Academic skills for learning success in higher education covers a wide range of skills, for example: reading for meaning, note taking, academic-writing, problem-solving, critical thinking and communication skills. Fortunately there are extensive resources and tutorials you can source online to support and improve your learning to ensure success with your studies.


Mini challenge summary

Summary: Create a mind map summarising academic and study skills, highlighting areas for self-improvement and corresponding support resources.
1 – 1.5 hours

Start here

web resources

Stimulus resources

Academic study skills


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The purpose of this mini challenge is to apply the technique of mindmapping to help you:

  • Identify academic skills and study skills important for learning success in higher education
  • Reflect on areas for self-improvement
  • Identify and share online resources to support and improve your skills for academic success.


  1. Conduct a Google search for “academic skills” and “study skills” to identify skills relevant for higher education.
  2. Compile a list of the skills you identify.
  3. Identify categories or groups of associated skills.
  4. Conduct a Google search for “How to create a mindmap” and select one or two resources to assist you in generating a mindmap for “academic and study skills of higher education”.
  5. On a piece of paper, prepare an initial draft of a mindmap using “academic and study skills” as the central concept. The branches of your mindmap should depict the classification or grouping you identified above, and relationships among skills and groupings.
  6. Review the list of skills and highlight those (for example, using a different colour) of those you need to improve.
  7. Prepare a final version of your mindmap on academic and study skills for higher education. You can:
    • Photograph or scan a hand-drawn graphic on an A4 page using colour to highlight the different components and relationships.
    • Use graphic software to produce your mindmap
    • Use mindmap software like the open source Freemind package to generate your graphic.
    • Identify the skills you would like to improve.

Social media (Optional)

  1. Generate an image of your mindmap (eg photograph of your hand-drawn mindmap, or save as an image format (e.g. .jpg or .png).
  2. Upload a copy of this image on, provide a caption summarising your experience of this experience, for example “The most important thing I learned with my mindmap activity was …
  3. Include the hashtags: #LiDA101 and lida101mindmap.


web resources

Resource bank activity

To find, summarise and share a support resource to improve an academic or study skill.

  1. Choose an academic or study skill you would most like to improve from your mind map.
  2. Conduct a online search for a tutorials or resources to develop and improve the skill you identified .
  3. Select the best resource, log in to and click on “Add” link.
    • Complete the form adding the link, a short description and the recommended tags below for each resource. Be sure to mark your resource “Public”.
  4. Review a few resources submitted by your peers and vote for those you find valuable.

The resource bank is hosted at The system uses tags to search for related resources. Log in and vote for resources you find useful. Please use the following tags for this activity:
Required tags: : lida101, lida101a4-1
Suggested tags: : Use appropriate keywords (lowercase preferred) (or other descriptive tag(s))
Quicklink: : lida101a4-1