to this book
One way or another, I have been involved in study-skills development for most of my life. A long time ago, I was at the sharp end – a student – and started to develop my own strategies for successful learning. As a postgrad, I then started to help students. When I first started as a lecturer, I happened to also hold the position of warden of a hall of residence for several years. Living under the same roof as 100 students soon showed me that they needed help! Their faces would grow longer and greyer as exams approached, and the tensions between preparing for exams and catching up with coursework would show themselves. I first started helping students to develop study skills in informal chats in the kitchen areas of the hall, and in the TV lounge.
Students from other parts of the institution soon started coming in for such help, so I extended my work to be generally available within the institution, and for many years at the University of Glamorgan I ran open evening lectures under the series title 'Help Yourself to Success'. My interest in this side of my work continued to grow.
I also became very interested indeed in the principles and practices of assessment, and served for many years as an examiner with three of the main English exam boards. In recent years, I have increasingly served as external examiner to programmes in several universities across the UK, and my interest in how students are assessed (and how we can best help them to prepare for assessment) has also continued to grow.
Since 1986, I have also been involved in working with university and college lecturers on teaching and learning methodologies. I soon found that the best way to help lecturers to improve their teaching was to focus in on how students actually learn most effectively, in all the different teaching-learning situations that they experience.