Contributed by:

Ria Smith

Intended Learning Outcome:

To identify support and resources during independent study


It can be easy for students to switch off or give up during independent study time. Doing work without a teacher or peer present for support may be a struggle. Learning where the lifelines to help students be successful in their study is a useful metacognitive skill. This is especially useful for asynchronous online study.


When you set an independent study task, ask the students where they think they can find support/resources to complete it. Talk about useful and suitable resources and how to access them.

1. Check out the resources on the Module VLE – the answers may already be there waiting for you

2. YouTube/Google – an endless encyclopedia of online knowledge at the tip of your digital finger!

3. Ask another student – you can ask them for help or maybe work it out together

4. Once you have tried all these, ask your module lecturer for help

Check-in after the task has been completed and ask if they used any lifelines and what proved useful and why. This will help the students to become aware of how they solved the problem for themselves. If they weren’t able to solve it, explore what else they need to be successful in their studying.



Large Group Teaching:

This will work well with any size group. You may want to put students into groups to discuss the lifelines.

Online Teaching:

This is an important skill for online students especially, where they are studying asynchronously and have limited contact.


Students will be aware of their study resources and how to access them.

Next Steps:

Links to other activities:

You may want to combine this with the Unsticking TLA:

Further reading:



Image for use on slides etc.: 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *