Academic Skills at Trent is dedicated to helping undergraduate and graduate students develop the skills necessary to succeed and excel at university. We embody Trent’s commitment to small-group teaching and individualized learning through one-on-one appointments and small-group workshops. Academic Skills provides instruction in all aspects of academic, writing, and study skills, including:
- Essay, lab and review writing
- Research and documentation
- Critical reading and thinking
- Listening and note taking
- Oral presentations
- Exam preparation
- Time Management
Specialized instruction is also available for ESL students and students with learning disabilities.
Learn more about Academic Skills services:
- Customized In-course Workshop and Videos
- Academic Integrity Module
- Academic Skills Tool Kit
- Referring Students to Academic Skills
- Individual Appointments (in-person, video, asynchronous)
- Online Resources
- Events and Programming
- Academic Skills Instructors
Subject to availability, one of our staff members can visit your classroom, in-person or via Zoom, to give a five to fifty minute workshop tailored to your course and assessments. We can provide a short presentation highlighting Academic Skills services or a longer workshop that directly addresses an assignment or a particular area of interest. We are also able to record a presentation and provide a Yuja link for you to share with your course on Blackboard. At least two weeks’ notice is required. Possible workshop topics include the following:
- The Writing and Research Process
- Critical Reading
- Writing the Essay Proposal
- Critical Thinking/Critical Writing
- Structuring a Piece of Writing
- Poster Presentations
- Math for Physics
- Math basics for Algebra or Applied Calculus
The Academic Integrity module is designed to help undergraduate students to appreciate the importance of academic integrity and to understand how to avoid plagiarism and other acts of academic dishonesty.
- Understanding Trent’s Academic Integrity Policy
- Understanding and Avoiding Plagiarism
- Understanding and Avoiding Cheating
Each section comprises instructional materials followed by a quiz that assesses students’ understanding of academic integrity. In order to successfully complete the module, students must earn 100% on each of the three quizzes. For 2023-24, there are new updates to the module to reflect recent changes to the Academic Integrity Policy.
For more information about the module, or to preview it, please send an email to email@example.com
The Academic Skills Tool Kit offers students direct access, through their Blackboard course sites, to a curated folder of short videos, tip sheets, templates, and weblinks targeting essential learning skills (e.g., how to manage time effectively, reading and notetaking skills, writing strategies, studying and exam prep). Take a short video tour of the Academic Skills Tool Kit.
During the 2022-23 academic year, 88 courses added the Tool Kit to their Blackboard site, and we reported over 14,000 student views of the folder. In Academic Skills’ annual assessment of student appointments, the Tool Kit placed in the top 3 reasons how a student was referred to and accessed our services.
To add the Tool Kit to your course Blackboard site, we require:
Permission to embed an Academic Skills instructor into your Blackboard course site as a “Course Builder”, which allows us to publish the content folder in your course and assess the number of resource views at the end of term.
If you are interested in adding the Academic Skills Tool Kit to your course, please email Academic Skills.
While most students come to Academic Skills on their own initiative, many are referred by instructors for ongoing help with writing, grammar or language-related issues. Academic Skills instruction, however, is not simply remedial. Even the best student can benefit from a “fresh pair of eyes” on an assignment.
Students have the opportunity to see a writing instructor for up to five sessions per term; at the discretion of the instructor, some students can access additional appointments. No other university in Ontario provides this level of professional, ongoing, one-on-one academic support.
- In-Person and Video Appointments: The one-on-one appointment is the core of what we do. Appointments often focus on a work-in-progress, which can be a piece of writing at any stage of composition, but they also can cover any skills on which the student wishes to improve. A part-time math instructor also offers math instruction in-person and online.
- Asynchronous Appointments: Academic Skills also offers asynchronous email appointments for students whose schedules don’t allow them to make appointments easily. Students can submit questions on academic skills or send drafts of their work, and an instructor will respond to their questions.
- Students can book online (www.trentu.ca/sep) or in-person at any college office.
We also offer a comprehensive set of online guides, videos, and templates covering a range of organizational, thinking, and writing skills. We also have active Instagram and Twitter channels that offer study tips, writing advice, and links to additional resources.
- The Online Documentation Guide explains how to cite and reference in all disciplines at Trent. If you see an error or note need for an update on this guide, please let us know.
- Guides on writing essays, lab reports, article summaries, critical reflections, annotated bibliographies, and more.
- Video series: Math Skills, explained
- New! Level Up: Resources for Upper-Year Students
Events and Programming
Throughout the academic year and summer term, we offer a range of programming and events to support students. For the 2023-24 academic year, undergraduate students can attend weekly Learning Labs to practice strategies for time management, notetaking, and studying. Graduate students can join a weekly writing group or attend regular workshops on topics such as Academic Integrity for Graduate Students, Reading at the Graduate Level, Grammar for Grad Students, and more.
Academic Skills instructors hold graduate degrees in a range of disciplines. We bring professional experience from secondary and post-secondary classroom teaching, adult education, teaching English as a second language, and teaching children and adults with learning disabilities. Instructors are available in all college offices and at the Durham-GTA campus.
Academic Skills instructors help Trent University achieve its stated goal of providing educational programs that encourage students to think critically and to communicate their ideas effectively and that foster creative interaction between academic departments, programs, faculty, staff and students.