What’s in a name?

In a discussion with a friend over on Twitter following my last post, the subject turned to what our research and information-seeking skills sessions are called. Timetables listing skills sessions as “refresher” or “drop-in” definitely hurts take-up. In part, we discussed, because students’ self-image can reject such. In a competitive area like law, attending a “refresher” session can imply to a student that they need additional support – something it is easy to reject. Needing or seeking training or support can seem to be a sign of weakness, even. How to reach past this barrier? My friend told me about a colleague who had taken to calling their sessions “research surgeries” with success. I myself run a short session for returning level five students which is essentially a refresher, or even a remedial skills class. It is timetabled as “Advanced Legal Research”. A white lie? Or sensitivity to the needs and motivations of adult learners?

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