As part of my Getting Involved series, I figured I would see what York’s LSS workshops are all about. I decided to attend an Exam Prep workshop last night because I have another round of midterms approaching in a couple weeks and I want to have more success with them than on the last round so I can reach my goal of having an A in all my classes.
The workshops run a little bit differently this year, in that you don’t have to register online. Because of this, I followed the advice online and I made sure to be 15 minutes early. I had actually never been on the second floor of Bennett Centre before, which is where this workshop was located, but it was relatively easy to find. When I first walked into the room I was welcomed warmly by the workshop leader. She directed me to tables loaded with different stacks of papers. One table had a bunch of different related resources such as a page filled with tips for multiple choice style exams, and another page demonstrated a technique to take better study notes. On the same table was a sign in sheet and I agreed to sign in for reasons I’ll explain later. The other table had more general information on it, including Passports (York’s Passport to Success, not real ones), calendars of all the workshops for October and November, and lots of CDS related information as well as an optional survey to rate the workshop.
After I collected all the papers I was interested in, I sat down and after a few minutes, the workshop started. To my surprise there were a few moments of interactivity, which I liked, but I was kind of shy to participate. The slide show was extremely informative and it was quite easy to follow along without losing interest. The presentation was very thorough and not only covered different tips for various exam styles (short answer, essay, etc) but also covered tips on how to study effectively and also manage your stress and exam anxiety. The audience was welcome to ask questions at any point, and some students asked the leader to elaborate on a subject, to which she happily complied. It wasn’t long before the workshop was over and I knew immediately that I was curious about attending other workshops.
Getting back to the Passports I discussed before – the workshop leader explained the Passport program. If you pick up a Passport (it looks like a white and red folded-in flyer, you can kind of see it on the table in my first shot), attend any 8 LSS workshops, and get a signature from the leader of each, you can trade in your Passport for an awesome LSS certificate. You also need to have signed in to each workshop that you got a signature for, in order to get your certificate at the end. This certificate can be included in your resume, on LinkedIn, etc. and demonstrates to your future employers that you are not only trained in the specific area, but that you are committed to self betterment on your own time. This certificate, in my opinion, could make a difference if an employer was down to a couple potential hires and was trying to decided which person to hire.
I strongly encourage you to check out this workshop and any other LSS workshops that you are interested in. You won’t regret attending and if you are willing to spare some of your time and attention, I think you will be surprised at how some of your common student-related skills develop for the better.
Edit: I received some more beneficial information from one of the Learning Skills Specialists, Angie. She says that workshops tend to range from 8-40 student depending on the time in the semester. There is generally larger attendance around exam periods but the average number is probably 15-20 students a workshop. Keep this in mind so you can plan accordingly!
She also shared some of their most popular workshops which include – Time Management, Reading and Notetaking, and Learning Style. Study Secrets seems to be quite popular at the beginning of the semester and Exam Prep is super popular near *you guessed it* exam times. Another beneficial workshop is the Writing Skills workshop.
Have you attended a workshop? Interested in attending one? Comment below!