How to Develop a Sense of Resourcefulness in First-Year Students?

Alf Lizzio’s (2006) Five Senses Framework outlines the factors that drive successful transitions for new students: a sense of purpose; a sense of connectedness; a sense of resourcefulness; a sense of academic culture; and a sense of capability. 

Faculty have a pivotal role in developing this sense of resourcefulness and connecting students to the required Sheridan supports.

A sense of resourcefulness is evident when students are proactive, capable, willing, and able to navigate and access resources for support. In the classroom, strong resourcefulness in students can look like:

  • Finding class materials on SLATE
  • Planning ahead for final assignment workloads
  • Knowing how  and who to contact if they get stuck
  • Feeling confident in asking professors for help or guidance
  • Having a classmate to connect or study with

Faculty have a pivotal role in developing this sense of resourcefulness and connecting students to the required Sheridan supports. There are things we can do in each class to help build student resourcefulness, such as:

  • Live demonstration of where to access assignment details in SLATE
  • Suggest timelines for students for assignments (e.g., draft essay complete 3 weeks before due date, final edits 1 week before due date)
  • Provide reminders of student services and supports at the beginning or end of class
  • Provide open space at the end, beginning, or during breaks for students to connect with you
  • During classes, utilize active learning strategies in dyads or groups

Our students are relieved, excited and stressed at the end of a semester. Some of the questions they may be asking are things like: Did I pass that class? Will I make enough money this summer to pay for Fall tuition? How can I stay healthy as Covid restrictions start to loosen? You may receive – or are already receiving – a volume of emails this week and next as students reach out for help.

The PSB First Year Experience Team would like to remind you that student supports are available. The Faculty Toolkit from Student Affairs can assist in enhancing your knowledge of the student experience and the services that students may need to access outside of the classroom. We’ve also compiled a list that can be re-purposed in emails and Slate announcements. We hope you will use this information to connect students to support and develop that sense of resourcefulness.

“I’m feeling overwhelmed”

Free and confidential counselling sessions are available to all Sheridan students. Connect with a Counsellor if you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed or just want to talk to someone. You can meet with a Counsellor either by phone or video call. Use this information to make an appointment with a Counsellor.

“Online learning isn’t for me”

If you’ve never taken an online class before, making the shift can feel like a challenge. You might be worried that you don’t have the technology skills to be successful and that being physically disconnected from your peers and professors is making it easier to procrastinate. The Library has created a Student Online Learning Module to help with some of these feelings and help make it an easier transition getting started with online learning.

PSB classes are being offered in a variety of formats for the Spring semester. If online learning isn’t for you, consider an in-person class.

“I’m having trouble with school, work and everything else”

Good time management is very rewarding: you will accomplish more, have more free time and experience less stress. The Library has created this Time Management Module to help you understand your own unique approach to time management and the obstacles that get in your way.

If you are having a hard time balancing your classes with your other commitments, you may want to talk to an advisor. To get connected, email

“I went to class but I don’t remember anything”

Note-taking is a valuable skill that will help you in your academic career and serve you as you move into your chosen career. Learning to take good notes can help you get organized, remember key points, and save you time when it comes to studying or writing an assignment. The Library has created an online Taking Notes. This module will discuss taking notes for different purposes and will provide you with methods to explore to see what works best for you.

Set yourself up for success in the next semester – do the module now!

“I didn’t understand what was happening in my class and my grades show it”

Tutoring is available virtually and in person! The Library offers learning support in math, writing, English conversation skills and study skills. Appointments can be booked online.

Program-level tutoring is available through the PSB Learn Well Community. There are peer tutors for Advertising and Marketing Communications Management, BBA – all streams, OA – Health, Accounting, HR, Marketing, Finance and Supply Chain.

Reflect on which classes and concepts were the most difficult, then be proactive – book an appointment with a tutor now!

“I’ve failed a class and I’m not sure what to do next”

Student Advisement helps you get started at Sheridan and stay on track with your educational plan and goals. It’s your first point of contact whenever you need advice, answers and support. If you need support but are not sure where to start, please contact

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