Study guides are an invaluable support to student learning and acts to provide information on what a student should be learning at any stage in their study. A study guide has three roles in facilitating learning: (1) assisting in the management of student learning (2) providing a focus for student activities relating to learning (3) providing information on the topic/subject to study.
They should be designed to assist students with learning by explaining the following:
- what they need to learn (outcomes)
- how they might acquire competences (learning opportunities)
- whether they have learned it (assessing competences)
- making links with other parts of the curriculum/course.
Decisions about functions and form of the guide should be taken based on:
- the unit of learning
- the purpose of the guide
- the contents of the guide
- the format for the guide
- the packaging and portability of the study guide
- the educational design and layout for the guide
- who will contribute to the production of the guide.
When writing the study guide:
- decide what further information, if any, needs to be prepared for inclusion
- plan activities to be incorporated into the guide
- pay attention to the style of writing
- arrange critical readers to review the guide and developmentally test it with a sample of students
- evaluate and update the guide after it is in use.
Most importantly, the guide should be: