With the holiday season approaching, it’s good to add some fun into teaching to keep your students engaged and motivated. We’ve created 12 simple classroom activities and tips that you can carry out with your primary class to encourage them to be good.
How to prepare for student life in the UK
Deciding to study in the UK is a big step. Moving to a country with different food, language, culture and weather can make you nervous. It is completely normal to experience this.
You may feel overwhelmed by the unfamiliarity of these things compared to what you are used to. Studying abroad can be a very rewarding experience once you get used to your new situation.
So how can you conquer your fears? Here are some tips to prepare for life as an international student studying in the UK.
Research student life in the UK
Even though you're in the United Kingdom to study, you need to balance studying with a social life. Otherwise you risk boredom or worse, burnout. Luckily, students all over the world love to socialize, and British students are no exception.
The most well-known time to join student life in the UK is at Freshers Week. This is when new students are welcomed to the university with various social events. There's a fair where university clubs and societies try to get new members. There are clubs for many interests, hobbies and sports, so it's an excellent way to meet people who share your interests. There are some pretty unusual clubs too. At Cambridge, for example, there's a secretive group that climbs university buildings in the middle of the night.
Freshers Week is also a great opportunity to talk to everyone you can. Whether it's in the queue to get your student card or to your neighbor in your first lecture, everybody is in the same situation as you - they know nobody and are trying to figure out who to be friends with. During Freshers Week, you can make good friends and converse with other students. It's all about meeting new people.
Get to know the faculty and staff
On your course website you'll be able to have a look at the academic staff and Ph.D. candidate profiles. Learn about their research interests and read a few abstracts of their past publications to get an idea of their work. This will help you understand their main focus during teaching and give you ideas for independent study projects.
You can get to know the academic staff by signing up for online events before term starts. You'll hear them talking about the course and what you'll learn on it. Think about the questions you might ask. Before the event you should read your course syllabus. While you read, consider the reasons for choosing or arranging certain topics in a specific order. If you have any questions, make a note of them.
You might even be able to watch past lectures or sign up for events that they are participating in. That way you'll have some familiar faces around the department when you arrive at your university.
Find out about the student union
Student unions are a big part of UK universities. Every university has a union that you can join. Sometimes there are a few different student unions, so you can choose the one you think would suit you best. Student unions are on-campus buildings where students can attend events, eat, study and socialize with others.
But as well as organizing clubs, societies and social events, they can also help with any problems you might have. Every union has a welfare officer, typically a recent graduate elected to assist current students with personal issues they may encounter.
An international students' officer will be available to assist with any issues overseas students may encounter. This officer will have personal experience as an international student, making them well equipped to provide support. Knowing there are people to listen and help with your problems can be comforting, even if you don't need their assistance.
Learn about the local social scene
University life is more than just what's happening on campus. You can investigate a whole world outside your institution. In addition to nightlife, dining and cultural events, there are also sports clubs, outdoor activities and community volunteering.
Reach Volunteering has many volunteer opportunities. It's a good way to use your skills to help others. Meeting locals and making friends is important while studying in the UK. It helps build a strong network. The more you see of life in the UK, the more you'll get used to it and feel at ease.
If you're worried about your level of English - don't be. People in the UK are very tolerant of how their language is used. It's a truly global language, so there's no right or wrong accent.
If you join the local community, expect to pick up a slight accent from the place you study. It shows that you have become a part of the community.
Follow your university on social media
Social media is a key part of all our lives, and this also goes for university life. Schools use social media accounts to share positive information about their staff and students. They also post pictures from the campus.
Occasionally, a student takes over their account, giving them a chance to show what it's like to study there.
Student-run sites and social accounts also give an insider perspective on student life. Sites like The Tab cover news relevant to students, and have sections that cover news at specific universities. The Student Room is also a place where current and former students discuss all aspects of student life in the UK, from exams to the TV shows students like to watch.
Pay attention to the English language test
You'll have to pass an English test for your visa to study in the UK. Treat it as a chance to learn. Focus on the test content, as it reflects the daily tasks of the UK and student life.
For example, the speaking component of the PTE Academic test, which can be used for UK visas and to access 99% of British universities, tests your ability to summarise an academic lecture. You may have to summarize a lecture for a friend who couldn't attend, not just for your classes.
Every task on the test has a real-world application, so if you can pass the test, you can be confident that you stand a good chance of making the most of life in the UK.
Remember, although you can do as much research as you like, there's only so much you can learn online. To truly understand a place, you must be there and learn from the firsthand experience it offers. Be ready to be surprised and take advantage of things you never thought would happen. You only get to be an undergraduate once, so make the most of every opportunity.
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In the fast-paced world of business, there is one undeniable fact that holds true: employees are the key to success. Their commitment and expertise propel organizations towards their objectives, which is why investing in a learning culture is essential. The advantages are numerous and include improved staff retention, increased productivity and the goal of higher employee engagement.
You may have heard the term learning management system (LMS) at work or perhaps during your time in education. For many, this throws out images of clunky, outdated systems that clumsily distribute course materials and are tough to use. But that is no longer the case. Modern LMS's are far more user-friendly, and it's time to relearn what you thought you knew about these tools.
In this ultimate guide, we will look at everything you need to know about learning management systems and why they are so beneficial.
What is a learning management system?
The idea is that these LMS platforms offer one central place for users to manage and access courses and learning materials. Depending on the user, this could be anything from self-paced e-courses to classroom training.
This can help facilitate a range of training, studying and skills development, as well as assessments, exams and certification management.
Who uses LMS's and why?
There are many great uses for learning management systems but these are used primarily by businesses and educational establishments. Here are some of the most common use cases for these platforms:
HR and management - The HR and management team might implement these across the business to help with learning and development and make sure that organizational goals are being hit
Employee onboarding - Those starting a new job may be given training via an LMS; this can make the onboarding process much quicker and simpler
Compliance training - Lots of roles require compliance training, for example health and safety training, and this is a great way for businesses to stay up to date and ensure everyone complies with regulations
Customer support - Some businesses use learning management systems to onboard customers or clients. This might include sharing user manuals and product guides. Plus, sales professionals might also use them to train new partners or clients in using their services or platforms.
Classroom learning - Lecturers and teachers can create and share course materials and align content and tests from one place. These can also be used to put a twist on traditional classroom learning.
Blended learning - Schools, colleges and universities may use these for online lessons and blended learning, particularly for remote students
Volunteer training - Charities and non-profits may also use an LMS to educate volunteers and keep them motivated about the cause
Of course, these platforms can and will be used in other ways, but these are some of the most common and beneficial uses for LMS's.
Who has access to LMS's?
In most cases, learning management systems will have two primary user groups: administrators and learners.
Administrators are the people who create, manage and deliver e-learning. They may use these platforms to upload their own learning materials, or they may select courses and materials from an existing list given by the provider.
On the other hand, learners are the professionals or students who will use these platforms to train, study and gain new skills. Many modern LMS's allow multiple learners to train or access materials at the same time.
However, there is a third and final group that we have yet to mention: the parents of students using LMS's, particularly outside of school hours. In some cases, parents may have access to these systems to support students, track their progress or look at feedback from the teacher.
Key features in modern LMS's
There are a variety of learning management systems out there and some are more advanced than others. That being said, many modern platforms will share similar features to ensure they stay competitive. Some of these key features may include:
Authoring tools that allow administrators to upload or build their own courses
Access to subject matter experts who can contribute to learning and development activities
Automated workflows that allow for the creation of personalized learning journeys
A resources library that holds all relevant learning materials, such as guides, video clips and courses
Quizzes and surveys for a more fun and engaging way to assess learners
Compliance features, such as automatic reminders that notify learners when it is time to retrain
Certificates and diplomas that give learners recognition as they study and meet their targets
Insights and analysis for individual progress and results, allowing administrators to identify gaps or areas where support is needed
Compatibility with mobile devices for studying on the go
Integrations with other internal systems and software
This is by no means a complete list and different platforms will have different functionality. However, these are some of the most common and beneficial features of many modern LMSs.
The benefits of using learning management systems
Saving time and money
First and foremost, an LMS can be an excellent way for businesses to save time and money on training.
Of course there is an initial investment in the platform, but training can be expensive and time-consuming, particularly if it must take place in a location outside of the workplace. Therefore, this can be the more cost-effective solution. Not to mention, the materials are quick to access and can save time and effort.
Ensuring compliance training is completed
These platforms are an excellent way to ensure that all mandatory training is completed on time and to the highest standard. For example, industry-specific training such as fire safety or cybersecurity training.
Provide accurate data
Administrators can access data and insights into their employee's learning. This can be a great way to see where more support is needed and to identify any skills gaps that need to be filled. Similarly, teachers can get to grips with how well their students are doing and if they need extra help in any subjects or areas.
Improves the learning experience
Whether in school or the workplace, LMS's can be a great way to improve the learning process. It allows users to study and access learning materials from one accessible location. Plus, through a multimedia approach, they can use guides, videos and more to help them learn. This can ensure they engage with the materials and stay motivated.
Finally, an LMS can make communication between students, teachers, employees and employers far simpler. For example, automated reminders keep everyone in the loop and ensure all training is completed on time. But more than that, there is one central place to communicate, review feedback and access the same materials.