Learning Commons

Academic Success Strategies & Resources

Academic Strategies

We have an entire website dedicated to becoming an “AGILE learner” (Academic Gains through Improved Learning Effectiveness), which does a deep dive into how learning works, along with specific strategies such as how to read actively, take effective notes, and study in groups. The study skills and strategies outlined on the site involve self-testing, active practice, and making connections between ideas, all of which will maximize students' academic time both inside and outside of the classroom. The site also offers an array of printable resources.

Brightspace Modules

We have several modules designed to help students with effective learning strategies, preparing for the semester, learning through Brightspace, and more. Additional modules will be created each year based upon student needs and research trends. USM students, staff, and faculty can enroll in this self-paced experience through MyUSM. They live within USM’s Brightspace landing page and are consolidated under one umbrella called “Becoming a Successful Learner”. To learn how to access the modules in Brightspace, please click HERE.


One of the most effective learning strategies is to learn with others. Students can elect to meet one-on-one with any of our team members to determine which programs, services, and strategies would be the best fit for their goals and needs. Students can also increase their academic skills by scheduling an appointment with a Peer Academic Coach, or receive expert guidance in their research process by working with Reference Librarians or Learning Commons Navigators


Throughout the academic year we offer planned series as well as pop-up workshops on a variety of strategies and skills to help students be academically successful. Workshops are organized by topic and designed to meet the demands of academics throughout the semester. For more information, including upcoming dates and how to RSVP, please click HERE.

YouTube Channel

The Learning Commons YouTube Channel contains dozens of videos with step-by-step instructions on various active strategies to help students achieve their academic goals. Click here to visit The Learning Commons YouTube page.