Learning Commons, Part 1: Learning Skills Services

Posted by Sophie Morgan on September 6, 2018


Hi there! You’ve reached an older post on the #YUBlog that may no longer contain relevant or up-to-date information. Here is the latest post on Remote Learning 101: Learning Skills Services.

For the latest posts on York University go to our homepage where you can also search for posts by topic.

It’s always a good idea to freshen up your academic skills and learn new ones. It’s an even better idea to do so with the upcoming tests and assignments you will have this term! The #YUBlog is here with our brand-new series on the on the Learning Commons to point you in the right direction so you can find all the resources you need! It’s important to know that the Learning Commons brings together various academic support services, including the Writing Department and Learning Skills Services, to help students achieve academic success.

Today, we’re looking at Learning Skills Services, a valuable program offered within the Learning Commons that builds students’ academic skillsets. Keep reading today’s #YUBlog post to learn how you can benefit from this amazing resource!

An image of two students sitting in a Learning Skills Services study booth.
You can find many Learning Skills Services study booths and resources on the second floor of Scott Library.

What Are Learning Skills Services?

An image of a person's hands typing on a keyboard.
You can learn many academic skills with Learning Skills Services.

Learning Skills Services (LSS) is an academic support resource that helps students “learn how to learn” and improve pre-existing skills. This service also fosters academic success by helping students build the skills required for all academic learning, such as time management and organizational skills and academic reading and note-taking skills. LSS is available to all students, graduate and undergraduate, from any program, at any level of study.

Success Tip: Looking for additional support as an English Second Language student? Stop by the Learning Commons’ ESL Open Learning Centre for guidance in any aspect of the English language, such as listening, reading and writing.

Why Should I Go to Learning Skills Services?

An image of two students talking.
Take advantage of the help offered by LSS to improve your academic skillset!

LSS offers complementary services to help you become a more prepared and well-rounded student. All students can benefit from using LSS – new students can develop the skills required for university, while mature, transfer and returning students can continue to refine and develop pre-existing academic abilities. Personally, I find that after I use an LSS service, I feel more confident in my abilities and, at the very least, I can apply the skills I’ve learned to my studies!

Success Tip: Read our previous #YUBlog post, “A Guide to Learning Resources for the New Term” to learn more about useful on-campus learning services!

What Services Do Learning Skills Services Offer?

An image of a person writing in a notebook.
Stay up to date with events and workshops with LSS’s Calendar!


Drop-ins are ideal if you have a quick learning skills-related question. You can attend a drop-in session of up to 15 minutes by visiting the Learning Skills Welcome Desk on the second floor of Scott Library. Remember to come by right when they open, especially during the busier times of the year because drop-ins operate on a first-come, first-served basis. For any quick question you may have, especially if it’s about managing your time, I definitely recommend stopping by the Learning Skills Welcome Desk!


LSS offers numerous workshops that are designed to promote academic success. Similar to drop-ins, they operate on a first-come, first-served basis, and they fill up quickly, so be sure to arrive early! These workshops are also tailored to what students experience during different times of the academic session. For example, in the early months of the term, there are plenty of Workshops on Reading & Note-Taking and Secrets of Academic Success. However, closer to Reading Week and the exam period, you’ll find workshops on Exam Prep. All of these workshops take place in the Sound and Moving Images Library (SMIL) Screening Room 124 (on the first floor of Scott Library) unless otherwise indicated.

Success Tip: If you attend eight or more different Learning Skills Workshops at any point during your time at York U, you can earn your Passport to Success, which is a great addition to your Co-Curricular Record! Please read the Passport to Success Brochure (PDF) for more information.

Peer Academic Coaching

Through Peer Academic Coaching you can build study strategies and learning skills that are tailored to you by working one-on-one with a Learning Skills Peer or a Learning Skills Specialist. During these 30-minute sessions, you can discuss any learning-related topic, from how to develop and stick to a realistic time management plan to tackling your readings. Review the On-Line Appointment Booking Steps (PDF) if you are interested in meeting with a Learning Skills Peer!

One to One Learning Skills

This LSS program is intended for students who have attended at least one LSS workshop and have used Drop-in and/or Peer Academic Coaching services but still wish to further develop their learning skills. You can book a limited number of appointments with a Learning Skills Specialist to help you reflect on your own learning and develop learning skills strategies that work for you. Please visit the One to One Learning Skills webpage for more information!

Services for Graduate Students

LSS offers amazing services for graduate students, too! You can sign up for a session with a Learning Skills Specialist who specializes in working with graduate students by selecting “Graduate Student Coaching” when you book your appointment online. These appointments can help you to manage your time, organize your workflow as you complete your master’s or PhD!

Success Tip: Check out LSS’s Resources for Success webpage to find materials and worksheets on nearly every learning topic from “Ten Secret of University Success” to various Time Management & Academic Reading resources.

And there you have it, Lions – a breakdown of all the information you need to know about Learning Skills Services! Be sure to read our previous #YUBlog post, “Your Top 10 York U Resources” for even more ways to get a head start this year.

Stay tuned for our next installment of this series on the Writing Centre coming in the next few weeks!

Have any questions about Learning Skills Services or the Learning Commons? Comment below or tweet us at @YorkUStudents!

Sophie Morgan
Sophie Morgan

Sophie Morgan is a second-year Professional Writing and French Studies double major at York U. She is an avid writer, a baking enthusiast and a full-time cat-sitter. She hopes that her posts will inform and inspire both prospective and current York U students!

See other posts by Sophie Morgan

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