (p.25). The objective of the materials designed for this module seems to have been to assist students learning skills of active reading, and discussing the ideas they read about.

      The report's writing style is very dense (compact), and I did not find the "Conclusions and Recommendations" very helpful in unpacking the contents, but if you think that sharing teaching experiences within Middlesex University is valuable, you will probably find reading the booklet worthwhile. I found the concepts and literature it introduced me to particularly valuable. Perhaps to fully understand the content I would have needed to see the learning package. Andrew Roberts, June 1998

    Wallace, M.J. 1980
    Study Skills in English.
    Cambridge. Publisher's weblink
    [378.1702812 WAL]

    "A complete course in study skills for foreign students attending.. universities in Britain."
    Actually very good for British students as well.

    Which? Books. Books published by Which, The Consumers Association, may be in your local library. You can buy them by mail order from Which?, Freepost, Hertford X, SG14 1YB. You quote their code and pay be cheque, postal order or credit card. You can also order by phoning 0800 252 100. They do not charge postage, but they say delivery can take up to six weeks.

    The Which? Guide to Computers. This is published by the Consumers Association. It seeks to explain the technicalities of computers in plain English so that people who are spending money on them can know what they are buying. It was originally published in 1995, but has been revised since. A 288 page paperback, cost 10.99 from Which? Books Code: WGCOM

    The Which? Guide to the Internet. This is also a plain English guide and has a glossary of terms. It explains how to find what you want. It gives advice on how to get value from the Internet - How to get the information you want without spending too much money. The Consumers Association sells internet services, but this probably does not bias the book. A 272 page paperback, cost 9.99 from Which? Books. Code: WINET.

    Study Link
    Andrew Roberts' web Study Guide
    Top of Page Take a Break - Read a Poem

  • This page, created Monday 5.7.1999?, was not updated between 18.10.2004 and 10.6.2014, and is here for historical reasons, amongst others.

    Full Book List

    Subject Index


    this website Acres, D. 1984 (book)   Clanchy and Ballard (chapter on Exam Essays)   Johnson, R. 1993/1994 (book)   Curzon, Paul 1998- (dead web)   Good and Smith chapter

    this website   Barnes, R. 1992/1995 (chapter)   Clanchy and Ballard (book)   Cuba and Cocking (book)   Dunleavy, P. 1986 (chapters)   Roy Johnson (books)   Johnson, W. A. and others 2004 (book)   Newby, M. 1989 (book)   Northedge, A. 1991 (chapter)

    Free electronic books

    Group Work

    this website
    Dunleavy, P. 1986 pp 6-8 Seminars and Class Discussions on advantages and disadvantages of academic conversation
    O'Sullivan etc, 1996 Successful Group Work
    Donaldson and Topping 1996 Peer Assisted Learning:
    Good and Smith 1988 pp 40-44 has ideas about using fellow students for feedback, and how to give criticism constructively.
    Rowntree, D. 1991 pp 159-161, "Learning from learners", has students' comments on the benefits of self help groups.