This is because many students struggle with the academic demands of university. For those coming from high school, it is a major step up in terms of expected quality. For those coming back to study from a long break (e.g. perhaps they have been working), the whole concept of assignments and exams is a rude shock to the system.
The pressures of academic study can lead many students to feel quite anxious and stressed out and start avoiding their assignments (procrastination). We see many of them here at Health, Counselling and Disability Services.
Early in 2018, I spoke to Ben, one of the counsellors and the manager of OASIS. He had a very cool suggestion that he and I should run a regular group program to help students to tackle procrastination. So we did it. The group was called Studyology V1. It ran every Tuesday, during term time from 10am to 11.30am at OASIS.
The group was a place where Ben and I could share our knowledge of effective study strategies, and where students could learn and get support from each other. It was a place to learn how to deal with procrastination, study anxiety, perfectionism, lack of motivation, and assignment avoidance.
We had a small but dedicated group who showed up regularly to the sessions and they were a pleasure to run. We focused on sharing evidence-based strategies for learning and studying. Some of these I’ve shared previously on this blog. What was great is that it wasn’t just Ben and I sharing strategies. Participants in the group shared what had worked (and not worked) for them.
We have fond memories of our time running Studyology V1.
We then created Studyology V2!
In 2019, Ben and I created a new version of Studyology. It was imaginatively titled Studyology V2.
Instead of an open-group (people attend when they want), we condensed down the key teachable components to 4 must-attend sessions. We retained the positive aspects of doing this work in a group, but enhanced it by teaching specific techniques and ideas for tackling the underlying psychological factors that lead to study anxiety and avoidance.
- psychological flexibility and why it is needed to tackle study anxiety
- why people procrastinate and the different types of procrastination
- the relationship between stress and performance
- how you can become anxious and fearful of your studies
- simple psychological tools for reducing distress and re-engaging with your studies
We gave room during sessions for students to share their challenges with others. There is something uniquely therapeutic in learning that other people are struggling with the same thing, and problem-solving as a group.
In addition, Studyology V2 was very action oriented, meaning that between sessions we invited students to apply the concepts learned in session to tackling real-world assignments or projects that they were avoiding. We got students actively starting and completing assignments over the 4 weeks that they did the course with us.
We ran 3 of these Studyology V2 groups during 2019 and the feedback was really positive. We had such good sessions that I wrote a few blog posts over 2019 dealing with some of the cool things that were being discussed in these sessions (here, here, here, here and here).
Studyology V3 returns for 2020.
Studyology V3 is here!
We were initially going to deliver Studyology V3 in the same way as we delivered Version 2, namely face-to-face.
Then Coronavirus hit and all of us went online.
Not one to be defeated by a pesky virus, I got to reformatting the program for the online environment via Collaborate.
I took the opportunity to tighten up some of the program components and try to create a tackling procrastination program that was elegantly build on the foundations of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), which was the original vision of Ben when he created the program.
I ran two Studyology groups during May to August which went pretty well. The program works well in the online environment.
Another group is running soon for rural health students.
I’ve also made available recorded lectures and session materials, meaning you can guide yourself through the program in your own time.
If you are interested in me running another live group, please email me to let me know (email@example.com). If I get sufficient numbers, I will run another group before the end of the year.
To access the materials you’ll need to enrol in the Oasis Online FLO topic. From there you’ll find the Studyology Module. You can actually access the recordings and slides and materials from the last session if you want to get a feel for what the LIVE sessions will be like.
Feel free to send any questions you have about the program to me (firstname.lastname@example.org).