On this page:
“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
Whether you are writing curricula or engaged in studying and research, there are some key questions you should ask yourself.
You can click on each of the questions below to see tips and suggestions. Where it is relevant, links to Skills Team support, including SkillsGuides, video workshops and other Library information have been included so that you can quickly access more help and support.
You may find it useful to review Skills necessary for effective knowledge management first.
Key considerations for course design
Consider how students will know what is expected of them. The Skills Team and resources will help.
To embed skills development into disciplinary modules, see the staff support page.
Unfortunately, not all publishers make their resources available to higher education libraries, so it may not be possible to provide access to something you would like to use in teaching. You can email email@example.com with questions and for advice.
Please refer to the HelpGuide Reading lists at Hull 2020-2025 for information.
The policy site links to the HelpGuide Decolonise, democratise and diversify reading lists. You will find information about evaluating your list, and suggestions for seeking more diverse voices and knowledge. You could also consider incorporating archival material into your reading lists as these can be good places to find marginalised voices. Hull University Archives have two guides to help you: Diversity in archives and Online primary sources
The Archivists will be happy to discuss how to use archival material in your teaching. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions and for advice.
The Library’s Diversified collections page explains how you can help to change our collections, and lists recent purchases.
Library search By default, this covers the print and online collections to which the Library has access. To include a wider range of Open Access (OA) material, you can 'Add results beyond Hull library's collection' by ticking the box on the results page. There is also information about what Library search covers.
Databases A-Z provides a list of sources for journal articles, eBooks, maps, case law, video, music, and more.
eJournals A-Z provides all the access points for eJournal titles. We may have access to the same title via several different databases with different date ranges.
You may also wish to direct your students to Skills for study if they new to university. For those undertaking research projects of the first time there is Sage Research Methods.
Prior to university, many students will not have encountered research and journals databases and may not understand what they are, or how and why to use them. They will not necessarily understand the differences between information formats, and the roles in knowledge creation and sharing. This also affects their reading.
Videos to support Finding quality journal articles for undergraduates, postgraduates, and Health Sciences are available via the Video workshops page. The Skills Team have made more subject-specific videos, and teaching colleagues have integrated these into their Canvas sites. Get in touch via email@example.com to see if they already have a video suitable for your needs, or are able to create a new one.
As student progress through your programme, they may need to conduct Literature reviews or systematic reviews.
Whatever level of study your students are undertaking, will you provide opportunities within the module for your students to develop these skills? If so, you may wish to consider an integrated session provided by the Skills Team.
The SkillsGuide introducing students to Reading at University. is a helpful starting point.
How will they gain experience of asking:
- Does the source offer the right type and level of information for the work you are undertaking?
- How reliable and authoritative are the books, articles, etc. that you have found?
- Are they relevant to and useful for the work you are doing?
Support for Critical writing is available as a SkillsGuide, and video workshop.
Students also need to be competent and confident with copyright and licensing issues, and be safe and secure online.
What opportunities will they have within your module to practice these skills and behaviours?
Useful SkillsGuides include Digital student for copyright, licensing, and online safety and security, and Referencing your work.
The Skills Team offer lots of support. All four University referencing styles are covered in the Referencing SkillsGuide. There is a video workshop covering Harvard and APA, and they offer workshops and integrated sessions.
Once they have understood the basic principles, you may also wish to introduce your students to referencing software. Both EndNote and RefWorks are available. As well as managing references, the software allows students to build up a database of their sources, and so can aid time-management and contribute to ethical information management.
You may wish to refer to the Assessment and feedback section of the University's Inclusive Education Framework.
If you have set innovative assessments, how will you assess them? Is there an established departmental or faculty rubric you can use? If not, is there good practice elsewhere in the University that you can adopt or adapt?
You may wish to refer to the Assessment and feedback section of the University's Inclusive Education Framework.
Key considerations for studying and researching
The Library Skills Team and resources offer support and can help you to be successful.
See their homepage for self-paced help, workshops and personal appointments.
There may be exceptions for which there is no formal list, so just ask your module leader if you are unsure.
There are three levels of importance: Essential; Recommended; Background. They are defined as:
Essential Readings form the basis for successful exploration and critical analysis of the subject matter and are critical in the development of your ability to understand, question and clearly communicate knowledge to a diverse audience and in so doing realize module and programme learning outcomes or competencies.
Recommended Readings are supplementary resources that expand on the topics and themes found in “Essential” items and allow you to successfully to explore further and exercise critical thinking.
Background Readings are not critical to achieving module or programme learning outcomes or competencies.
The more extensively you read and critically engage with resources across all three levels of importance the richer your disciplinary knowledge will become, and the stronger your arguments within your assessments.
For many of your assessments, you will also need to search for additional material. As a general rule, the further into your studying or research you are the more information you will need to find for yourself.
First, decide what type and level of information you need. Is the subject new to you? If so, you may need a general introduction or overview and this is most likely to be found in books or eBooks. You can use Library search to find these.
For current research, and in-depth analysis, journal articles are essential and can be found by searching a database. For an introduction, visit the Finding books and journals guide. This will also direct you to our A-Z of databases, and those most useful for your discipline. For a quick guide to what databases are, read our blog post Using databases.
The wider and deeper your exploration of your subject the easier it becomes to see the bigger picture, decide on a position, and argue your point. These practices are as important in the workplace as they are at university.
It takes time and practice to become proficient in using tools such as databases, referencing and Notetaking software, or to become a good time manager .
This can seem like an additional burden on top of learning about your discipline. However, it is a good investment that will save you time and effort overall as well as contributing to ethical information management practices.
In addition to the physical collections in the Brynmor Jones Library, and the online resources we make available, you can also use the Hull University Archives, based at the Hull History Centre in the City. The Archive Collections at Hull History Centre SkillsGuide is a good starting point to explore the possibilities.
You should approach different information sources in different ways to get the most from your reading. For example, a journal article is easier to comprehend if it is read in four stages as described in Reading journal articles. At first, this may seem like more work than reading an article straight through once. However, with practice, you will gain greater understanding, and save time overall.
See the Reading at university guide for more strategies and tips. If you are new to university, you may find the section on What to read (reading selectively) a helpful starting point.
This does not mean you are alone! There is a lot of help and guidance for you so just ask for help when you need it. As well as the support module leaders and supervisors give you within teaching and research activities, help and advice are available from services such as the Library, particularly the Skills Team , and Student Support.
For specific help with developing your skills to source, identify and critically assess information, make sure you are aware of the support provided by the Skills Team. This includes:
A wide range of self-paced online guides. If you are not sure where to start, try typing the topic you are interested in into the Search box at the top right of the SkillsGuide page.
Workshops for undergraduates and postgraduates, covering everything from writing an essay to using data collection and analysis software.
Personal appointments either online or on campus.
And much more!
Depending on the nature of your studying or research there may be other issues you need to consider. Your teacher or supervisor will inform you about these.
The Academic integrity guide covers the key areas, and links to external sources.
You should also make yourself familiar with the University's policies, such as the ICT Acceptable Use Policy, as this affects your everyday use of University facilities.
Developing good practices in all these areas while you are at university will improve your assessment outcomes, and ensure you have the right skills for your future employment.
The Referencing your work SkillsGuide will help you understand this important area of university and working life. There is also a video workshop to support Harvard and APA referencing styles.
Check the marking criteria for your assessments. Can you gain or lose marks for your referencing? If so, doing them correctly can be an easy way to gain a better overall mark.
Once you are familiar with how to reference, you may wish to learn how to use referencing software to help automate some of the processes. See Referencing software for more information.
If you are new to thinking and writing reflectively, visit the Reflective writing SkillsGuide for more information and tips.
How can you gain and lose marks? For example, if a proportion of marks is for the range of sources used and the accurate referencing of them, what do you need to do to gain as many marks as possible? Do you have the skills needed to be successful, and if not, what do you need to practice?
What feedback did you receive for previous assessments? If it identified areas for further development have you been practicing so that you get an improved mark in your next assessment?
Think also about the information your lecturer has given you in Canvas or in classes.
Remember the Skills Team is here to support your academic success. See their homepage for lots of useful self-help guidance as well as workshops and personal appointments.