Help your new students get a better start to their studies!

Coverbild till filmen MiunSkills för lärare

MiunSkills is a digital self-study course designed to give new students as good a start to their studies as possible. In MiunSkills, students learn about how the university and the university world work and what is expected of them. You as a teacher can help students find MiunSkills by linking to it in your own course platform and by telling them about the course and encouraging students to do it.

MiunSkills

What is included in MiunSkills?

MiunSkills consists of 12 lessons divided into three different categories: University and university studies, Academic skills and Wellbeing. The lessons are made to be comprehensive enough to be relevant no matter what programme the student studies at, but at the same time rich enough in content for the students to learn something meaningful.

How the university works

Here, students are introduced to the university's organisation and support services, the systems we use (Moodle, Zoom, Ladok, O365 and Inspera), the student union and student influence, etc.

University studies and course structure

Here, students gain knowledge about syllabi, study guides, home exams, seminars, PMs, etc. They also receive tips on how they can create good conditions for group work and communicate with their teachers.

Study with a disability

This is a presentation of the support that is available for those students who need extra support.

Study skills

This is simply all kinds of study skills

Information retrieval

Here, students gain basic knowledge of suitable sources of information for their study assignments and what to keep in mind when searching for information.

Scholarly articles

Here students learn what a scientific article is and how they can determine whether an article is scholarly or not.

Source criticism

Here, students are given tools to be able to critically review sources and are challenged to reflect on their own preconceived notions.

References

Here is an overview of why references are important, how references are structured and the importance of being consistent when following a reference guide.

Plagiarism

Here is information about what counts as plagiarism and what paraphrasing is.

Academic writing

Here, students learn basic knowledge of what academic writing is and how to develop and improve their own writing.

Wellbeing

The lesson is about the importance of taking care of yourself in order to feel good and be able to study, and hopefully be able to avoid too much stress.

Establish routines

Here are practical tips on how to create a daily routine that provides a good balance between studies and leisure.

Why is it importat that I as a teacher become engaged in MiunSkills?

For new students, it is difficult to know what they actually need to know. They are also in a situation where they are flooded with information from all sides, which can be difficult for them to absorb and prioritise. A recommendation from a teacher weighs significantly more than a link on a website. If you think that MiunSkills is important and talk warmly about it, it will spread to your students and the chance that they will implement MiunSkills increases significantly.

MiunSkills is also quite time consuming (it is estimated to take 7-8 hours), so it is easy for students to lose track of it with everything else that needs to be done. Therefore, it is important to be reminded and encouraged to do it and revisit it at regular intervals.

The very best is of course if MiunSkills can be integrated into the first course of the semester in some way, so that the students can see it as a natural part of their education.

Here you will find PowerPoint presentations that you can use to introduce MiunSkills to your students

You can download and use these PowerPoint presentations for e.g. a course introduction when you want to inform students about MiunSkills. Do not forget to look in the comments field in the PowerPoint for suggestions on what to tell the students. Feel free to modify the presentations so that they suit you.

Presentation in English

Presentation in Swedish

How can I motivate my students to complete MiunSkills?

Point out that MiunSkills is based on student needs and student wishes. This is information that students who came before them have said they wished they had received from the beginning.

Explain that it is common for new students to experience confusion and uncertainty about their new situation, but that MiunSkills can help them to quickly and easily learn how things work.

Continuously remind them about the course during the first weeks. There is so much else that attracts their attention at the beginning of the semester that reminders will be needed for students to remember and prioritise completing MiunSkills. The more often you talk about it, the more important it will appear to students.

Take a few minutes of lesson time from time to time and ask how it is going, or if any questions have arisen based on the course.

If it fits into your course material, feel free to make references to the course where appropriate. "If you've done the lesson on references in MiunSkills, you might remember..." and the like.

How do I find MiunSkills?

MiunSkills is available in English in Moodle and is also available on a website. The English version is under work but will be available before summer.

When you link MiunSkills into your own course platform, we recommend that you use the Moodle version. In addition to the lessons, there are also knowledge quizzes where students can test themselves and they are offered the opportunity to give feedback on the course.

If you have a mix of students you can always link to both the Swedish and English version.

MiunSkills in English

Of course, there is an English version of MiunSkills. It is mostly the same as the Swedish one, but in consultation with the International Relations Office (IRO), we have modified some of the lessons somewhat in order to better inform our international students about Swedish conditions.

What do the students think about MiunSkills?

The studens are very positive! Based on the evaluations made from the pilot test of MiunSkills, we know that about 90% of the students who completed the course felt better prepared for their studies after completing MiunSkills, and 100% said that they would recommend MiunSkills to other students.

Are there more ways to use MiunSkills than during the introductory period?

Absolutely! MiunSkills is available all year round for all students and teachers. The lessons are stand alones and are excellent for discovering individually or to reuse based on need. Regardless of which semester the students are in, you can always refer them to MiunSkills if they express that they have difficulties with any area, if you yourself discover shortcomings in the students' knowledge about, for example, reference management or academic writing, or if you feel that they need support with study techniques or managing stress.

The lessons are also freely available for you as a teacher to use in your teaching, for example when introducing scholarly articles or reference management.

MiunSkills in the welcome letters

Students are informed about MiunSkills both in the general welcome letter that is sent out to everyone in connection with admission, and in the welcome letter that the programmes send out, so the students who are attentive and interested have already had the opportunity to complete the course. However, it is far from everyone who is so attentive or interested, so there is still a great need for committed teachers. And imagine what a positive confidence boost it will be for the students who have already done MiunSkills when you start talking about how important it is!

If you want to make the course compulsory

If anyone would like to make the course compulsory, the teacher can order a copy of the Moodle course from gertrud.ivarsson@miun.se. The copy is then linked to your course code and works just like your regular course rooms. You teachers can thus decide for yourself how you want to use the course, and follow up the students' participation. The quizzes in the Moodle course can serve as examinations. Based on the estimated time required, 0.5 credits is an appropriate credit.

Contact

If you have questions about MiunSkills or want to leave feedback, you can email either gertrud.ivarsson@miun.se or biblioteket@miun.se.